Honest But Uninspiring
‘U’ Certified, 1h 54m.
What Is the Film About?
Gamanam is an anthology series comprising of three different worlds in Hyderabad. The common factor is the struggle they have to go through to achieve their dreams. Kamala (Shriya) dreams of a happy family and life. Ali (Shiva Kandukuri) wants to be a cricketer. Finally, the street kid wishes to celebrate his birthday by cutting a cake. Gamanam tracks their journey over a rainy day in Hyderabad.
Shriya is superb as Kamala. It is a performance-oriented role, and she delivers. Her reactions when she can hear for the first time or the breakdown or losing hope in the face of adversity are excellent. There is a bit of over melodrama, but it goes well with the overall impact the director was trying to create.
Sujana Rao makes her directorial debut with Gamanam. It is a simple yet challenging subject to execute. There are three different predictable stories, and she has to make a compelling narrative out of it, making her task cut out.
The movie’s first half takes time for establishing the world of the different characters. It is slowly but neatly done. However, barring the street kids, other shorts involving Kamala and Alia are very predictable.
Right from the start, the track of the street kids provides a compelling narrative. It is followed by Kamala’s mainly due to the presence and performance of Shriya. Shiva Kandukuri’s is the most routine one of the three.
The interval mark leaves everyone in a hopeless situation after establishing the world. It feels a little too soon to come. But then again, post-intermission, we are straight away into an extended climax.
Yes, the entire second half feels like an extended climax. The three principal characters are experiencing different adversaries, and it all happens in the backdrop of torrential rainfall – the kind that cripples the city by engulfing certain parts.
Kamala is struck in a small house that is getting inundated with rain. She can’t move out, and there is a baby to deal with. The street kids have to sell clay Ganesh idols in the rain to get the money they want. A dejected Ali is roaming on streets in the rains.
The obstacles appear very cinematic when it comes to Kamala and Ali. Also, the way the narrative is rushed to the final act without a proper second one doesn’t give it enough depth. One is barely connected to the characters, and they are put in extraordinary circumstances.
The rain effect and it (rain) being used as part (almost like a character) of the narrative is neatly done in the second half. However, the whole thing is stretched for a long time. Some parts test the patience, but the editing makes it look decent overall. The ending also feels only partly satisfying. This uninspiring and lack of uplifting quality, in the end, is eventually the movie’s biggest pitfall.
Overall, Gamanam is a sincere attempt, but it is a difficult watch theatrically, not because of its content, though. If you like to see something different from routine, give Gamanam a try, but remember it isn’t a commercial fare.
Shiva Kandukuri looks the part and puts in a sincere act. It is literally the case with every other actor who is part of the film. It is the best thing about Gamanam. Priyanka Jawalkar is okay. She does put in the effort to act and cries a lot. Charu Hasan is a natural even at this age and is fine. Vasu Inturi is wasted, and so is Sanjay Swaroop. The two kids are excellent. They provide the movie’s most engaging sequences.
Music and Other Departments?
The background score by Maestro Ilaiyaraaja is terrific. It brings much-needed intensity to the narrative and enhances the emotional appeal throughout. The cinematography by Gnanasekhar VS is raw and gritty. A few sequences stand out visually within the attempted space. The rain sequences are fantastically showcased. The editing is neat, especially during the second hour. The writing could have been better. Few lines are spoken, but efforts are made to incorporate dialogues with meaning and depth—only some workouts.
Street Kids Track
Feels Rushed In Parts
Adding a bit more meat to the characters and their worlds and reducing the length of the extended climax would have helped create a more compelling drama.
Did I Enjoy It?
Yes, In Parts
Will You Recommend It?
Yes, But With Huge Reservations
Gamanam Movie Review by Siddartha Toleti