Review: ‘Singaravva’

When a woman's need to breed is frustrated by her impotent husband, she resorts to desperate measures in "Singaravva," a mildly diverting Bangalore-made melodrama. Already out in its home region, pic's female-centric plot may help it travel to ex-pat auds abroad, but it's unlikely to have much crossover appeal beyond its core constituency.

When a woman’s need to breed is frustrated by her impotent husband, she resorts to desperate measures in “Singaravva,” a mildly diverting Bangalore-made melodrama. Already out in its home region, pic’s female-centric plot may help it travel to ex-pat auds abroad, but it’s unlikely to have much crossover appeal beyond its core constituency.

Singari (Prema) is the daughter of an avaricious upper-caste landowner who first marries her off to a corpse to inherit a fortune. Then he has her spliced to kinky maharajah Desai, who faints with excitement at the mere sight of women’s nether regions, making him incapable of consummating the marriage. Lonely and longing for a child, Singari eventually ends up getting impregnated by Mariya, a servant wronged by her father whose thirst for revenge turns to love for the put-upon heroine. Although story implies producing an heir is the most important goal in a woman’s life, final act comes out in support of love matches over arranged marriage. Less song-led than Bollywood pics, this regional production focuses more on story. Perfs are broad, typical of Indian cinema, with lively lensing from B.C. Gowrishankar. Other tech credits fine.

Singaravva

India

Production

A Sandesh Combines production. (International sales: Sandesh Combines, Gandinagar.) Produced by Sandesh Nagaraj. Directed by T. S. Nagabharana. Screenplay by Nagabharana, Kotaganahalli Ramayya, based on the novel "Singarvva mathu aramane" by Chandrashekhar Kambar.

Crew

Camera (color, widescreen), B. C. Gowrishankar; editor, P.R. Soundarrai; music C. Ashwat; art director, Seshidhar Adapa. Reviewed at Karlovy Vary Film Festival (Another View), July 10, 2003. Kannada dialogue. Running time: 169 MIN.

With

Prema, Avinash, Akhila, Shivadwai, Sharath Lohithashwa, Enagi Nataraj, Laxmidevi Enagi, Rangayan Raghu.

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