Rishika Sharma’s Vijayanad can be called a docu-drama. Earlier we have seen Mani Ratnam helm a (rumoured) biopic of one of the most celebrated business tycoons of India – Dhirubhai Ambani. The film was Guru and featured Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai. Guru was a very interesting and entertaining biopic and was lapped up by cine-goers. Unlike Guru, Vijayanand is told in a very self-praising documentary manner.
The film opens with Vijay Sankeshwar (Nihal Rajput), a 19-year-old man bringing with him a semi-automatic printing machine for their printing press against his father B G Sankeshwar’s (Ananth Nag) wishes. With the new machine their business flourishes as expected but Vijay begins to aim higher. He prepares himself for yet another business in goods transportation industry and goes ahead buying one truck. This time again against the wishes of his father. Vijay is portrayed as a man with strong will power and one who doesn’t stop at anything. After continued efforts, support and help from friends Vijay establishes his business. He becomes well known enough to step into politics. Circumstances coax him to look at publishing business and he sets out to run the most successful newspaper of the state. And he doesn’t stop at that too.
The last few reels define the reason behind the film. Like father, like son, it appears that it could be Vijay’s son Anand’s idea of building a ‘third eye’ for Father Vijay as he (Vijay) mentions that his transport and publishing businesses are like his two eyes. So, to promote their already existing brands and spending moolah on advertising it might make more sense stepping into the film production business as well. This would serve multiple purposes – learn the intricacies of the business and if feasible, get into it too. While learning the craft of film production why not tell our own story and make a noise amongst the global audience who are ignorant/unaware of their local business. Smart move. The film serves as a self-proclamation vehicle for the makers at best.
Having said that, one cannot take away the efforts that must have gone in the journey of Vijay Sankeshwar from being a young boy brimming with ideas and strategies to confronting head strong people and winning over them. The narrative has quite a few dialogues that make for good business lessons taught outside the MBA schools. Survival of the fittest may be a fact but not trying and fighting your way up should not be the attitude. It also silently sends across the message to the youth of today to be persistent in their efforts and become their own masters along with creating opportunities for others.
A relatively new actor enjoys the responsibility given to him by playing the lead for a smart business tycoon who charts his own path. His actions and mannerisms look caricature-ish at times but works in most portions. As mentioned above, probably it is not who tells the story but the story itself that is more important here.
Anant Nag, a veteran actor helps in adding value and seriousness to the setup as B G Sankeshwar but gets limited scope.
Yet another veteran, V Ravichandran plays Ganesh Dada, has a very small part in terms of the narrative, but given the storyline, his character is the most important part of Vijay Sankeshwar’s success journey with the seed fund (in today’s parlance) coming from him including the next round of funding too. He plays his part with great ease.
A prominent South actor does a great job in creating the right image of the character he portrays. He carries the confidence of delivering the part with the right expressions and mannerism.
The rest of the cast pass the muster and work in the overall story telling.
Overall, Vijayanand, partially delivers a story of strong persistence of a young entrepreneur but sways into a direction that most people would not like as part of a cinematic narrative at the cost of a cinema ticket.
Director: Rishika Sharma
Cast: Nihal Rajput, Anant Nag, Prakash Belawadi, V Ravichandran, Anish Kuruvilla, Vinaya Prasad, Siri Prahlad, Bharat Bopanna, Archana Kottige