Film Review: Banaras

Banaras ( Kannada film dubbed in Tamil and also in Hindi, Malyalam and Telugu) released in theatres on Nov.4th starring Zaid Khan and Sonal Monteiro, directed by Jaya Thirtha and produced by Tilakraj Ballal.
 Zaid Khan as Sidharth Simha
 Sonal Monteiro as Dhani
 Sujay Shastry as Shambu
 Achyuth Kumar as Narayan Shastry
 Barkath Ali as Peter Jakson

 Writer and Director - Jayatheertha
 Cinematographer - Advaitha Gurumurthy
 Editor - KM Prakash
 Music - B Ajaneesh Loknath
 Production - NK Productions
 Producers - nlakraj Ballal & Muzammil Ahmed Khan
 Tamilnadu Release - Sakthivelan B - Sakthi Film Factory
 PRO Yuvraaj

The film centres around a youngster Siddharth ( Zaid Khan) who plays a prank on a student, Dhani (Sonal) in order to win a bet with friends. However, when that prank affects her life, Sidharth realises his mistake and does his best to remedy the situation by saying sorry. This endeavour lands him in the holy city of Banaras where the girl lives with her uncle and aunt. But strange events begin to happen and Siddharth struggles to find a solution. Does he succeed? Does love conquer all?
The highlight of the film is the cinematography by Adaitha Gurumurthy which captures Banaras in all its glory and divinity making the city one of the characters in the film. 
The talented and handsome Zaid Khan looks the part of the prankster and later the earnest youth seeking forgiveness. He brings a freshness to the character and also shines in the action sequences.
Sonal as the student and  singer Dhani  brings out the angst of the  character very well. 

The melodious  songs are shot on a grand scale and Ajaneesh's bgm adds to the story.
The twists are well handled, keeping up The momentum in the story with solid cuts by editor KM Prakash.
However, a tad  too much time seems to have been spent in the the lesisurely- paced first half, with the second half galloping towards the climax rapidly. 
The beauty, vastness, mystery and ancient feel of the city of Banaras, the ghats and the sacred Ganges are well presented, and captured, justifying  the title and transport the viewer to the city in an immersive experience. Kudos to the team for that

The film is a mysterious love story with dollops of humor, rich production values, lavish and scenic  visuals, stunts, twists and emotions, making it a clean family entertainer with a novel storyline.

Rating 3.5 /5

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