Ispade Rajavum Idhaya Raniyum -Technically brilliant but….with flaws

An arrogant youngster with a broken childhood falls in love with a girl who comes from a contrastingly different background and brought-up. What happens when two disparate personalities get into a relationship? Ispade Rajavum Idhaya Raniyum talks just about that. Ispade Raja implies King of spades, in this case, it is our lead hero Harish Kalyan while Shilpa Manjunath is the Queen of hearts (Idhaya Rani).

Harish Kalyan as Gowtham, comes from a middle-class family, we don’t even know what he does for a living till the very end but rooms around in a super expensive bike wearing a 15K worth jacket. The character seems to bash everyone around him for no reason. And whenever he hits someone, even the goons get stunned by his antics. Given his physic, it is a powerful role to pull off but he has for sure given his best. In fact, one might rate this as his finest performance till date. More than anything, Harish looks so smart and handsome and the beard makeover suits him well.

Gowtham (Harish) is an imperfect character, and you can’t be searching for reasons to understand why he behaves in a weird manner. But it is really hard to understand what was going through in the head of Tara (Shilpa). A highborn girl, who is about to get engaged, she falls in love with Gowtham for saving her life twice by beating up a few goons. Carrying a grim face and assaulting people around, will that be enough to impress a girl? Soon after, you get to hear filmy dialogues like, “I will never leave you no matter what.”

The major conflict between the two occurs when Gowtham starts to feel insecure with the relationship because of his crippled childhood while Tara takes a laid-back approach, she for some undisclosed reason doesn’t wish to tell her parents about her relationship with Gowtham in spite of them wanting her to get engaged to someone else.

The screenplay in the first half is largely predictable, say, for example, the heroine’s finance will leave her helpless in the middle of the road, minutes later, you will find a group of men who will be trying to take advantage of her, don’t you know what will happen next? Director Ranjit Jeyakodi has drawn inspiration from films like Kaatru Veliyidai, Tamasha and a few other, he has thanked the team in the end credits for the same.

The first half is light-hearted and intends to be fun with a runtime of just over 50 minutes whereas the second half is intense and runs way too longer than expected. The latter half is when the conflict arises and they keep recurring. What annoys the most is that not just the conflicts that keeps repeating even the dialogues during the strife are the same which makes the proceedings dull.

Shilpa Manjunath gets a meaty role and she does a decent role, but at places, her expression looks artificial. Ma Ka Pa Anand and Bala Saravanan have a couple of scoring points, they are responsible to keep the audience engaged in the first half. Ponvannan who plays Harish Kalyan’s father appears on screen when needed but his character doesn’t have a proper justification at any point.

Kavin Raj, the 22-year old cinematographer makes a flamboyant debut, his visuals are not only glossy but has a style of its own. His unique angles makes us remind to one of the industries best Jeeva. Kavin is here to stay, he looks natural at his game and the visuals go hand in hand to the story. There is a 5-minute single shot scene that you need to watch out for. Senior actor Suresh and Harish Kalyan’s cooperation to give life to this scene must be noted as well.

Though the songs do not make a big impact, Sam CS' background score is highly appreciable, so is the sound design. Though the sound has a few non-sync issues, it works well in most places.

Verdict: A worthy attempt dragged down by repetition, contrived screenplay and artificiality in the presentation

Rating: 2.5/5