Jaana Maga Raju! - 'Raju' movie Review

Nandita Yadav's 'Raju' throws light on several social issues- the rural-urban literacy rate divide for one. 

The movie centres around the protagonist Raju, who questions the ever evident gap between the haves and the have-nots. Raju is the son of farmer dwelling in rural Karnataka. He attends the local school where he is the star student. Running parallel to this are several other storylines.On one hand, there's the wealthy village Patel who is scheming to snatch away the last acre of land from Raju's father, while on the other his young sister is facing domestic abuse. There is even a love story in there, but the plot doesn't explore it much.

Prakash Belawadi's portrayal of Jayanna, i.e Raju's father is impeccable. He plays the role of a struggling farmer (is there any other kind?) who doesn't quite understand how education might change Raju's life in any manner. Prakash Raj enters the movie midway playing the Good Samaritan. In short scenes, he tackles child marriages, lost oxen and a tiger.

The movie doesn't really fit into the list of movies focusing on the struggles of a farmer. The narrative rather incorporates it. The movie puts in front of us the problems of grassroot level through hard-hitting realism. In a Q&A session, following the screening, director Nandita Yadav revealed that when they began the project, the core premise was to highlight the struggles of the rural poor. As they progressed, the plot seemed to revel in different directions. The director received applause and appreciation for her movie which hasn't been released at the box office yet.

- Anusha Shetty

(The film was premiered as a part of the ongoing Nitte International Film Festival 2018)

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