Cast: Lakshmi Manchu, Taapsee, Aadi, Sandeep Krishna, Ravi Babu, Jeeva
Director: Kumar Nagendra
Rating: Two and a half stars out of Five
This could be seen as a befit ting release on International Women's Day.
The much-hyped film, Gundello Godari, tracks the loves of two girls who hold diametrically opposite views on love.
If Lakshmi believes in idealistic love and commitment, Taapsee thinks that it is a lighthearted exercise, meant for fun. She, therefore, pursues a young fisherman (Aadi), even though she is going to marry someone else.
Such contrasts between the characters give this rural romance a definite edge.
Both actresses put in commendable performances. Debutant director Kumar Nagendra shows promise, using good visuals and a strong screenplay, avoiding cliched comedy tracks and extracting good work from the maestro Ilayaraja.
Another hallmark of the film is elegant cinematography by Palani Kumar, who captures well the overpowering floods, his lighting immaculate. The floods of 1986 seem to become in the director's mind a metaphor for many of the themes in the film.
Aadi and Lakshmi, adrift on a haystack, unsure of their very survival, must confront unspoken issues between them. Aadi and Sandeep Krishna too breathe life into into their rustic roles.
In the midst of cliched potboilers and slapstick comedies, this period movie comes as a breath of fresh air and strikes a chord for its simplicity, rooted characters and raw emotions.
The film starts with the announcement of a flood warning at Rajahmundry just as Aadi and Lakshmi are getting married in a simple wedding ceremony. Taapsee walks in to give a gold ring to Aadi, while Ravi Babu gifts a costly gold chain to Lakshmi, triggering doubts in the minds of the newly-weds.