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Cop chronicle

Venkatesh gets tough

Venkatesh gets tough  

Gharshana (Telugu) Cast: Venkatesh, Asin, Salim Baig, Yana Gupta, Daniel Balaji Director: Gowtham

"THIS IS an episode in a police officer's life", declares the film right in the beginning. Gharshana deals with police and their handling of responsibilities when faced with the problem of terrorism. There is however, a brief respite, when the narration deviates a bit and starts a love story of the hero, Ramachandra IPS (Venkatesh) with a girl, Maya (Asin), he happened to come across suddenly. However, one has to note that this film is a remake of Tamil hit Khaka, Khaka, directed by the same director, Gowtham. Therefore, most of the touch of realism is drawn from the Tamil original.

The film starts showing the injured hero thrown out of a window of a holiday resort into the adjoining water. It gets reconnected only after Ramachandra recovers in a hospital. The story line has two distinct parts - the hero dealing with terrorists and an inbuilt love theme between Ramachandra and Maya. As the film progresses, it is discovered that the story-writer uses Maya only to make her a target of the terrorists to blackmail the hero by kidnapping her. That is what happens in the final parts of the drama. Beyond this, we don't find anything interesting in this thin story. Gun-fights rule the action part and a couple of physical duels between hero and the head of the terrorists, Panda (Salim Baig).

Ramachandra is needlessly made to narrate his own story that comes to us as its visual interpretation. It commences with the sentence that "My IPS was the result of 24 years of `Tapassu' (penance)". He then says that he has three other friends who too, are trained as commandoes. Thus, we see on screen these four officers and a few constables in action almost till the end, fighting against Panda and his gang, who migrated to Hyderabad, from Mumbai to avenge the killing of Panda's brother, one Das.

For a change we watch the terrorists displaying upper hand in their dealings,travelling to the offices or houses of police men to settle score. They even announce their intention of attack with time and date in advance.

The terrorists then kidnap Maya and threaten to kill her, if Ramachandra does not surrender to them. By then, they had already kidnapped one Janaki, wife of Ramachandra's colleague.

The latter cheats Ram by replacing his loaded revolver with his empty revolver, as dictated by the terrorists as a pre-condition for the release of his wife. But this friend kills himself after seeing Janaki butchered and her limbs packed in two boxes and thrown out of a passing train.

Rest of the story shows how Ramachandra engages himself in killing them and saving MayaUnlike other films of Venkatesh, Gharshana does not provide wholesome entertainment.

However, for Venkatesh this is a special film to reveal his skills to adapt any kind of character, where he is shown to have changed his mannerisms to look stiff as a police officer.

The scenes between him and Asin are far and few, but they register well as a psychological drama. The third artiste who comes into focus in the second part is Salim Baig. But he keeps himself to the usual tantrums and challenges that villains generally make. Music is a great asset to the film. Photography and other technical features add to the visual beauty. But dialogues lack the depth and incisiveness that a police story needs.

GUDIPOODI SRIHARI

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