Hombisilu (ಹೊಂಬಿಸಿಲು)

Rating: 3/4 (An evergreen romantic drama of a working couple by Geethapriya)

Hombisilu (ಹೊಂಬಿಸಿಲು) is a classic romantic drama in Kannada that I found is just as watchable and relevant as it probably was in its day. Directed by Geethapriya, it is based on a novel by Usha Navarathnaram. Dr. Natraj (Vishnuvardhan) runs a nursing home in a town near Mangalore. While looking out to recruit a lady doctor to assist him with maternity patients he falls in love with Dr. Roopa (Aarathi) and marries her. Their match is perfect, but marital discord arises immediately after due to petty issues and threatens to derail their relationship.

Hombisilu (ಹೊಂಬಿಸಿಲು) in Kannada is the word for twilight. It is a perfect romantic drama on the small problems that arise in any new relationship and their potential to create strife between couples if left unhandled. The plot especially focuses on the difficulty of a working woman with her husband and her work. The setting, plot and production of this movie by Geethapriya strongly reminded me of Hrishikesh Mukherjee. Much like his movies, here too the focus is solely on the minutiae of the everyday life of a working couple. For a movie released in 1978, this movie is surprisingly relevant for the hectic and mine-ridden worklives we live today. The songs in the movie are hummable and loving, two of which are my all-time favorites: Jeeva Veene (the tune is to die for!) and Neerabittu Nelada Mele. Vishnuvardhan and especially Aarathi have acted extremely well and are truly at their prime here. Aarathi is so expressive with her eyes and face, she does not need words to communicate in most of the emotive scenes. Hombisilu is a must watch, an evergreen romantic drama of a working couple by Geethapriya.


5 thoughts on “Hombisilu (ಹೊಂಬಿಸಿಲು)

  1. Priyank 2010-11-22 / 00:40

    At some point when Kannada filmdom stopped making movies adapted from books they lost out a huge audience. Its not that only intelligent books need to be adopted. Dadagiriya dinagalu and agni sridhar’s books seem to have given some fodder to gangster movies. Kannada filmmakers will hopefully look at other genres too.

    • Ashwin Nanjappa 2010-11-22 / 07:26

      Priyank: Well noted. Filmmakers have stopped writing or adopting good stories.

  2. srivaid 2010-11-22 / 03:35

    Won’t be an overstatement to say that Jeeva veene is one of the best songs to come out of the Kannada film industry ever!
    Movies in Kannada touched their zenith during the 70s and the 80s. Once the masters like Puttanna Kanagal left the scene it slid down the drain rapidly in a free fall.

    • Ashwin Nanjappa 2010-11-22 / 07:29

      Srivaid: I see similarities in the rise and fall of quality literature and movies in Karnataka, Kerala and Bengal. Books and movies have either dumbed down or failed to become popular in the last few decades.

      • srivaid 2010-11-23 / 02:09

        There is a ton of literature that people can go look at, not just contemporary…adaptations from earlier works also lead to interesting stuff…(cue: Omkara and Maqbool adapted from Shakespeare’s works)
        Its just that there are no filmmakers interested in doing anything other than run-of-the-mill gangster movies or soft romantics…
        Trend might be changing these days with people like Jayant Kaikini etc, hopefully will, but the last two decades have been mostly bad for the Kannada film industry.

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