Well intended but muddled.
“U/A” Certified, 153 Mins.
What is the film about?
It is about the journey of a Girijan girl from Abbulu to Abhilasha and her relationship with mentor Seetharam (Jagapathi Babu) during the process.
How is Jagapathibabu’s performance?
Jagapathi Babu for a change gets to play a character that has very little to do with star mannerism and other such attitude. He plays a simpleton yet idealist character with great love and it shows on screen. His belief and conviction in the character is what makes us connect with it more than the performance. It’s not to underestimate his performance, which is good throughout, but he has done those emotions in the past too with solid impact.
Direction By Viplav?
Given the subject that film has one must say the direction of the film is good. He has treated the subject sensitively with great care. The problem here arises from the script itself which is muddled in certain emotional sequences regarding the platonic and non-platonic relationship of the protagonists and that’s where the movie fumbles, script wise.
Also there is an air of predictability throughout which the screenplay tries to take care off with back and forth narration but the length of the film turns out to be a bummer. Either way what holds the film together, despite some of these problems, is the honest intent with which it has been made without resorting to cheapness of any kind. If only the final act was done more conclusively, the impact would have been much better and the team would have delivered the ‘memorable’ film they promised.
Meera Nandan and other artists?
Meera Nandan plays the tribal girl who is at the center of the proceedings and she does a fabulous job of it. Together with Jagapathy Babu, she holds the film throughout. There are many scenes where she gets the scope to perform and she does it with aplomb. Her transformation from a naïve tribal girl to sophisticated and modern women is neatly written and acted. Actors like CVL Narasimha Rao, Benerjee etc get good roles that register in the minds of people.
Music and other departments?
Music by Koti is alright and they have been integrated well into the narrative. The background is better than the music. Cinematography is good capturing the natural landscapes but it also feels pretty standard variety for the terrain. Editing is decent. Dialogues are major plus for the film. They aren’t overtly preachy and mostly convey what needs to be conveyed.
Character arc of female lead.
It all goes well till about the final half an hour where ‘jump the shark’ moment arrives. An alternative take would be to avoid that pitfall and build towards that moment sooner than later, if that is going to be a major conflict in narrative between the lead characters. The late inclusion in narrative makes it look like forcibly inserted rather than being organically developed one.
Did I enjoy it?
Yes, in parts.
Will you recommend it?
Yes, only to those who want to watch something meaningful in spite of issues with it.
Hithudu Review by Siddhartha