Although Matte Mungaru is postered as a sensitive love story, it has very less to talk about the lovers. The highlights of the movie are Srinagar Kitty's performance, Dwarki Raghava's script and dialogues, X Paul Raj's music, excellent cinematography. Another plus point of the film is that it holds the attention of viewers without having any commercial ingredients.
Matte Mungaru is based on the real life love story of Narayan Mandagadde of Thirthahalli, Shimoga district. The story goes back to 1983 when Narayan meets with a boat accident in Arabian sea and reaches the Pakistan sea limits. He is caught by the Pakistan army and kept in Black hole jail in Karachi for 21 years. The kind of ill treatments he undergoes in the Pakistan jail will form the story. The movie also refers some of the important historical events like Indira Gandhi's murder in 1984, Rajeeva Gandhi's assassination in 1991, Kargil War in 1999 and release of the prisoners from both Indian and Pakistani jails after Atal Bihari Vajpeyi started the bus service between Delhi-Lahore in 2003.
The movie has a strong storyline. It is all about how a poor fisherman suffers in Pakistan jail for 21 years. Although the movie is bit dragging, director Dwarki Raghava has managed to hold the interest of the audience with his tight gripping narration. It starts with the love scene between the hero and the heroine.
Narayan alias Naani (Srinagar Kitty) is a fisherman in Mumbai. He is in love with a neighbour girl Tara (Rachana Malhothra). He is desperate to marry her, but his boat is struck by a storm in middle of the Arabian sea and reaches the Pakistan sea limits. Along with his six friends, he is caught by the Pakistan army and kept in black hole prison in Karachi for 21 years. What kind of ill treatments he undergoes in the Pakistan jail, how he comes out of jail and whether he meets his lover after 21 years will form the story of the movie and it would be interesting to watch on screens.
As Naani, Srinagar Kitty has delivered a good performance. Especially in sentimental sequences, his acting touches the cord of viewers' heart. Although Rachana Malhothra is the heroine of the film, she has very less scope in the film. She appears in the first part of the first half and she has done justice to her role. As Iqbal, Ninasam Ashwath has done a wonderful job. Especially in one particular scene, he appears naked, which is really heart touching. Ravi Shankar, Enagi Nataraj and others' performance has also boosted the strength of the movie.
Matte Mungaru has excellent technical values. The background score and songs composed by X Paul Raj are one of the highlights of the film. It has six songs and two tracks i.e. 'Chita Pata Pata...' and 'Helade Kaarana...' are really excellent. The camera work is another plus point of the film. The picturisation of the boat wrecking sequence in the sea reminds us the Hollywood movie like Titanic. Dwarki Raghava dialogues are also good.
However, characters other than that of Kitty and Nataraj are not justified in the end and climax should have been made even more effective. It is understood that the movie revolves around Kitty and that's why the director has concentrated on his character and ignored others. But this does not stop the director in making the movie interesting. Hats off to Raghav for his works.
Overall, Matte Mungaru can be described as art film. None can predict the success of the film. But anyone can say that it would surely get a couple of awards. It should be watched by everyone to know how Indian fishermen are ill treated in Pakistan prison.
Producer: E Krishnappa
Director: Dwarki Raghava
Cast: Srinagar Kitty, Rachana Malhothra, Ninasam Ashwath, Ravi Shankar, Enagi Nataraj and others
Music: X Paul Raj