Kerebete Review: A Love Letter to Malnad with a Captivating Twist


Hulimane Naga, also known as Gowri Shankar, emerges as a skilled Kerebete (Fish-hunting) expert hailing from the picturesque Malnad region. However, his life is not devoid of challenges, especially in his village where he faces ridicule due to his mixed heritage. Despite the constant jibes, he harbors a determination to teach those who mock him a lesson or two.

In a surprising turn of events, the story takes a dramatic twist when he decides to kidnap Meena, the love of his life, played by Bhavya Shivaram. The motive behind this drastic action remains a mystery, intricately tied to the world of Kerebete and the depths of his emotions.

Following in the footsteps of films post Kantara, “Kerebete” delves into the rich tapestry of local cultures, with a primary focus on the popular sport of fish hunting from the Malnad region. The narrative weaves seamlessly through a love story while exploring the cultural taboos that shape lives in this part of the world. Throughout the film, the beauty and essence of Tirthahalli, Soraba, and Sagara come alive, enriched by the authentic dialect spoken in these regions.

Certain scenes, particularly those leading up to the interval, tug at the heartstrings, setting the stage for an unforgettable climax. The final 20 minutes of the film promise to linger in the minds of audiences long after they leave the theaters, thanks to an unexpected twist that firmly establishes it as a crowd favorite.

Gowri Shankar shines in his portrayal of the fiery young man, bringing depth and intensity to his character. Equally impressive is the debutant Bindu Shivaram, who holds her own amidst the unfolding drama. Gopalkrishna Deshpande and Sampath Mythreya deliver emotionally charged performances that add layers to the storyline.

Apart from his acting prowess, Gowri Shankar’s talent extends to the realms of screenwriting and dialogue, evident in the crisp and impactful lines throughout the film. Director Raj Guru deserves credit for skillfully bringing another vibrant culture to the forefront of mainstream cinema, capturing the essence of Malnad with finesse.

Cinematographer Keerthan Poojari deserves special mention for his visual storytelling, painting a vivid picture of the lush landscapes and vibrant culture of Malnad. Additionally, the film features two songs that leave a lasting impression, further enhancing its appeal.

While “Kerebete” may not be without its flaws, it remains a compelling watch, especially for its heartfelt homage to the Malnad culture, making it a worthwhile experience for audiences in theaters.