The movie beautifully elucidates the quote, “A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”

A screengrab of Shivraj KR Pete and the dog Simba from Naanu Matthu GundaYouTube
Flix Sandalwood Saturday, December 19, 2020 - 16:18

The weekend is here, and it's time to snuggle in the warmest blanket with your choice of food and beverage, and binge on some uplifting films to wash away the stress of the long week. If you are in search of something that will warm your heart, Kannada film Naanu Matthu Gunda, directed by Srinivas Thimmaiah, will indulge you. The film sets out to explore the bond between an animal and a human and does so quite well. The Poem Pictures production released on January 24, 2020   

Naanu Matthu Gunda evokes a sense of Marley & Me, the Hollywood film starring Wilson Owen and Jennifer Anniston. The movie beautifully elucidates the quote, “A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.”

Sandalwood’s finest comedian Shivaraj KR Pete made his debut as hero in this film. Shedding his usual comic avatar, the actor effortlessly slips into the character of Shankara—an auto-rickshaw driver.

Shankara’s happy-go-lucky life turns upside down when he discovers a lost dog, Gunda. The plot revolving around their bond gradually reveals how the two go from having no connection to becoming an inseparable unit.

Set in the unexplored part of the picturesque town called Hassan, in Karnataka, the film showcases how their bond becomes the talk of the town. They grow so close that Kavitha (Samyukta Hornad), Shankara’s wife, grows jealous of the dog. She wishes to oust the dog from their lives.  

Things take a dramatic turn when Gunda’s original owner shows up at their doorstep. Shankara had been fostering the canine without knowing that he was a missing dog. A distraught Shankara sets out to look for Gunda every day. His friend and a rickshaw driver, essayed by Govinde Gowda of Comedy Khiladigalu fame, helps him in his quest.

Thereupon, the film takes another drastic turn as Shankara finds out about a gang that illegally slaughters the dogs or sells them, predominantly for their meat. The protagonist is unnerved by the sight that meets his eye and takes it upon himself to save Gunda. Spoiler alert: the film from that juncture will leave you teary-eyed! Moreover, seeing Kavitha finally warm up to Gunda puts a smile on your face.

Even though the film is endearing, the 139-minute running time could have been shortened by at least 15 minutes. Scriptwriter Vivekananda Tanjarayar has conceptualised a good plot but a myopic one. In spite of having multiple elements, the film does not go beyond the exploration of the bond between Gunda and Shankara, the central theme of the film.  

The talent of the actors involved with the film is uncontested. Casting Rockline Sudhakar and other talented theatre artistes as supporting cast is like adding icing on the cake. The sentimental music by Karthik Sharma elevates the emotions displayed on-screen.

Unfortunately, the film released on January 24 alongside multiple films that overshadowed it. You can stream the film on ZEE5 app. Watch the trailer here.


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