‘Gurthunda Seethakalam’ movie review: A dull ode to life and romance 

Satyadev and Tamannaah Bhatia try but the Telugu film ‘Gurthunda Seethakalam’ is a test of patience

December 09, 2022 03:32 pm | Updated 03:32 pm IST

Tamannaah Bhatia and Satyadev in the Telugu film ‘Gurthunda Seethakalam’

Tamannaah Bhatia and Satyadev in the Telugu film ‘Gurthunda Seethakalam’

The 2020 Kannada film Love Mocktail, produced and enacted by Krishna and Milana Nagaraj, followed the male protagonist’s quest to find true love in three stages of his life. Despite the contrived path, the story takes in the final portions, the cocktail of a few fun and heartwarming moments ensured that something worked in favour of the film. The Telugu adaptation, Gurthunda Seethakalam (Do you remember the winter?), directed by Nagasekhar and starring Satyadev, Tamannaah Bhatia, Priyadarshi, Megha Akash and Kavya Shetty retains the original story with a few tweaks. However, this Premam-meets-Geethanjali story gets progressively dull. 

On a chilly winter morning, driving through the hills en route Mangaluru, Satyadev (Satyadev Kancharana) chances upon Divya (Megha Akash) and something that she does triggers a warm, bittersweet memory. Satyadev recounts his quest for love to the chatty, pani puri-loving Divya and the story harks back to his high school days and first love. The adolescent romance is innocent, awkward and is portrayed in a true-to-reality manner featuring four teenage actors.

Gurtunda Seethakalam
Cast: Satyadev, Tamannaah Bhatia, Priyadarshi
Direction: Nagasekhar
Music: Kaala Bhairava

Satyadev’s journey of love, involving three women, is contrasted by that of his friend Prashant (Priyadarshi) who incidentally finds his soulmate in high school. Prashanth and Geetha (Harshini) are witnesses to the middle-class Satyadev falling in love with the well-heeled Amrutha (Kavya Shetty) in college and the two trying in vain to bridge the class divide. 

The romance is captured primarily during misty winters with a predominantly blue colour palette, celebrating the chill but also alluding to the need for warm sunshine in the protagonist’s life. The college romance happens at a time when sending SMS burnt a hole in the pockets of college students and one had to wait till midnight for the mobile recharge plan to be effective. The throwback to the time of relatively less connectivity strikes a chord and some of the jokes involving Satyadev and Priyadarshi, too, are reminiscent of college campuses of the late 1990s and early 2000s. There is a fun sequence in which Amrutha girl tries to gauge if Satyadev is a decent guy on SMS chat. A girl in the cinema hall wryly remarked, ‘ammayilu ilanti yedhavalake padatharu (girls always fall for such wastrels). Such running commentary in the cinema hall is sometimes more entertaining.

Gurthunda Seethakalam makes small but helpful changes in the manner in which it introduces Nidhi (Tamannaah Bhatia) even before the turbulent Satya-Amrutha romance ends. A chunk of the story revolves around Satyadev and Nidhi’s mature romance that takes time to bloom. The colour palette shifts from blues to sunshine yellows and Satyadev’s disbelief in finding someone who goes the extra mile to care for him is captured well. 

Satyadev portrays the transition of different stages of his character with sincerity and makes his plight relatable. Priyadarshi and Harshini as the friend-couple who watch his transition are also convincing; in fact, they make some of the segments more interesting than the written material given to them. Tamannah, however, appears a tad distant and cold. 

When the story slips into the blackhole of terminal illness, it gets cliched and boring rather than the moving, poignant romance saga it was intended to be. These done-to-death tropes in stories featuring a character battling terminal illness need a rethink. Winter, mist and a question of life and death in romance cannot make every film a Geethanjali.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.