“Kaiva,” a gripping tale directed by Jayatheertha, unfolds in the vibrant backdrop of 1980s Bangalore, where the protagonist, Kaiva, embarks on a journey for employment. Love blossoms between Kaiva and Salma, a mute typist. However, their romance takes a dark turn when mistaken identity leads to a brutal assault by three thugs – Pakali, Kaleem, and Thambu – who wrongly perceive Salma as their rival Govindanna’s girlfriend.
In the quest for revenge, Kaiva allies with Govindanna, marrying Salma and targeting the assailants. As the plot thickens, Pakali and Kaleem meet their demise at Kaiva’s hands, leading to his arrest. Undeterred, Kaiva escapes from custody to confront Thambu at dancer Rosy’s residence. The pursuit of justice sees Kaiva return to police custody, but not before saving Salma and reuniting with her.
The cast, led by Dhanveerah as Kaiva and Megha Shetty as Salma, delivers compelling performances. Notable supporting roles include Nanda as Pakali, Raghu Shivmogga as Kaleem, and Ugram Manju as Thambu. The film, backed by the production house Abhuvanasa Creations, features a captivating musical score by B. Ajaneesh Loknath and is visually brought to life through the lens of cinematographer Shwetpriya Naik, with editing by K. M. Prakash.
Released on 8 December 2023, Kaiva received a mixed reception from critics. Harish Basavarajaiah of The Times of India praised the film, describing it as a “beautiful retro love story” set against the backdrop of Bangalore’s underworld. On the other hand, Swaroop Kodur of OTTplay critiqued the film for deviating into an “overlong saga.”
As the audience navigates this cinematic journey, “Kaiva” invites them to a nostalgic trip to the ’80s, where love and turmoil intertwine against the vibrant tapestry of Bangalore’s history.