A nice blend of sentiment and comedy apart, 'Govindudu Andarivadele' packs the punch by presenting a different Ram Charan. Krishna Vamsi shows yet again that a director with a knack for varied themes can always spring up surprises by coming back in form - that too with a bang. After a spate of flops, KV marshals his creative prowess with Paruchuri Brothers in tandem. His screenplay lives up to his own set standards, and goes beyond to unleash an actor Charan as against the star Charan. In effect, KV's creative molding reminds one of his experiments with Mahesh Babu (read 'Murari').
Though there are shades of two popular films, namely Seetharamayya Gari Manavaralu and Attarintiki Daredi, the Midas Touch of the director makes it a film that is more than 'Tatha gari intiki daredi'. If comedy dominates sentiment in the first half, it is a balanced treat in the second half, with the climax brewing sentiment and action to the best possible effect. As is his style, Vamsi unleashes romance between Charan and Kajal Agarwal, a romance that borders on the sensual and naughty. Yuvan Shankar Raja's music inspires novel picturization.
Abhiram (Charan) is the son of Rahman, who plays an NRI doctor settled in London. The first reels set the tone for an Attarintiki Daredi-like story line, although the comparisons are least likely to sustain as GAV progresses. Abhiram arrives at his grand father's place in a village, and plans to endear himself to the family by hiding his true identity. Balaraju (Prakash Raj) is both admired and a bit chagrined by his family for his ways. Srikanth plays Balaraju's younger son, someone who is slighted by the tough father for being a drunkard. Kajal plays a mischievous girl who fakes shyness in the presence of her family but lets her hair down in the modern way when away.
The first half packs the usual stuff like hero teasing heroine, old man dancing extempore, embarrassing his old woman, drunkard son ruffling the feathers of his strict father, new guest saving that little girl in danger, so on and so forth. However, GAV doesn't descend into the mundane despite some of the routine scenes. Charan looks fresh and approaches his role with a remarkable humility. Vamsi makes him shed his starry image and creates the space for him to bring out his actor self in almost every scene. Even when he is romancing Kajal, there is no Magadheera deja vu whatsoever.
Prakash Raj and Jayasudha play couple yet again. Play grand parents, they dish out a measured performance entirely different from what we saw in Bommarillu. Jayasudha simply enlivens the screen with her excellent portrayal of an old woman who apparently carries the baggage of missing a beloved one for many years. She emotes without speaking much, whereas Prakash Raj is seen delivering an intensely emotional role. His chemistry with Charan is striking.
Srikanth gives the required laughs with his characteristic style of body language and dialogue delivery. As someone who rebels the disciplinarian, he however is reduced to a routine role in the second half.
There is a parallel track involving Kota Srinivasa Rao, Rao Ramesh and Posani Krishna Murali, all of whom do not have much role in the story though. Adarsh Balakrishna plays a baddie who is constantly at loggerheads with Charan.
It has been long since Vamsi convincingly told a story; he makes a thorough comeback riding on the acting performances of Cherry, PR and Jayasudha. Minus all the exaggerated acts that were seen in 'Chandamama', this film has the hero dominating the audience's mind space over other family members.
After technical disasters like Mogudu and Paisaa, this one is a huge improvement. Yuvan Shankar Raja's music is elevated by excellent visualization, choreography and cinematography. The first song is quite un-Vamsi as it barely is an improvement over a Kalisundam Ra song. The sensual duet is there and Kajal is at her glamorous best. Cherry dances well in all the songs.
Minus the ritual of self-boasting punchlines, this sentimental drama is a star film with a difference. Instead of needlessly preachy tones that our films adopt, this one drives home the message smoothly.
There is an old world charm about it, but Vamsi blends it with the trendy here and there to make it appealing for youngsters.
MS Narayana and Vennela Kishore are seen in forgettable roles.
Verdict: Good writing, balanced acts, Cherry's new avatar (career best, acting-wise)- GAV packs them all along with the redoubtable talents, Prakash Raj and Jayasudha. Nothing novel story-wise, but with Dasara season on, brace up for a blockbuster.
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