Speak O Speak Jasmie (Mathad Mathadu Mallige) (NR)

Drama December 31, 1969
By Michael Nordine
Painful to watch in exactly the way it intends, Paul Galichia and Brian Weidling's Speak lends credence to the oft-repeated notion that public speaking is mankind's number one fear. During footage of an especially unsuccessful speech, my own palms started sweating: "Teachers, fellow graduates," a visibly nervous high school valedictorian begins, " . . . my nose is really bleeding right now." The glue holding Galichia and Weidling's documentary together is the public speaking organization Toastmasters International, one of whose better-known alums, Hardball's Chris Matthews, is briefly interviewed. Also featured, unsurprisingly though not unpleasantly, is Caite Upton (not to be confused with Kate Upton), the then–Miss South Carolina Teen USA contestant whose rambling pageant speech on geography became infamous after hitting the Internet in 2007. Matthews, Upton, and others share their thoughts on overcoming this semi-irrational fear, all of it in prelude to a focus on the Toastmasters World Championship of Public Speaking. As interesting as speakers' individual paths toward the championship are, however, spending comparatively little time on the people who still genuinely struggle with public speaking-- not to mention why they do-- is a missed opportunity. What starts out as a look at a common struggle begins to look like a more adult version of 2002's Spellbound-- that is, until a surprisingly heavy development in the final minutes lends unexpected weight to the entire film.
Nagathihalli Chandrasekhar Dr. Vishnu, Suhasini, Thara, Rangayana Raghu, Doddanna, Komal, Sihi Kahi Chandru K. Manju

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