The plight of Jenu Kurubas
Film: Kanneri (Kannada)
Cast: Archana Madhusudhan, Kari Subbu, Arun Sagar, MK Math, Anitha Bhat, MK Gaurav and Sardar Sathya.
Music: Manikanth Kadri
Cinematography: Ganesh Hegde
Editor: Sujith S Nayak
Script: Kotiganahalli Ramaiah
Directed by: Ninasam Manju
Duration: 122 minutes
Release Date: 4 March 2022
The movie Kanneri narrates the problems of the Jenu Kuruba community when they were evacuated from the forest.
Let us analyse
The movie begins with a documentary film maker Aravind desperately meeting tribal people and police to gather information on the whereabouts of Muthamma (Archana Madhusudhan), a tribal girl. He meets Road Rangappa (Kari Subbu), who made arrangements for Muthamma to get a job in Bengaluru, seeking his help to find Muthamma.
Meanwhile, the director narrates the problems of the Jenu Kuruba community after getting evacuated from the forest and how Muthamma, a bright student, decided to work as a caretaker in Bengaluru to earn money for her grandfather’s treatment. What made Muthamma land behind the bars and how she comes out of the prison is the climax.
Archana Madhusudhan has acted well as a chubby and innocent tribal girl. Her performance and dialogue delivery in the climax are very good. Perhaps, her training at a well-known theater group in Bengaluru has helped her to act without any hassles in this movie. MK Math, a veteran theater artiste, as a grandfather of Muthamma is convincing. Anitha Bhat, as a drug addict and irresponsible mother, has provided good support.
It is a treat to watch Kari Subbu commuting on an old scooter between a tribal settlement and Bengaluru to find jobs for tribal girls. His dialogue delivery and body language are convincing.
Arun Sagar, a well-known art director and theater person, has acted well as an advocate who works hard to get justice for an innocent tribal girl. Sardar Satya, as a hapless police inspector, has acted well.
Archana Madhusudan, Arun Sagar and Kari Subbu.
Beautiful scenes of forest and music, especially background score, and the performance of a few tribal people.
The unconvincing climax where the court agrees with a tribal girl to cancel the judicial custody of a woman accused for filing a wrong complaint with police.
It is the second movie for director Ninasam Manju. Earlier, Manju had handled the megaphone for Mooka Hakki which highlighted the plight of tribal people. Now, with Kanneri, he has highlighted the plight of young tribal girls who are compelled to come to cities for survival. He has also aptly narrated how a government’s decision to displace tribal people in the name of development will have an adverse impact on tribal people and how they struggle to adapt themselves with new places. It would have been a better movie had the director revealed the illicit relationship between Shakuntala Devi (Anita Bhat) and a head of a religious mutt. Making tribal people act in this movie is an added value.
Bottom-line: It is worth watching only for those who want to know the problems of tribal people.