With over a 100 films in his kitty, Dr. Shiva Rajkumar has essayed almost every kind of role in his three-decade-long career. But, Kavacha is special for two reasons. One – Shivanna broke his own rules and agreed to be a part of a remake film after 14 long years. Two – for the first time in his career, he plays the role of a visually impaired man in this murder mystery.
The structure of every murder mystery is obviously the murder, which is followed by the story of a murderer, the person being murdered and a police officer investigating the case. The hero can either play the role of the murderer or the role of the police officer. In some movies, the hero is an innocent man, who is caught in the line of fire.
Kavacha has one such narrative with the hero emerging as a winner over the police and the law. Jayarama (Shiva Rajkumar) plays the role of a handyman in an apartment complex. He befriends a retired Supreme Court judge, who resides in the same building. The judge, convinced by Jayarama’s innocence, entrusts him the job of taking care of his little daughter in a town far away. One day, the judge opens up about his past and explains that his life is under threat and gives all his money to Jayarama so that he can take care of the child even if he dies. The next day, the judge is found dead and naturally, all eyes are on Jayarama.
And then begins the cat-and-mouse chase story. The movie is a remake of the Malayalam film Oppam starring Mohanlal. But the makers have tweaked several elements in Kavacha. A lot of minor characters from the original have been eliminated for good. If you have been following Bollywood films for some time now, Kavacha will not surprise you. In Bollywood, there was Kaabil and Andhadhun, which follow a very similar storyline – a blind man chasing the murderer.
But, what makes Kavacha different from other films is an emotional sub-plot. There are many brilliant scenes in the film, including the one where Jayarama is sharing the lift with the murderer. There are several note-worthy frames all through. The edge-of-the-seat thriller is laudable for its electrifying climax.
Shivanna took years to come out from the mass hero image and he has been doing exceptionally well since then. His career graph has been mostly up and straight with back-to-back films. When he did family dramas, he stuck to it for a while; and when he played the roles of an underworld don, something that made him a superstar, he stuck to it for decades. But of late, he has been experimenting with different genres, which is a welcome move.
In Kavacha, Shivanna stands out and once again we are reminded of his brilliant acting of yore. He performs effortlessly as the blind man and establishes that no one can be more convincing as a sharp guy with enhanced senses than him.
Kruthika Jayakumar, Isha Koppikar, Jayaprakash, Iti Acharya, deliver notable performances. Baby Meenakshi is a natural. Antagonist Vasistha Simha as Vasudeva, who was missing from the trailer (we assume that was done to keep murder mystery plot interesting), has delivered a brilliant show. Performance-wise, he is on par with Shivanna. It is not very easy to essay the role of a villain, but with each movie, Vasishta seems to have been mastering the art. Tabla Nani and Ravi Kale have small but significant roles.
GVR Vasu, in his directorial debut, has given a neat entertaining movie. If you haven’t watched the original, Kavacha will deliver a lot of surprises. Though the plot is mediocre, the performances and emphasis on action elements will get one through the movie. The album has four songs and they are pretty neat. The background score helps to create suspense and tension in the movie.
Kavacha is a decent thriller with an exceptional performance by Shivanna. If you are a die-hard fan of Shivanna, you will surely enjoy this film and his performance.
Disclaimer: This review was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the film. Neither TNM nor any of its reviewers have any sort of business relationship with the film's producers or any other members of its cast and crew.