While the film jumps from one scene to another without any connection or explanation, the characters pop up randomly without proper intent.

Mataash review SD Arvindas demonetisation satire is let down by a mindless script
Flix Sandalwood Friday, February 01, 2019 - 15:30
Save your money

Demonetisation shook the country. Even two years later, some people still bear the brunt of the note ban. SD Arvinda’s Mataash, supposedly linked to demonetisation according to the filmmakers, could have easily been one of those satirical films that portrayed what happened at that time in a humorous way. But just like demonetisation, Mataash ends up being a big disappointment.

The film begins with the narrator Avinash Narasimharaju briefing the audience about an unheard of story that took place in the months following demonetisation in Vijayapura, Bengaluru, Mysuru and Sakaleshpura.

Four youths from Vijayapura try to sell the Gol Gumbaz and are arrested by the police. A local politician, however, bails them out and in return sends them to Puttur to bring back banned notes worth Rs 50 lakh. But while returning, they lie to the politician to keep the money for themselves and stay back at a resort in Sakaleshpura. In Bengaluru, a businessman contacts ‘corporate gangsters’ run by an underworld don and his three associates – Tom, Donald and Harry – and gives them the task of converting his black money to white. 

Inchara and Gowri too end up in Sakaleshpura with Rs 2 crore worth of new currency in their car. All of them, now in the same resort, consume magic mushroom and end up in a predictably weird situation. How they get out of the predicament and who gets out with all the money forms the rest of the story.

Apart from all these people, there are a few other irritating characters who appear randomly and disappear after just one scene.

The first 45 minutes are absolutely wasted on introducing each and every character. By the time you feel that the script is finally developing and the film is actually taking some shape, bam! – you are introduced to some more characters. Characters in the film run helter-skelter, just like the script of the film. Too many artistes who do nothing and are all just wasted. The film isn’t even a comedy of errors. It is just an elaborate, deliberate mistake.

The ensemble cast includes newbies Samarth Narasimharaju, Aishwarya Shindogi, Rajani Bharadwaj, Ravikiran Rajendran, Ranguswamy, Siddhanth Sundar, Amogha Rahul, Balaji Shetty, Nagarjuna V, Ganesh Raj, Goutham HC, Siddu Yarala Bannikodu, Rupa Sridhar, Sadananda Kali, Arjun Asuri, Rajesh PI, and veterans Nandagopal, V Manohar, Raaghu Ramanakoppa and Nagendra Shah.

While the film just jumps from one scene to another without any connection or explanation, the characters pop up randomly without proper intent. None of the characters have any depth. All the newbies need to take up acting classes first. Since there are at least five characters on screen in most scenes, no character gets a chance to make any impact on the audience.

In the climax scene, a hurricane ‘transports’ all the money from the resort in Sakaleshpura to Pakistan and boy, it rains Indian currency in Pakistan. Creativity sure knows no bounds! But such scenes only spoil the fun for the viewers.

Not a single scene in the film can even be considered ‘good’. Mataash can easily go down as one of the most unbearable, unwatchable Kannada films. After Jugari Cross and Last Bus, there were high hopes on director SD Arvinda, especially when he announced that his next would be based on demonetisation. With a proper script, the movie could have been a wonderful satire or a dark comedy, a rare genre for Kannada audiences.

Cinematography only adds to the woes of the viewers. There are more than 10 songs and most of them are played in the background. ‘Chajji Rotti’ in Puneeth Rajkumar’s voice is a relief but that doesn’t make any difference to this badly written movie. There is also an unusual psychedelic song – the only song that stands out.

In summary: avoid this film and save some bucks.

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.

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