In “Kshetrapathi”, the spotlight is firmly set on Basava, played by Naveen Shankar, an engineering student with aspirations of a bright future in the US. However, the heart-wrenching tragedy of his father’s demise due to farming-related debts throws his plans into disarray. Instead, the protagonist immerses himself in understanding and alleviating the struggles that farmers face in his homeland.
This tale, rooted deeply in the heart of North Karnataka’s Gadag region, unfolds as Basava uses a blend of innovation and technology to offer solutions for the local farming community, thereby becoming their beacon of hope. Yet, this journey isn’t without its challenges. A power-hungry politician, portrayed by Rahul Ainapur, aims to monopolize the agricultural sector, devising plots to tarnish Basava’s reputation. The riveting narrative hinges on whether Basava can navigate these treacherous waters and reignite the farmers’ faith.
Although “Kshetrapathi” delves into grave subjects like farmer suicides and the present-day struggles they face, it balances the tone to ensure it doesn’t lean too heavily towards being overly commercialized or preachy. While its intentions are commendable, there are portions in the latter half where the pacing slackens, making the movie feel stretched.
The film’s shining star, without a doubt, is Naveen Shankar. His impeccable portrayal of Basava and his evolution throughout the story is magnetic. His authentic North Karnataka accent only adds depth to his character, making him a significant representation from the region. His dynamism is further accentuated by stellar performances from co-stars Achyuth Kumar, Krishna Hebbale, Rahul Ainapur, and Natya Ranga.
Behind the scenes, director-writer Shrikanth Katagai crafts an impactful debut with “Kshetrapathi”, while Vidya Bala’s cinematography and Ravi Basrur’s musical scores significantly elevate the film’s appeal.
For those who have a penchant for grounded, revolutionary tales devoid of unnecessary drama, “Kshetrapathi” promises to be a captivating theatrical experience. But remember to clear your schedules, as this tale demands your time and attention.