PC Shekhar's The Terrorist is a welcome change in Sandalwood. Not many have explored terrorism as a subject in Kannada films. Even when it is done it is as part of a film where the villain is a terrorist. Terrorism itself does not become the subject. But this film explores it as the plot subject. The effects of terrorism on a common family is shown. So it is also an emotional drama and the pain, suffering endured by a family which is caught in the grip of terrorism. There is an underlying suspense story that is integral to the plot. There is no unnecessary fighting, bomb blasts or killings. But still The Terrorist is a gripping narration of a sinister terrorist plot.
Ragini plays a Muslim girl Reshma. She is a working woman who works in a star hotel. She is part of a small and happy family. This happy family unwittingly becomes embroiled in the grip of a terrorist group who will manipulate, coerce and even kill anyone to achieve their ends. The simple girl Reshma has to use all her skills and wits to overcome the problem her family is facing. Will she be able to save herself and her family members is the crux of the story.
The director has not only shown courage in choosing such a story but has also impressed by the way he presents it on screen. The Terrorist is easily his best film. There is a gripping suspense in his narration. At times you get the feel of watching a top international film in way of content and execution. Of course there are severe restrictions in making such a film for the Kannada audience. But the director overcomes this by ingenious methods. Instead of erecting sets he goes to the real streets and shops and markets to shoot the film. It is as if you are watching real events unfold. This is aided by the wonderful performances of the actors especially Ragini. She has immersed herself in the role completely and comes out as a committed actress who can make any role hers.
The film also has some excellent background score and cinematography. The editing is crisp and to the point. A full fledged film on terrorism did not need any songs and other commercial film elements. But Indian films cannot do without the complete array of items with the meal. However they are kept to a minimum and do not affect the flow of the main plot. It is a bit of indulgence by the director who otherwise has given an excellent different kind of film to the Kannada audience.
Chitraloka Rating 3.5/5