An old quotable quote says something like 'show me a hero and I will write you a tragedy.' It is something similar with film superstars. Pooja Gandhi's film Abhinetri really starts with the tragic scene of a film star writing her death note. The rest of the film reveals how she got there. However the film is not a tear-jerker. It is a comprehensive (disclaimer apart) but unacknowledged biopic of late actress Kalpana. Even the names of the characters (Sharat Latha for one) does not disagree. It is another story that this film would have been better off claiming to be the biopic of Kalpana officially. The film for its part is a nostalgic journey of the Kannada film industry in the 1960s and the 1970s. The protagonist is an actress who comes to Madras to become a film star. But the journey is not a free-flowing film script! That much is expected. But an imagined story is never a match for a real one. That is where the beauty of Abhinetri lies. If you know the history of the Kannada film industry, you will love this film.
Everyone wants their pound of flesh for making a star ot of an actress. But she stands her ground and becomes a star on her own terms. But stardom gets to her head. She displays contempt for the individuals in the system who looked down upon her when she was a nobody. For not changing her attitude and ideals according to the changing times, she pays the ultimate price. The film has to be seen in the whole to realise its magnitude which the director has captured in a little more than two hours.
Pooja Gandhi gives a performance of a lifetime. Her diction could have been better though. Makarand Deshpande, Atul Kulkarni shine in their roles. Achyuth and Ramesh Bhat have brief roles but effective. It is Ravishankar who really shines in the role of the drama company owner. Mano Murthy delivers five good songs and a good recreation of the old song 'Tam nam tam nam'.
As producer Pooja Gandhi has taken a big challenge with such a script and succeeded. If only two films have to be chosen from her career, Abhinetri would be one and the other is obvious.
Chitraloka Rating - 3/5