Hostel Hudugaru Bekagiddare
It is still a Wednesday and after a day of rest and recovery, I decided to watch and review the new Kannada film Hostel Hudugaru Bekagiddare which is now streaming on Zee5. The Kannada film industry has been the flavour of the season lately. After a very slow start for major parts of the year, the Kannada Film Industry has finally found some form with films like Daredevil Musthafa, Toby and Sapta Sagaradache Ello – Side A. But amidst this list, was another film that I had keenly awaited for its OTT release after missing out on its theatrical run. That film was Hostel Hudugaru Bekagiddare which the makers had labeled it as ‘The Worst Film Ever Made’, something that did draw my attention while putting a smile on my face. As always, I knew nothing about the film, and this was a huge boon given the show that was about to be put up in the next couple of hours. So then does Hostel Hudugaru Bekagiddare manage to impress, lets find out.
Story & Screenplay
Hostel Hudugaru Bekagiddare follows the story of a group of boys staying in a boys hostel whose life changes after their warden commits suicide while naming them in the suicide note. Will they be able to hide the body before the news spreads? This is the one-liner premise that is all you need to know before venturing in the film. The story here is outright hilarious with a narrative style which is extremely unique. You can label it as a black comedy or even a mockumentary but it is chaos personified in what was perhaps the best comedy that I have watched this year. The screenplay standing at a shade above 2 hours is an absolute treat of the highest order and I was thoroughly impressed with the fact that such films were attempted in the Kannada film industry while taking you to a place where you haven’t traversed often!
When it comes to films about a hostel, there is a sense of nostalgia that kicks in, particularly amongst people with an engineering background, as you can term those 4 years as probably the best in your life! So I ventured in the film with that sentiment, only to be slightly taken aback in the very beginning. The events were fast paced but not quite what I had imagined it to be. I admittedly wasn’t following the proceedings as well as I should have, and it seemed like the screenplay was just a collection of scenes to begin with, without any structure or template. And just when I thought that this is a sinking ship, the writers exactly addressed this issue in the film while one of the characters, a budding filmmaker, was seen narrating his short story. And that is when it struck me to change my perspective about the film and watch it through the lens of a mockumentary!
I was amazed at how self-aware the writing was in the make or break premise of the film which are completely a niche, a place where people with patience will be rewarded and those who will give up on the film. I did fall in the former category and boy was I rewarded! Once I got an idea of what is going on, I found myself thoroughly invested in the chaos that unfolded onscreen. It formulated for one of the most unique comedies that did not provide any respite through the character antics. It did seem like an unstructured narrative, but if you look closely, all the gags and chaos originated from that one central event with the other characters simply reacting to the situation, thus creating some hilariously funny moments. The twist at the halfway mark was brilliant, and it had me laughing hysterically!
Another interesting aspect of the film was the several meta references in the plot, with one seductive woman randomly being inserted in the narrative on the pretext that ‘audience will enjoy the show only if there is a woman in it’. The meta-humour was brilliant and I was thoroughly entertained throughout the film! The chaos outbreak in the second half keeps raising its stakes with the involvement of multiple characters with different character traits, creating multiple situations of hysteria! It was one of the most unique movie watching experiences this year, that ended on such a high with the histrionics of filmmaking reaching its peak in the final act. Overall, the screenplay here is outstanding and if you are willing to give it a chance, it shall account for one of the best comedies that you may have watched all year!
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are reactive to the situation and some of the lines will make you chuckle and laugh to no bounds! The “red-wine” scene had me in splits! The music and BGM perfectly represent the chaos in the drama. The cinematography is phenomenal, often adding to the meta-humour that unfolds onscreen. Even the idea of showcasing the editing in the form of an editor onscreen, was a genius idea and it accounted for portions of laughter and hysteria! Director Nithin Krishnamurthy does a phenomenal job in creating this ‘mess'(ofcourse in a good way) and there was a certain sense of control that he had to the proceedings, while also seemingly allowing a free-hand to his co-actors to run riot! The direction was excellent here.
The performances are brilliant by the ensemble cast. It was also a pleasure watching Dr. Puneeth Rajkumar at the end of the film who was hilarious(perhaps in his final onscreen appearance). The drama has some hilarious extended cameos from Rishab Shetty, Shine Shetty and in particular Divya Spandana who which were a joy to watch. Archana Kottige as Smitha has her moments to shine. Diganth Manchale as the editor Bunty was simply hilarious to watch. Shravan as Echo, Arvind Kashyap as cameraman Nikki, Shreyas Sharma as Praje, Bharat Vasisht as Kashi(hilarious as the warden) and Nithin Krishnamurthy(yes the director himself) as Genie are phenomenal and wonderfully contribute to the chaos.
Tejas Jayanna Urs as Prasanna is wonderful to watch, as are Srivatsa as Manja and Manjunath Nayaka as Ramesh who are excellent in their respective roles. Prajwal B P as Ajith is excellent as well thus summing up a great day in the office for all the actors who heighten the comedy at so many junctures.
Hostel Hudugaru Bekagiddare is perhaps the craziest comedy that I have watched all year, any year! I can’t remember laughing this freely in months, so much so that my stomach was aching after the film had ended! Available on Zee5 and Highly Recommended!