I watch Telugu films regularly. At times, I get vexed by the utter lack of craft and ignorance of fundamental concepts of fillm making in some Telugu films. On Saturday, I subjected myself to the torture of watching an abominable film called Operation Duryodhana, directed by పోసాని కృష్ణ మురళి, purportedly a senior, experienced screen writer. That film plunged me into depths of despair about the current state and future of Telugu cinema.
The very next day, I got to watch గమ్యం, a recent release, made by a debutant director, రాధాకృష్ణ (Krish). The film was financed apparently by family and friends. The film tells a simple story of a pampered, arrogant, super-rich brat falling in love with a spirited young woman with a social conscience, losing her and setting out in pursuit of her. During this journey, he is joined by a petty thief, gets embroiled in several situations, and in the process discovers himself and the world around him.
Yes, he gets the girl in the end.
This simple story is told in a funny, engaging manner with all the characters in the film looking, acting, and talking like real people. The situations the lead characters find themselves in are not particularly dramatic except in a few instances and are very much believable. The dialogues by గంధం నాగరాజు are crisp and funny. The lyrics, mostly by సిరివెన్నెల సీతారామ శాస్త్రి , who apparently did not charge the producer as he was very much impressed by the story, are quite poetic and characteristically inspirational (and romantic). Photographer హరి అనుమోలు captured the Telugu landscape (hyderabad, raayalaseema, amaraavati and uttaraandhra) well with the land and people filling the frames in an admirable fashion. The choreography for the heroine’s dance recital was quite interesting.
The actors were remarkable too. అల్లరి నరేష్ in the role of గాలి శీను, the petty thief, steals the show with his natural charm and the author-backed role. శర్వానంద్ , as the rich brat turned jilted lover gives an authentic performance and follows well his amazing portrayal of the developmentally disabled child in అమ్మ చెప్పింది and the enraged lover in వెన్నెల . This young man has done quite an intersting array of roles in his short career and bears watching closely. Kamalinee Mukherjee has another one of her trade-mark roles as a strong-willed, sensitive young woman and carries it well. రావు రమేష్ రావు (son of late రావు గోపాల రావు) and the director Krish are impressive in their short cameos.
But, above all, it is Krish, the director who also wrote the story, that deserves the most kudos. A pharmacy graduate who studied and worked in US for a while, he returned home to make movies (as did సేఖర్ కమ్ముల and నగేష్ కుకునూర్). This young man, who quotes తిలక్ and అమృతం కురిసిన రాత్రి freely, clearly has a literate background and a feel for common people. He has an interest in society, psychology, and, above all, in good films. He made a film that is at once entertaining and thought provoking and in the process, he seems to have also proved (once again) that good cinema could be quite viable commercially.
We left the theater with a good feeling. Hope that you too get to watch the film and enjoy it!
PS: There is an interesting and rarely quoted శ్రీశ్రీ line that gets quite a play in the film.
V Chowdary Jampala
(Editor Telugu Naadi)