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Kantara: Bollywood is taking lessons from the wrong movies that teach all the wrong lessons.

Blockbuster Kannada movie by Rishab Shetty’s post-credits scene Kantara is another “Hombale Film” that needs a lesson in humility because it praises the kind of behaviour that ought to be despised.

People like Sanjay Dutt and Ranbir Kapoor are using code when they claim that the main reason why the majority of Bollywood films this year have bombed is that they aren’t “rooted” in Indian culture. They are discussing the image of masculinity that such movies represent, not Bollywood movies at all. Furthermore, despite the fact that it may sound as though they are promoting tales about villages, they are actually discussing the stern men who rule over them.

After receiving favourable word-of-mouth for months, Kantara debuted this week on Amazon Prime Video (although in a slightly modified form). And having just seen the startling photographs of writer-director-star Rishab Shetty’s painted face in the promotional materials, I sat down to watch it, mildly curious to see what all the excitement was about. But imagine my dismay when I realized, almost immediately after starting it, that Kantara isn’t at all a magic-realist fable set in rural India, but rather a toxic KGF clone with a plot that is as dense as the forest that its hero lives in.

Shetty stars in the second-most annoying film of the year. In a combat scene, Shiva makes his entrance. He constantly has a scowl on his face and laughs at the thought of needing “permission.” You see, Shiva has long harboured a suspicion of the establishment. He follows his own set of rules and is viewed as a bit of a nuisance in his community. In the course of the movie, he fights with a local forest ranger for merely carrying out his duties and repeatedly assaults a woman until she develops feelings for him. He is the kind of person you would want to avoid, but for some reason, he was chosen to be the movie’s lead character.

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