Director Vinayak's film would have, perhaps, been better as a 20-minute documentary on consumer rights
Last Updated: 03.37 PM, Apr 29, 2022
Story: Shankara (Diganth) an arecanut farmer from Sagara, for who every penny counts, loses Rs 2,300 in a digital transaction, when a card swipe debits his account twice. When the local branch, customer care and head office of the bank fail to remedy this, Shankara pursues it legally to account for the mental agony he suffered in the course of trying to get his money refunded.
Review: When the first glimpses of Diganth’s Kshamisi Nimma Khatheyalli Hanavilla came out, the subject looked promising – a farmer’s hard-earned money going missing from his account and his efforts to get it back. Unfortunately, the film is anything but promising. It’s as if director Vinayak took the few good bits of his film and stitched them into a trailer. Take that out and the rest of the film falls apart.
The problem with the film is its premise – the fact that a double swipe transaction leaves the protagonist with no money in his account. Shankara is shown as a hard-working farmer, who keeps a track of every rupee earned and spent, so you’d think he has saved up for a rainy day. And yet, when his account is debited twice for Rs 2,300 each, he has no money left. Strangely, Shankara needed to make a much larger payment at the local goldsmith for a nose ring he’d ordered for his girlfriend, Sowmya (Ranjani), when he runs short of funds.
The fact that Shankara could not afford to even get her a 3-gramme nose ring drives Sowmya into the arms of the next man her mother brings in for an alliance. And if that wasn’t bad enough, Shankara also can’t get his money back from the bank. This makes up the first half of the film and is fairly ok until then. It’s all downhill thereafter, as the second half has Shankara pursuing his case legally, since dealing directly with the bank doesn’t lead to any solution. The director tries valiantly to establish how important this Rs 2,300 is for Shankara and puts together a second half that is more like an awareness campaign on customer rights and RBI rules regarding technical failures in digital transactions, among others.
Kshamisi Nimma Khatheyalli Hanavilla appears to have been made on a shoe-string budget. Ranjani Raghavan has a 10-minute role, the local bank manager’s designation plate on his desk is hand-written, and the courtroom set is amateurish, as are the sequences in it. Reports had earlier stated that the film was a comedy, but there’s no humour whatsoever and hardly any romance. Since the filmmaker’s intention appears to only be about educating audiences to be more aware when conducting digital transactions, he could have just made a 20-30 minute documentary. Getting this message across really did not require Diganth, Aindrita Ray or anyone else or a nearly two-hour tale. The actors, though, cannot be faulted, as each of them gives his/her best to a film that didn't deserve it.
Verdict: Kshamisi Nimma Khatheyalli Hanavilla is a complete waste of two hours. I can’t believe I spent even more time in Bengaluru’s horrid traffic, made worse by a spell of rain, to get to and from a far-flung movie screen for this film. This film doesn’t tell you anything more than what a simple google search would throw up. Skipping it would be a good idea.