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‘Good Luck Sakhi’ movie review: Needed a lot more gravitas

Keerthy Suresh in ‘Good Luck Sakhi’

Keerthy Suresh in ‘Good Luck Sakhi’ | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Had Good Luck Sakhi been a short story in a book, it could have been a young adult fiction that harks back to simpler times, narrating the story of a young woman from a village who dusted off her bad luck tag. As a film, it unravels like a throwback to less complicated narratives of the Hindi cinema of the 1970s. Kukunoor had stated that he wrote the story trying to keep the vibe of Hrishikesh Mukherji. The first hour pretty much exists in such a zone, despite the story being set in a fictitious Rayalaseema village where a Telangana origin Sakhi (Keerthy Suresh) takes centre stage.

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It is tough to watch the opening portions without giving in to a big smile. A baraat is on the way to Sakhi’s house and a bunch of kids think it is fun to welcome the groom with crackers. Taken aback, the horse goes rogue and leaves the groom with a broken limb. Apparently, he is not the first groom to have suffered as a result of Sakhi’s bad luck. Nobody thinks the firecrackers are a problem! It all unfolds like a Hollywood musical, with Devi Sri Prasad setting the mood with the delightful ‘Adigo vastundi bad luck Sakhi…’

Good Luck Sakhi

The milieu is charming. Chirantan Das’s cinematography captures the earthiness and the pop of colours. Sakhi is unmindful of her unlucky tag and asserts that she will rewrite her doomed fate. The portions where she meets her childhood friend ‘goli’ Raju aka Ramarao (Aadhi Pinisetty), now a theatre actor, are fun to watch, accentuated with the game of marbles and the village candy seller.

The arrival of a former Colonel (Jagapathi Babu) who wants to mentor shooting enthusiasts in the village changes the course of things. These portions are also set in a familiar zone, with humour pervading the narrative until the Colonel finds Sakhi and Suri (Rahul Ramakrishna) to be worthy of mentoring. The unspoken romance between Ramarao and Sakhi, the vicious nature of Suri and the growing confidence of Sakhi, coupled with her admiration and fondness for her guru are the various aspects the story deals with. Keerthy Suresh plays Sakhi with an innocent charm and Jagapathi Babu and Aadhi Pinisetty are adequate in their parts.

There are a few good touches. For instance, the scene in which Sakhi speaks up in a panchayat and lets people know what she wants. Elsewhere, she shows that she is capable of defending herself when harassed. But all this does not feel enough as the story progresses.

Nothing feels insurmountable in Sakhi’s journey — neither the conflicts that arise due to matters of the heart nor the troublemaker who surreptitiously tries to derail her. The story needed gravitas. It is one thing to show how Sakhi’s razor-sharp focus that helped her in marbles in childhood also coming in handy for shooting. But we never get the feeling that Sakhi truly yearns to be a sportsperson. What does winning mean to her, beyond getting rid of her bad luck tag? We never know. Above all, what made the Colonel open a shooting range in the village even before he knew there would be takers for it?

If the story had more depth, it could have been another Iqbal an underdog story of small town aspirations and triumph against all odds. But it falls way short. Kukunoor’s Telugu debut film could have been so much more.


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Printable version | Feb 13, 2022 7:28:51 am | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/reviews/good-luck-sakhi-movie-review-needed-a-lot-more-gravitas/article38338674.ece