Movie: Maasthi GudiDirector: NagashekarCast: Uday, Anil, Duniya Vijay, Kriti Kharbanda, Amulya, Rangayana Raghu, B Jayashree, Srinivasamurthy, Sadhu Kokila, Devaj, Sadhu Kokila, Bullet PrakashRating: **
Even before we talk about the film or whether it lives up to the hype surrounding it, and how vital it is to save tigers for a balanced eco-system, it is more appropriate to pay respect to the two actors who lost their ‘lives’ in an unfortunate incident during the shooting of this film. Uday and Anil, the two antagonists of Maasthi Gudi, who drowned in a horrific incident, have a very limited role to play and after watching this, many might wonder about the pointless deadly risk they took!
However, irrespective of the sadness and angst of the tragedy, the show must go on. Now, back to Nagashekar’s Maasthi Gudi which claims to be among the finest in Sandalwood. The tale is about tigers, the connections between wild animals, forests and humans with their wild beliefs.
This one has some similarities with the classic Kannada film Gandhada Gudi but is more about tigers which roar a lot on the screen. Of course, there is a ghost, a goddess called Maastavva who has been protecting the villagers, a pretty love story, a small girl child, forest officials and finally poachers who are hatching a plot to burn down an entire forest.
As always, Vijay puts in his best but Maasthi Gudi lacks the critical essence to keep the audience ‘hooked.’ It begins in a forest where attempts are being made to poach a wild animal. The protagonist, a mahout played by Vijay does his heroic best to save the tigers from poachers. The rest of the film is just a filler, and the plot goes haywire right from the beginning and gets worst as it crawls to the climax.
In between all this is a short love story, a one-sided one. Apart from capturing the beautiful forest and the wild animals, the computer generated tigers make an average impression. The biggest disappointment, sadly, is the two deceased actors who have a very limited role, and even sound comical uttering a few English words. Apart from the unusual nose rings and earrings they are seen sporting, they are busy hatching plans while playing a game of chess or golf!There is at least some benefit for children to learn about carnivores and herbivores and how vital it is to save the tigers for a balanced eco-system that has been briefly explained by actress Suhasini who appears in a guest role, giving us the all-important biology lesson plus the wild connection of potable water and tigers. Wish, Maastavva, the ‘reel’ goddess could have stepped in and saved the lives of those two innocent actors, and this film.