ACTORS: Vishnuvardhan, Avinash, Sandhya, Vimala Raman, Lakshmi Gopalaswamy, Komal

Aptharakshaka is a worthy final kannada film for Vishnuvardhan. It is well-thought out and executed for a commercial film with enough entertainment values any movie buff to enjoy. It is hard to watch the film without realising that Vishnuvardhan is no more. But on its merit alone this film stands head and shoulders above most films made in the recent years in Sandlewood.

Those who have seen Apthamitra will realise that the sequel (and part prequel) is also similar in setting. The story is a playoff between a psychiatrist and a godman who try to unravel the mystery of a long dead dancer’s effects on living souls.

Late kannada hero Vishnuvardhan and Avinash re-enact their respective roles. This time there is more than one woman affected by either Nagavalli’s ghost or psyched after reading about her life. The psychiatrist and the godman respect each other’s methods of solving the problem for a common good.

Aptharakshaka also brings to life the story of Nagavalli and king Vijayaraja Bahadur which was mentioned in the first film. This is the high-point of the film. But director Vasu has other aces up his sleeve which he unravels as the film progresses. The real fun would be in watching it.

Vishnuvardhan in a dual role and a very unlikely getup steals the show. The negative shades in the king’s role does not affect his charm any bit. He modulates his voice twice over and the result is exciting. Komal as his sidekick is hilarious. Vimala Raman as Nagavalli is apt. Lakshmi Gopalaswamy, Sandhya and Bhavana are the suspense elements who help the film gain momentum towards an unexpected climax. But it is only Bhavana who gets to don the best designer blouses.

P Vasu deserves all the praise for deft handling of the interesting plot he has conceived. There is hardly a scene that is out of place. Gurukiran’s music and PKH Doss’ camera work complement the film that is a must watch.