C/o Godavari Review
'C/o Godavari', featuring unfamiliar leads, hits the screens today. Here is our review:
Set in the backdrop of the Godavari districts, 'C/o Godavari' tells the story of Subbu (Rohit S), an unemployed idler with a penchant for playing bet matches with his rivals (led by one quirky hair-styled Chilaka), and his rise in life after being challenged by circumstances.
Subbu is secretly adored by his childhood friend (played by Shruti Varma), whereas he seems to be infatuated with Sunanda (Deepu Naidu), the sister of a village business linchpin Mrutyunjaya Naidu who tolerates no competition to him.
Moments after suffering humiliation at the hands of the arrogant Naidu, Subbu fortuitously does something (courtesy, an accident) that alters the course of his life. The rest of the film is about how he challenges Naidu and proves to his villagers that he is the best bet!
'C/o Godavari', in all probability, was taken to the floors before a bound script was in place. At one place, Subbu is shown to be in love with Sunanda, with the latter even coming across as the main heroine, only to become a slighted, scheming villain in the second half! Between Subbu and Sunanda is the childhood sweetheart who behaves normally even when she finds him looking deeply into Sunanda's photograph! Naidu, who is shown killing a guy for telling his sister on Facebook that she is sexy, lets off Subbu after a mere, humiliating parade across the town.
In what is an unabashed throwback to the '80s-kinda underdog-turned-lakhpathi stories that can put stupidest fantasies of the ultra-hallucinating dudes to shame, the film introduces a fortuitous event following which our hero turns into Mr. World Champion in Fastest Lifetime Achievement category, with even a Minister feeling absolutely lucky to give his granddaughter in marriage! Please note that everyone from the Commissioner of Police to the Minister are ever-ready to take his video call when he needs most.
Inconsistent characterizations aside, things are hurried through for no apparent reason. Before you know, Subbu has become the most eligible bachelor in Northern Hemisphere. Before you know, Suman's daughter ties friendship band as if there is no tomorrow, even as her father is undergoing treatment after a fatal accident. A blood transfusion can shake the earth, you see...
Despite the apparent flaws, the first half is fairly good, although it never comes to an end. The Godavari nativity, slang and language is neatly brought out through oddball characters. Prabhas Sreenu, Sathyam Rajesh and other set of comedians (including Chilaka and his short sidekick, the hero's sidekick) manage to draw a few laughs. The depiction of the village as depraved lands populated with lovers of mediocre TV programmes among women and drunkards among men is a refreshing take that is different from the romanticization of village life peddled by simplistic films.
When the second half loses steam, it's difficult to put up with the proceedings. Once we have come to know that it's an old-fashioned, formulaic story, one no longer wants to give it a long rope.
The lead actors need better training to get it right. It's the comedians who are on the dot, so also the bad guy of the piece. Posani Krishna Murali dons the role of a pointless narrator.
Raghu Kunche's music passes muster, with 'Nuvvena' taking the cake for being a must-listen melody. The cinematography and other technical departments are sub-par.
Even a decade back, this story would have been seen as run-of-the-defunct-mill. The comedians manage to draw a few laughs here and there.