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'Goodachari' review: Riveting story of a spy

Adivi Sesh in the film

Adivi Sesh in the film  

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This coming-of-age story of a spy is a winner

It’s hard to pull off a spy thriller, especially when the team doesn’t have A-list names and therefore, the mammoth budgets. Goodachari is the work of a smart, gritty team that rises to the challenge and serves a riveting tale. To label this only a thriller would be doing it disservice. It’s also a coming-of-age story of a spy.

Early on in the film, there’s a repartee between Arjun (Adivi Sesh) and Shyam (Vennela Kishore) where they hint at having smart tech tools without ‘Bond-like’ budgets. Goodachari doesn’t try to emulate the global spy characters like James Bond, Ethan Hunt or Jason Bourne. This Goodachari isn’t thinking of saving the world, not yet. He has to carve an identity for himself, learn the ropes of this murky world where danger lurks at every corner and even the most trusted person can pull the rug from under his feet.

Adivi Sesh who also shares the writing credits with director Sashi Kiran Tikka and Abburi Ravi, is the backbone of this film. He plays his character with the right mix of zeal and vulnerability. The spy’s life looks like the stuff one dreams of while growing up — wanting to risk everything to stave off enemies and be one among the pairs of eyes and ears that stay alert to gather any information that threatens the country. Arjun’s ambition has its beginnings in wanting to emulate his father, a former RAW agent. After an infiltration and a mission gone wrong, the subsect of RAW called Trinetra goes defunct and revival plans crop up decades later. Through Arjun, we get an insight into a secretive world and the rigorous training it requires. He’s required to unlearn and relearn the prerequisites that go into making a good spy. But is he on track? Will things around him remain the same?

The drama gets interesting as each of the principal characters are revealed and their casting adds to the intrigue. Supriya Yarlagadda returns to the screen as Nadiya Qureshi, Sobhita Dhulipala is the mysterious psychologist Sameera, Madhu Shalini is an agent and Aneesh Kuruvilla is a senior RAW member. None of them carry the baggage of a set image and this works hugely for the film. They put in measured performances, along with Prakash Raj. Not a smirk, not an unwarranted expression that gives away anything. After Kshanam, this is where Vennela Kishore is required to do more than bring in a few laughs. He’s one of the RAW bosses and means business.

The film expects its viewers to keep pace with its every move from the beginning and moves into the fast lane as Arjun finds himself in a mess, looking for directions out of a maze. Cinematographer Shaneil Deo and the production team give Goodachari its added finesse and Sricharan Pakala steps up the momentum with his background score.

This spy story has the necessary emotional heft to give the story the required gravity. It all gels smoothly without going overboard. The best part is, when you think you can second guess what comes next, there are several unexpected surprises that make the film a cut above the rest.

It will be interesting to see if the team makes this a franchise and gives us a home-grown spy series to root for.

Goodachari

Cast: Adivi Sesh, Sobhita Dhulipala, Supriya Yarlagadda

Direction: Sashi Kiran Tikka

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An earlier version of this article erroneously mentioned Ethan Hawke instead of Ethan Hunt. The error is regretted.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 12:00:22 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/goodachari-review-adivi-seshs-coming-of-age-story-of-a-spy-is-a-winner/article24593253.ece

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