Head Bush movie review
The film is about the incidents that took place between 1974 and 1978 in Bengaluru.

'Head Bush' movie review: Dhananjaya excels in intense gangster drama

‘Nata Rakshasa Daali’ Dhananjaya’s Head Bush, his second outing as a producer, hit the theatres on Friday (October 21) and received a rousing welcome from the masses. The Kannada gangster drama directed by debutant Shoonya has Loose Mada Yogesh, Payal Rajput, Shruthi Hariharan, Vashishta Simha and Balu Nagendra in pivotal roles.

The film is based on the book written by Agnee Sridhar titled My Days in the Underworld, and traces the journey of don Jayaraj from his childhood days to a teenager and later a notorious rowdy in the garden city. The film is about the incidents that took place between 1974 and 1978 in Bengaluru. 

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The plot revolves around childhood friends Jayaraj (Dhananjaya), Ganga (Yogi) Samson (Balu Nagendra) and their journey with politicians in the mid and late 1970s. The gang of friends turns notorious at a young age by playing an infamous gambling game called ‘Head Bush’ and hence the title. As time passes by they are roped in by Urs (Devaraj) who plays the chief minister and Nataraj (Raghu Mukherjee) to successfully implement a political campaign called ‘Indira Brigade’ in Bengaluru at the behest of then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

Slow first half

Urs has more enemies than friends within his party and wants to ensure that his political campaign is successful. Jayaraj is given a free hand by the chief minister to take control over Bengaluru and, in the process, he leaves no stone unturned to ensure that he rules the entire city. He is unstoppable and goes on a killing spree throughout the first half of the film.

The first half is slow and looks like an hour-long montage that shows his rise and rise in the underworld. There are three songs in the first half and only Habibi seems to add value to the storyline. The interval block ends with an internal rift between Jayaraj and Ganga and that gives you some hope to look forward to in the second half.

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The second half kicks off with an intense action sequence and the movie runs like a bullet train thereafter. Jayaraj and Ganga are at loggerheads and one would predict several twists in the second half, but the story sticks to rivalry between Jayaraj and Ganga and shows the extent to which they both go to keep up the rivalry. How the enmity ends makes up for the remaining part of the story.

Perfect fit for Jayaraj’s role

Head Bush is raw and rustic and the expletives in the first half would even make Sai Kumar, who was infamous for his curses in films, shy away.

Nagendra and Yogi look like Dhananjaya’s sidekicks in the first half and have very little role to play. However, the second half gives Yogi ample space to perform and he is at his career best. The face-to-face rivalry between Dhananjaya and Yogi is a treat to the mass audience.

The film has a couple of foot-tapping songs by Charan Raj and he certainly could have done better, but the BGM is top-notch and gives goosebumps in several scenes.

Dhananjaya fits perfectly into the role of Jayaraj and the actor once again proves that the Moniker Nata Rakshasa is apt. Nagendra has a lot of screen space and excels in every scene and is definitely a potential actor the Kannada industry can make use of.

Ravichandran’s cameo

Actors Devaraj, Payal, Raghu, Shruthi, Prakash Belawadi, and Vasishta have done justice to their roles. Crazy Star Ravichandran plays a cameo and one wonders what was the need for him to do the role or how he contributed to the storyline of the film.

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The story of don Jayaraj and his days in the underworld have been told across media time and again. However, Shoonya chooses to pick up certain incidents from Jayaraj’s early life and makes it an interesting and intense gangster drama.

The film could have drawn the family audience if not for the over-abused expletives, but overall it’s a head for Dhananjaya’s second outing as a producer.

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