“Ondu Motteya Kathe”… A gentle, winning comedy whose strains of sadness are smoothed over by the hilarity

Posted on July 6, 2017

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Spoilers ahead…

Read the full review on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/article/ondu-motteya-kathe-movie-review

One reason for my interest in Ondu Motteya Kathe (The Story of a Bald Man) was autobiographical. Finally, a protagonist I can see in the mirror. The second was archaeological, for I spent quite a bit of time trying to excavate examples of films whose leads are less than conventionally good-looking, let alone lacking something as taken-for-granted in a “hero” as hair. (No, Bharath Gopi doesn’t count. Malayalam cinema is its own little ecosystem.)

I came up with weight issues (Size Zero, Telugu), skin-colour issues (Naanum Oru Penn, Tamil) – but even here, we are talking about a “normal” actress putting on weight for the role (as opposed to an overweight actress being cast), or a fair-complexioned heroine painting herself black. The insidious message is this: she’s not really ugly.

Raj B Shetty, the director and lead actor of Ondu Motteya Kathe, is a bald man. OK, balding – but the difference doesn’t matter to the character he plays, 28-year-old Janardhana, who’s not having much luck in the marriage market. As a broker explains, there are two problems: (a) the man is bald(ing), and (b) he’s a Kannada lecturer. As this indictment is being delivered, Janardhana is watching a film clip featuring his favourite actor, Rajkumar, who proclaims, “Kannadiga self-respect, bravery and valour will outlive the Pallavas.” The sentiment, today, has clearly gone the way of Janardhana’s hair. At his college, teachers swoon over the new lecturer, who is (a) handsome (i.e. he has hair), and (b) teaches English.

Continued at the link above.

Copyright ©2017 Film Companion.

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Posted in: Cinema: Kannada