Reviews

Mukunda: One for the discerning viewer

Varun Tej makes his debut in 'Mukunda'  

When Srikant Addala comes back with a second film, there are bound to be expectations and comparisons with earlier ones, but those who have seen his Seetamma Vakitlo... will vouch for the fact that his dialogues are not run-of-the-mill.

The film makes you smile while you listen and understand. Here, in Mukunda, it is a few notches higher and you will definitely put your hands together as you internalise the wisdom and the truth that comes associated with it.

This is a village drama again. The plot is thin and simple but the focus is on the process and the path adopted to reach the goal.

Whether it is peace, argument or a fight, Srikant drags our attention towards the dialogue be it the hero’s or the villain’s; ultimately it is the writing that wins in the story and the king is Rao Ramesh.

To get to the point straight, the friendship of Mukunda (Varun Tej) and Arjun (Shailesh) is likened to the characters Krishna and Arjuna. Though the dialogues exchanged between the duo are minimal, the strength and belief in their friendship unfolds through visuals alone. Arjun is in love with the Municipal chairman’s (Rao Ramesh) niece played by Deepti Sardesai and whenever the latter’s family is looking at ways to eliminate him, Mukunda stands as a pillar of support to his friend. To make matters worse, he initiates a stranger’s (Prakash Raj) candidature in the Municipal Chairman’s election and also falls in love with the commissioner’s daughter (Pooja Hegde).

The love here is not only blind but also dumb; the love birds just exchange glances and never speak a word to each throughout the film.

The director uses a lot of metaphors to make a statement, whether it is a love story or war against the evil, he uses a scene of Tirruppavai in Tamil being recited and shows Pooja Hegde sing, ‘Gopikamma chaalunu lemma nee nidara.....’ and on the other side shows Mukunda’s fight with the villains in the waters.

The onion is just not an election symbol. Peel each layer and you understand the beauty of conversation between Paruchuri Venkateswar Rao and Rao Ramesh.



Genre: Drama
Director: Srikant Addala
Cast: Varun Tej, Pooja Hegde
Storyline: Youth’s effort to save friend, bring sanity into his village
Bottomline: Stay away if you like the regular song, dance, fight dramas


This film brings a lot of character to each artiste no matter how small he is. Prakash Raj doesn’t need to be present throughout the film; he has the ability to cast a spell with just a few glances; and here he is a commentator.

There are two spectators on the villain’s side who play safe and are non- committal. They too make a statement on the type of people we bump into every day . Rao Ramesh is the strategist who plans his life and is good at assessing the strengths and weakness of people but fails to reform.

Pooja Hegde is a perfect match to Varun. She hasn’t much to do at all here. Her costumes and styling could have been better. It is the other girl Deepti Sardesai who is like a whiff of fresh air.

Varun Tej has a fabulous screen presence and intense eyes. All he needs to do is pick different genres henceforth and he is sure to give a tough fight to other heroes. Music disappoints and gives a deja vu feeling.

The story ends abruptly and the romance isn’t something that leaves you asking for more merely because it is silent.

There is no chemistry between the duo at all. Since most of the story centres on the debate and dialogue, rather than an expected logical ending, it is likely that many regular cine goers will go home dissatisfied.

But for those who appreciate truth, facts of life and intelligent conversations, this is the film smartly interspersed with action and village politics for today’s youth.

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Printable version | Mar 6, 2021 5:08:54 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/cinema/cinema-reviews/mukunda-movie-review/article6724993.ece

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