In these days of Meher Rameshs, it is heartening to see a rare Dasarath who has conviction in his little story line. The awful news is that the classy maker of Santosham fame believed too much in his "sensible" idea that he displays the never-say-die belief in his story in more number of scenes than was needed. There comes a scene well into the second half, in this improperly titled 'Greeku Veerudu' (from when has this epithet come to be associated with the male floozy?), where we see a cloud engulf a kid who has just affectionately called out his dead father. To our utter shock, it is not the boy's hallucinatory experience but a reality which Nag and Co become happy witnesses to! Following this unbelievable experience, our handsome hunk says to Nayanatara that anything is possible when done with LOVE!!
Only a few days ago, Chandu (the Greeku Veerudu) was the kind of a man who believed in love-making, but not love. He saw a drop-dread gorgeous Nayanatara in the airport and immediately made up his mind to, as is his wont, have a no-strings-attached romantic encounter with her. He is in the airport to leave for India to visit his paternal extended family with a calculation in mind. Yes, our hero is not just a habitual womanizer, but also a man who doesn't think twice before hoodwinking a whole family in order to bail himself out of a financial trouble.
In real life it is highly improbable that a person who has grown to be a compulsive philanderer (apparently because his brilliant mother advised him to stay away from relationships because they invariably trap one into pain and agony) would have a change of heart after being three or four days in the company of persons his sexual mind has always despised - saree-clad women, sentimental old and young men and women whose tender feelings know nothing but familial affection. But in our films, if the hero would have to be reformed manna will come straight from heaven.
Yes, it is nothing but manna from heaven that Nayanatara, a complete stranger, agrees to act like his wife for three days - and this includes marrying him in front of a village! If Nag plays a compulsive philanderer/occasional swindler, Nayan is the exact opposite (which is juxtaposed in the very first scene), she is a compulsive giver of happiness to all and sundry, young and old.
The conscience starts pricking Greeku Veerudu and very soon, it is confession time. The second half is about how the now converted Bharatiya Family Man convinces the Compulsive Helper that he is a changed man. The climax, where all the characters converge to create both comedy and emotion, is about how he gives the rest of the family (excluding K Vishwanath) a shocker by enlightening them about his past self.
To be fair to Dasarath, his treatment of the subject is mature and the dialogues work at several places. He deserves a pat on the back for meticulously planning Nag's expressions. His dialogues are without unnecessary embellishments, which gel with the film's unpretentious It is a decent entertainer for the family audience, who give two hoots even if it is a been-there-done-that film. But the only way the film could have looked engaging for the youth, is by having an imaginative comedy track.
Where this concept-based film is found wanting is in dishing out a comedy with a strength of its own. Brahmi, MS and Kovai Sarala try hard to evoke a few laughs, the two parodies (Saar Osthara number involving MS and Kovai; Brahmi and Nayan presented in Jodha-Akbar costume) fall flat. JP as a deaf character breathes life into the two scenes that he is in.
Full justice was done for Thaman's music, the visuals were nice and the lead pair looked terrific in the duets. 'O Naadu Washington' sung by SPB was tuneful.
Nag shows dexterity in delivering this well-written role with passion. We are surely seeing a new Nag these days, especially after 'Rajanna.' The new look, costumes camouflage his slightly oldish looks. His excellent dialogue delivery is nuanced. He danced stylishly, unlike in his recent films like Damarukam, here.
As for Nayanatara, she not only looks cool, but also delivers a natural performance.
Asish Vidyarthi plays an important role unlike Raghu Babu, Kasi Vishwanath and others. Meera Chopra and Bharath Reddy's much-hyped roles are far from satisfying. It is not know why Meera, of all the less popular heroines, was selected for the role.
Technically, the film rests on a solid ground with Thaman's tunes working fine. However, the cinematography could have been better. It is inconceivable how for a big ticket film like this the stock scenes (finished by CG work) were done so badly.
Verdict: Family audiences who like senti dramas revolving around ideological characters and a concept, can give 'Greeku Veerudu' a try.