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Aaptharakshaka
Directed by P. Vasu
Produced by Krishna Kumar (Krishna Prajwal)
Written by P. Vasu
Bhaskar
Starring Vishnuvardhan
Vinaya Prasad
Sandhya
Vimala Raman
Bhavana (Kannada)
Lakshmi Gopalswamy
Music by Gurukiran
Editing by Suresh Urs
Release date(s) February 19, 2010 (2010-02-19)
Country India
Language Kannada
Preceded by Apthamitra

Aaptharakshaka is 2010 Kannada film written and directed by P. Vasu. Starring Vishnuvardhan in his 200th and posthumous film along with Sandhya, Vimala Raman, Avinash,Srinivasa Murthy, Bhavana,Lakshmi Gopalaswamy and Komal among others, the film is a sequel to the 2004 blockbuster film Apthamitra that was directed by Vasu and starred Vishnuvardhan as well. The film was released on February 19, 2010 to highly positive reviews.[1][2]

Contents

Prelude

The spirit of Nagavalli has not returned since 5 years it re-surfaced in the palace owned by Ramesh and Ganga. But the portrait of Nagavalli is missing and it is found by a painter on a pavement. The painter wants to hold onto the painting but his wife urges him to sell it and make money to come out of their sheer poverty. The Painter refuses and his wife taunts him to commit suicide. Next morning the painter is found dead under mysterious circumstances, But the painter's wife thinks he committed suicide due to her taunting remarks and as a solace to the dead painter asks for to donate the painting to any willfull collector.The Painting is given as a prize for dancer couple Saraswati (Lakshmi Gopalaswamy) and her dancer husband.

Story

The main story starts 5 years to this incident and a family of Sreenivasa Murthy and Vinaya Prasad is shown on the occasion of engagement ceremony of their youngest daughter Gauri (Sandhya), a research student. Their second daughter Neetha (Bhavana (Kannada Actress)), a painter and designer, does not want to marry as she is fed up of guys rejecting her - because of her elder sister Saraswati who is mentally upset. Saraswati has become mad after watching her dancer husband die immediately after winning the portrait of Nagavalli in a dancing competition.Gauri researches on food habits of people aged above 80 years. The engagement is cancelled as the bride-groom runs away saying he does not want to marry Gauri and refuses to reason his action. During this time one of Gauri's friends faint out seeing a Huge 30 feet snake in the palatial house. But no one else is able to locate the snake despite repeated search attempts. A snake charmer also dies mysteriously trying to loacte the snake.
The family call upon Acharya Ramachandra Shastri (Avinash) who sees the Nagavalli portrait in one of the rooms and tells everyone that strange things are happening because of the portrait only and he in turn calls Dr.Vijay (Dr.Vishnuvardhan) Phsychiatrist to solve the problem. Vijay comes into the family home along with his assistant Srinath (Komal), and tries to solve the mystery around the huge Snake. He is told that the family has only 2 sisters Gauri and Neetha. But he finds about Saraswati one day when Vinaya Prasad is found visiting the out-house one night, the same night when someone tries killing Acharya by setting ablaze his belongings.
Acharya tells everyone that these things are caused by the spirit of Nagavalli, and also tries proving it to everyone by asking them to bring Saraswati to the temple. When everyone tries to bring saraswati into the temple, cattle and birds move astray indicating an vested spirit amongst the people trying to enter into the temple - thus proving Acharya's logic, nevertheless disagreed by Vijay.
Vijay goes to the library and reads the biography of Raja Vijaya Rajendra Bahaddur (Dr.Vishnuvardhan) and comes to know that he killed his elder brother Raja Vinaya Rajendra Bahaddur. The younger Raja was cruel and had liking towards a dancer named Nagavalli (Vimala Raman). But she is in love with her another dancer Ramanatha (Vineeth). Raja beheads Ramanatha and burns her alive. Nagavalli vowed at the time of her death that she would seek revenge of her death from the Raja by burning him alive on very same Durgashtami day, as like her. Raja turns obsessive for Nagavalli and orders his chieftain Shoora Sena (Rajesh (serial actor)) to fetch him all possible girls from his kingdom, for his pleasure. Shoora Sena revolts against this and turns the people of the kingdom against the Raja, and everyone march towards the palace to kill the Raja himself. The escapes from the palace and lives like a nomadic and is told that nobody has ever heard about the king since then.
While signing in the library register Vijay sees that a few days earlier the register was signed by someone in the name of Nagavalli. Vijay gets a printout of the Jaataka or Kundali of the Raja and shows it Acharya. The Acharya upon seeing it says that the person having this Kundali has a lifespan of about 150 years and can live on mere water and air. Vijay informs Acharya that this Kundali is of the Raja Vinaya Rajendra Bahaddur and sets out to search him.
Vijay finds an old man living in a cave atop a hill and recognises him to be Raja Vijaya Rajendra Bahaddur (Vishnuvardhan). Vijay goes ahead to meet him and he is attacked by the Raja who is now currently 123 years old. VIjay fights back but is of no match to the old man having superior powers. Vijay is about to be killed but he is saved miraculosly by a OM dollar given to him Acharya.
Acharya does pooja forming a Mandal and asks the elders of the family to get only Saraswati into the Mandal, wherein he asks her name and she utters it as Nagavalli Saraswati. He is confirmed she is the only one affected by spirit of Nagavalli. But Vijay disagrees and wants to test Saraswati. He hypnotises her and talks to her about her past. She as a dance student had met her husband at the dance school and they both fell in love culminating in a marriage alliance. Later she also discloses in her hypnotic state that, when - after receiving the Nagavalli portrait as prize for the dancing competition won jointly by her and her husband - she questioned her dance teacher about its importance and her Dance teacher told her that Nagavalli was not only a great dancer but also invented a special Mudrika in dance called as the Naga Mudrika. The dance Teacher also confers her name as Nagavalli Saraswati from then onwards. Upon seeing her husband die in the road accident she is spellbound could not cry for her loss. This has created an unstability in her mental state due to the pent up depression.

Vijay brings her back to the present and asks to cry her heart out for her dead husband, following which she returns to her normal state. And later he informs everyone in the house that she was not the one affected by nagavalli, and now she is perfectly fine.

Later when Acharya asks him about who realy is affected by nagavalli, vijay tells everyone in the house that it is actualy Gaury who is affected by nagavalli and proves it by intimidating her about nagavalli. After confirming that Gauri is the real nagavalli, Acharya decides to do the pooja on her to cure her, however, he falls from the staircase and get admitted to a hosptal in a serious condition. Meanwhile nagavalli(Gauri) goes to pursue the king Vijay Rajendra Bahaddur to take her revenge. Realising this Vijay also goes there to save her from the mighty king. In the end the old king gets killed and Gauri gets freed by the nagavalli's spirit.

Production

Initially there were speculations on the role of lead actress, after Soundarya, who starred in the original Apthamitra, died in a helicopter crash in 2004. It was later proposed that South Indian actress Sneha would play the lead role. But due to call sheet problems and her busy schedule, Sneha was unable to join the sets and then she was replaced by Sandhya. Vishnuvardhan died following a cardiac arrest on 30 December 2009. Vishnuvardhan has completed the voice dubbing before his death. Highest grosser in Kannada Industry with grabbing 1.35crores within the first 2 days of release.

Review

Rating:

Times Of India ****1/2
Bangalore Mirror ****1/2

"Aaptha Rakshaka", the much-hyped 200th film of late superstar Vishnuvardhan directed by P. Vasu, lives up to all expectations. It reaffirms Vishnuvardhan's position as one of the most talented stars Indian cinema has seen.

The movie will also be a nostalgic trip for Vishnuvardhan fans, who will watch every move of his intently. The climax sequence is thrilling and the actor's fans are sure to have tears in their eyes.

The audience will have the satisfaction of seeing a perfect sequel to "Aaptha Mithra", which was a blockbuster hit of Vishnuvardhan in 2004.

P. Vasu's strong screenplay and narration makes "Aptha Rakshaka" one of Vishnuvardhan's best films. Vasu again proves that he can successfully make films with imaginative stories filled with fantasy.

"Aaptha Rakshaka" has a lot of entertainment value in the first half with Vishnuvardhan and Komal showing very good on-screen chemistry in comedy sequences. There are some thrilling moments in the first half as well.

The second half is certainly a pathbreaking effort, which gives space for logic, enlightenment and entertainment. The last 20 minutes are so absorbing that you are glued to the screen.

The film's main strength is that comedy and suspense have been blended with equal measure and with a huge entertainment quotient. The movie creates a lot of curiosity throughout - the gripping tale has many twists.

Vishnuvardhan's performance in three roles is outstanding. And his voice modulation in the role of Vijayaraja Bahaddur is excellent. His efforts at essaying the different roles through varying body language and voices are clearly noticeable.

Komal gives yet another likeable performance in the film, which is really entertaining. Though Vimala Raman, Lakshmi Gopalaswamy, Bhavana and Sandhya have done a good job, it is Sandhya who really shines. Sreenivasa Murthy, Ramesh Bhat and Vinaya Prasad have all done their best.

Guru Kiran's music stands out. Apart from good songs like "Garane Gara Garane", "Chamundi Thaayi Aane" and "Rakshaka Rakshaka", Guru has really come out on top with the film's background score. P.K.H. Doss has certainly created a new bench mark in cinematography, while Suresh Urs excels in his editing work.

"Aaptha Rakshaka" is one film that Kannada film-goers can’t afford to miss.

More at : ‘Aaptha Rakshaka’ a treat for Vishnuvardhan fans (Kannada Film Review) http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/entertainment/aaptha-rakshaka-a-treat-for-vishnuvardhan-fans-kannada-film-review_100323440.html#ixzz0gNM96AkE

Cast

References

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