Rating: 3/4 (Engaging plot, good writing and memorable music make this movie repeatedly watchable.)
Baa Nalle Madhuchandrake (ಬಾ ನಲ್ಲೆ ಮಧುಚಂದ್ರಕೆ) is one of the early Kannada movies by Nagathihalli Chandrashekar. Released in 1993, it was a romance and murder mystery based on the serial story of the same name written by Chandrashekar himself that was published in the Taranga Kannada weekly. Though the movie starred complete newbies Shivram and Nandini Singh in lead roles it went on to become a hit.
The movie revolves around the love between Vivek (Shivram), a poetic and philosophical guy and Preethi (Nalini Singh) who is materialistic. They are childhood sweethearts and after marriage head to Shimla for their honeymoon. While viewing a snow covered vista, Preethi slips and falls to her death. Figuring out whether this death was a murder and if yes, by whom and why forms the core of the movie.
Baa Nalle Madhuchandrake is held strongly by its writing. This may be because Chandrashekar is himself a writer and this is an adaptation of his published story. The plot is engaging and is peppered with flashbacks, which add relief, infuse twists and gives it a non-linear character. Poetic verses, philosophical musings and sarcastic ribticklers slip off the tongue of Vivek easily, all through the movie. Blink and you might miss them! On a first viewing you will mostly miss them because of the horrible acting talent in this movie. Newbie Shivram has the emotional pull of a mannequin, neither engaging in his looks or in his acting. Nandini Singh is just a pretty face and the rest of the cast does no better. Hamsalekha‘s delicious music saves the day. The movie has some of the best tracks and romantic lyrics of his oeuvre. The music has really endured the test of time and remain favorites even today. Minus the hammy acting and cheesy scenes, Baa Nalle Madhuchandrake is an engaging movie that stands up to repeated viewing.