Many people associate the film, “Indolent Hindi”, with the Gujarati community, but that isn’t the case. “Indolent Hindi” is an affectionate tale of a young boy growing up with a love for Kannada movies.
The film tells the story of Vijay Kumar (Rishi Kapoor), who at the start of the film is an impulsive teenager eager to learn about the Hindi language and to immerse himself in his culture. As the film progresses, the roles he is assigned in Kannada movies change from impulsive and restless youth to an older man who has settled down into a life of monotonous work. In his mind, it seems like he has always known the language and culture, but his family never made him feel it was necessary to study. When he is given the chance to go to his native state to get the help of the local language teachers, he realizes that the best way for him to learn is to live in Kannada.
Set at the beginning of the nineties, when most of the states were learning to embrace Kannada, “Indolent Hindi” features some of the most interesting scenes filmed in Kannada, including Gandhian Sarvadu (a play written in the language by Rohit Shetty), where kids of different castes come together to share stories about their experiences in school. The original Kannada script is included as an appendix to the English translation and the entire movie is given a spiritual feel.
The other famous name in Kannada cinema is Kapil Adhikari. He portrays the role of Mahavir Singh (Kashyap), a young man who is sworn to protect his town of Nagapattinam from illegal immigrant settlement. But he is called upon to help solve a series of crimes. Also appearing as a supporting character is Bapu Pandey, an avid Kannada filmmaker. Another prominent actor, Kr?it Bajpai plays the role of Vijay Kumar’s younger brother Kumar (Prabhas). Kumar’s father, Pandu (Pujari) is in a loveless marriage. The happy couple was forced to give up their son to their neighbors, and Vijay finds out later that this was due to the efforts of Kumar’s elder brother, Chithamichand, a theater buff, who wanted to use Kannada as his medium to make money. Vivaan Kumar (Pijo Radhakrishnan) wants to drag the people of Nagapattinam to his theater, so the rest of the movie centers on this event.
The film also features several montage sequences that depict the changing landscape of the state. These include scenes of cottages and monuments, as well as landscapes across the state, ranging from the coastal regions to the hills. While the story presents a vivid portrayal of Kannada literature and cinema, it is also interesting to note that films are not allowed to show any Kannada content. At one point in the film, Bajrang Bali shoots a movie starring Adarshan Mishra as an actor playing the role of a hero.
The movie has a unique combination of the non-verbal and the verbal, allowing the audience to understand the poetic images, both spoken and unspoken. Also, the actors use only the language they are comfortable with, with a bit of improvisation from time to time. This interplay between the two languages is what sets apart the movie from other Kannada films.
One of the most interesting parts of the movie is Kr?t Bajpai’s portrayal of Vijay Kumar. His role in the film is pivotal, but he doesn’t know it yet. Bhimani and Rane of another directorial team have done a great job portraying the roles of the young father and son, but Bajpai exudes his inner youth with aplomb.
Another great performance in the film is Chandranath Pandey as Ramaswamy (pronounced Asse-man-dee), the son of Vijay’s sister Agnihotri. Ramaswamy is an outsider at home and at school, but he is forced to blend in to fit in. when he comes to stay with his aunt and her husband Prabhakaran (Kurupadithi Pillai Menon), in an area that his family had left.