Director Shankerlinga Sugnalli proves that how ancient he is in his concept and with a known subject 'Rathi Manmatha' subject he has socialized with ordinary narration but songs and Ragini stay has added some value for his film. Capturing the beautiful natural locations the cinematography further lifts the film. Lack of comedy portions and one single format of screenplay with no jerks make this film difficult to sit through.
On a curse from Lord Shiva - Rathi and Manmatha are born on earth as 'Holi and Kamanna'. Holi (Ragini) is the sister of a Devadasi (Pavitra Lokesh) and Kamanna (Venkatesh Prasad) is the son of a village chieftain Srikrishna Desai (Doddanna). According to the superstitious belief Holi in the young age is tagged as Devadasi and after she comes to age she has to be the property of village Gowda. This is the foul means of a priest that becomes a costly decision has Holi grows.
In the village Srikrishna Desai is highly respected and he is like a judge of the entire village. His son Kamanna is immensely in love with Holi but on the other hand village Gowda (Shobaraj) has the stake on Holi according to the old promise of Holi mother.
Now it is a clash of Gowda and Kamanna to win Holi. In the village meeting Srikrishna Desai passes an order on his son Kamanna for falling in love with a Devadasi girl. Kamanna is sent out of the village and stage is set for Holi to get married to Goddess and then live in the village house of Gowda.
Kamanna not keeping quiet wages a war against village Gowda and unfortunately he is killed. Looking at this Holi picks the sword in the hand of village Gowda and slashes him. In the flame burning Kamanna Holi also jumps on the fire and ends her life.
Ragini is the mainstay of this film. She has that 'Rathi' looks. In every costume (all traditional costume) Ragini looks top class. This is her debut film. But already films like Veera Madhakari, Shanker IPS which Ragini acted after completion of 'Holi' got released and established her position. Venkatesh Prasad deserved to be better. Doddanna and Shobaraj are good in their roles.
Karthik Raja son of maestro Ilayaraja has given three lovely tunes. Yarivalu Yarivalu Manasa Seledha.....Rathavaneridha Sringara Rathiye.....Endigu Nee Chaluvina Odathi....are well scored. Cameraman Padmanabha has done a splendid job. The nature beauty has been conquered well for this film.
'Holi' Kannada diction of Uttar Karnataka sounds good to hear.