Many art films seem fall in the trap their predecessors create. 'Shankara Punyakoti' is one such film that meanders into done-to-death themes after beginning well. Art-director turned director G Murthy picks up a hot topic but needlessly drags the story into a 'orthodox brahmin family' drama. The film makers had claimed that their film is about 'cow protection,' a pet theme of the political right wing. The curiosity was about what stand the film takes on this subject. But in the film, this very topic assumes a token presence.
Shankara (Sharat Babu) is a temple priest who spends all his earning on saving cows from the slaughter house. Such cows have to be taken care of and they obviously are of no economic value. While other family members resent it, he has the full support of his wife (Vinaya Prakash) in his endeavor. The wife gives birth to a baby boy but a jealous relative leaves the child in a forest to be brought up by tribal. The rest of Shankara's life is left to pining for what he assumes to be the child that died at birth. The child grows up and destiny makes him cross the path of his real parents. Winds blow, the heart beats faster and the sixth sense works to show that they share a past. So much for reality of art films. Shankara is thrown out of the temple for bringing the 'tribal' boy inside the sanctum sanctorum of the temple. He has to finally take shelter with the tribals where he dies on the lap of his son. In between he donates whatever valuables left on him to the 'goshala.'
Murthy must have changed his mind about making a film on 'cow protection midway.' 'Shankara Punyakoti' is just a film on scheming and jealous family members. He just plans to become lucky if the awards committee has members of the right wing by bringing cows to the narrative of what is just a family drama not even fit for television.
Praveen Godkhindi's music and some excellent camerawork by PKH Das are the saving grace of the film. Vidyabhushan the former Swamiji has sung some of the shlokas beautifully.
Banner – Lotus Cinema
Producers – Amaranath, Srinivasa Sooda
Direction – G Murthy
Camera – PKH Das
Music – Pravind Godkindi
Cast – Sharat Babu, Vinayaprasad, Ramesh Bhat and others.