At a time when films are made out of fixated and fixed formula, to conceive a project that is straight from the heart is in itself a huge plus. And to actually make a film based on those fine and sensitive feelings, calls for a cast-iron conviction. Luckily, Shekar Kammula has that. Like as he showed in Anand, Shekar has followed his heart, and what we have is a cute, believable, acceptable romantic flick. In the process, Shekar has also showed that you have to trust your honesty and instincts.
Godavari, like the river which forms an important backdrop to the movie, is cool, beautiful and smooth-flowing all through. To add to an uncomplicated story line, there are strong performances from Sumanth and Kamalini. Further buoyancy is given by the music of K M Radha Krishnanand the camera work of Vijay C Kumar. Godavari may not be a classic of our times, but sure is a sensible and sensitive entertainer. It is good value for those who still value films.
The story is set on Sriram (Sumanth). He is a ramrod-straight individual with lot of convictions in his life. He is a do-gooder. On the other end is Seeta (Kamalini), a happy-go-lucky girl with a strong individualistic streak in her. She wants to make it big on her own.
Sriram has a place in his heart for his sister-in-law Raji (Neetu Chandra). But the latter has different ideas. She is more realistic and gets down to marry a cop (Kamal Kamaraju). It is then Sriram comes across Seeta on a poetic boat trip from Rajahmundry to Bhadrachalam. The journey and the river conspire with the elements to get the two united.
It is a simple love story narrated with a lot of spunk. Sumanth seems to have understood the script and he delivers, what can surely be called, his best performance till date. He is mature and self-contained in the role of Sriram. The dignified quietness to the character is brought out spontaneously. Spontaneity is also at the heart of Kamalini's performance. The cute girl shows that Anand was no flash in the pan. She is beautiful ---both in looks and in her measured acting style. Pity, Tollywood is still to use her full potential.
The supporting cast of Neetu, Kamal Kamaraju are also adequate. Tanikella Bharani also is very much bankable.
As we said, the music and the camera work is a major asset to the film. The director has given full reign to both Vijay C Kumar and Radha Krishnan. And they both have disappointed neither Shekar nor us.
Shekar Kammula's success lies in the fact that he has chosen to be creative and poetic. And his compromises are very little and his script is very intelligent as the story unfolds on its own steam. The second half could have got more impetus. But over all, the feeling is pleasant.
An emotion that is getting rare in our films.