Cinema

Krishna Gaadi Veera Prema Gadha: This ‘gadha’ is fun

Nani and Mehreen

Nani and Mehreen  

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An unlikely love story packs in a fair amount of humour in the rugged Rayalaseema terrain

The Telugu film industry has unabashedly dipped into the cauldron of stories offered by Rayalaseema, rife with faction wars. The stories have enough elbow room for ‘mass masala’ elements, primarily punch dialogues and thigh-slapping sequences.

In this terrain, director Hanu Raghavapudi narrates a quirky story of an unlikely hero who has none of the famed fearlessness associated with the region. While doing so, he doffs his hat to idiosyncrasies of the terrain, with a lot of humour.

In the Hindupur-Anantapur belt, Balakrishna is the uncrowned king and the protagonist, Krishna (Nani), has ‘Jai Balayya’ tattooed on his forearm and a punch dialogue is his mobile ringtone. Krishna is in love with Mahalakshmi (Mehreen) but lives in fear of inviting her brother’s wrath. The men in Mahalakshmi’s family don’t flinch before butchering their opponents. The rivalry between Rajanna and his foe, Appi Reddy, runs deep.

The film shifts between Krishna-Mahalakshmi covert romance and the rivalry between Rajanna-Appi Reddy. Hanu contrasts the riotous fun involving Krishna, his friend (played by Satyam Rajesh) and Mahalakshmi with sweeping shots of the scorched land and the rival brooding his loss and waiting to strike.

This could have been a regular story of a coward hero finding his mojo. But the characters are unpredictable and the narrative, far from simple. There’s another thread to the story involving ACP Srikanth (Sampath Raj) and his three children, who unwittingly get entangled in the faction war, along with Krishna. If this wasn’t enough, there’s don David bhai (Murali Sharma). Cinematic liberties are taken at will. The powers that be learn of the don’s likely entry into India but have no clue how he looks like!

When different threads cross paths, it’s a riot. Krishna takes on a journey oblivious of the danger ahead and the don meets with a fate that’s only possible in a Telugu film. It’s fun, so we aren’t complaining. Unexpected fun also comes from Brahmaji’s characterisation.

There are places where it feels as though the makers have chewed more than they can bite. It’s a bit overwhelming before the story reaches its logical conclusion. As they tell us in the promos, it’s not a katha (story), it’s ‘gadha’ (epic).

Vishal Chandrasekhar’s music and Yuvaraj’s cinematography are apt for the film’s milieu. The film has its share of fine performances. Nani is a treat to watch. He exhibits his flair for comedy, yet again, and is lively as a cowardly guy madly in love. He has the knack of picking up interesting stories and depicts his transformation convincingly.

The three kids — Moksha, Pratham and Naini — are adorable. Newcomer Mehreen holds promise, has an easy screen presence and carries off her role well. The supporting cast is dependable, be it Sampath Raj, Brahmaji, Prudhvi and others.

Hanu Raghavapudi proves his mettle with Krishna Gaadi Veera Prema Gadha and makes it an entertaining watch.

Krishna Gaadi Veera Prema Gadha

Cast: Nani, Mehreen, Sampath Raj, Murali Sharma

Direction: Hanu Raghavapudi

Music: Vishal Chandrasekhar

Rating: 3 stars

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Printable version | Dec 10, 2019 5:00:06 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/cinema/Krishna-Gaadi-Veera-Prema-Gadha-This-%E2%80%98gadha%E2%80%99-is-fun/article15616500.ece

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