Ruralist frontier melodrama in which hero Rajiv (Rajkumar) abandons his urban career to help his widowed sister and her impoverished family reestablish themselves. Overcoming the ingratitude of his elder brother (Loknath) and the self-serving opposition of several villagers, he builds a garish home symbolising his family’s success. However, his wife (Bharati), wearing her red wedding sari, is chased by a bull, falls into a well and drowns. His two nephews, Sethuram and Chakrapani (introduced as a comedy duo), accuse him of bigamy with the woman (Arathi) who later is revealed to be the illegitimate daughter of his late brother-in-law whom Rajiv secretly protected. In the end, Rajiv leaves and renounces all his worldly possessions. The film recalls the upwardly-mobile and gaudy neo- traditionalism associated with Rajkumar as well as Rajesh Khanna (cf. Bandhan, 1969, and Dushman, 1971). From the opening, as Rajkumar steps out of the train dressed in red and black singing the homecoming song Nagunaguta nali nali to the bizarre sequence showing his decision to abandon his family (camera tilting down to his uneaten meal), the film constructs a fantasy village as the authentic underpinning of urban values, echoing the formally more sophisticated ruralist realism of the contemporary New Indian Cinema. Rajkumar’s biggest 70s hit and one of the top grossers of Kannada cinema.
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