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Godavari – Ee Vesavi Chala Challaga Vuntundi July 24, 2007

Posted by Sai in Movies, Reviews, Telugu.

After the runaway success of Anand, writer-director Sekhar Kammula repeats the style that worked so well with that film (well-etched female characters, delving into the mind of the female, rain song, classical-based score, realistic dialogue and conversations, middle-class characters and more). Despite the similar style (which I love) this film still feels fresh with the USP being its setting on a journey across the Godavari river.

Sriram (Sumanth) is an idealistic US educated engineer who enjoys helping others. He is interested in marrying his maradalu Raji (Neetu Chandra) but her father disagrees as he believes Sriram is impractical and might not keep Raji happy due to his penchant for social service. An IPS officer (Kamal Kamaraju) is selected and the marriage is fixed. The marriage party leaves for Bhadrachalam on a launch (boat with a half open deck) for the ceremony. Though reluctant at first, Sriram agrees to join them. Seeta (Kamalini Mukherjee) is an independent girl who likes to live life her own way and is also the owner of a loss-making boutique. She also journeys on the same launch after an incident where a prospective groom rejects her. The film tracks the changes in the lives of these characters through the journey.

Though I loved Anand, I believe this is a better screenplay and Kammula also had more funds at his disposal this time around. Characters are key to this movie. The characters are very well-etched including important female characters (rarely seen in telugu cinema nowadays) that drive the film forward. The contrast between the four main characters (the idealist that most people cannot relate to, the independent girl whose freedom is restricted by societal norms, the confused girl who doesn’t know what she wants and the arrogant self-important achiever) is very well depicted.

Apart from the main plot, the film features many subplots and numerous characters. Kammula weaves a coherent screenplay based on logic that does justice to all the threads. There is also an excellent satire on human beings through a dog that generates a lot of humor (though the graphics were far from good thanks to a limited budget and the stupid rules on the use of animals in films). Sekhar likes to pass subtle messages and this one has a few more for the audience (though the message about faction wars doesn’t really gel with the film).

As a director, Kammula has a more difficult job this time and he succeeds with flying colors. He is ably aided by his technicians in bringing his beautiful vision to the screen. Cinematographer Vijay Kumar does a splendid job of filming the Godavari river and the Papi Kondalu while Kammula masterfully uses the launch to capture the essence of the journey across the Godavari. After watching this film, I felt like making a trip across the Godavari and I am sure many felt the same way. KM Radha Krishnan delivers another superlative soundtrack but the songs do have a strong heard-before feeling thanks to being based on classical music. His background score complements the film well.

Kammula extracts good performances from the cast. Sumanth gets the best role of his career and he perfectly fits into the boots of Sriram. Kamalinee Mukherjee again does a neat job but this time she’s got competition and I really liked Neetu Chandra more in this film. I didn’t think much of her in her debut film, Garam Masala, but this performance shows her histrionic abilities as she slips easily into the role of Raji. The rest of the cast performs adequately. Once again the dubbing by Sunitha (for Kamalinee) is superb and so is the job by Sekhar (for the dog).

Positive thought, relevant messages and a strong identification factor make this breezy feel-good entertainer a must watch. After his first three films, Sekhar is firmly entrenched in my list of favorite filmmakers. Now, it is time to look forward to his next offering, Happy Days.


1. phani - January 1, 2008

can i see the movie>>>

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