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Kanche Review

Review by IndiaGlitz [ Thursday, October 22, 2015 • Telugu ]
Kanche Review
First Frame Entertainment
Varun Tej, Pragya Jaiswal, Nikitin Dheer, Srinivas Avasarala and Maruthi Rao Gollapudi
Saibabu JagarlamudiY Rajeev Reddy

The very title 'Kanche' sounds quite literary.  It's not quite often that a Telugu film title sounds literary or comes with an allegorical connotation, unlike in Kollywood.  Krish surely pushes the envelope, ably supported by profund touches from his dialogue writer Sai Madhav Burra (of the recent Gopala Gopala fame) and Sirivennela Seetharama Sastry.  The screenplay belongs to a style not seen in regular Telugu films, smelling of Hollywoodish narration, besides wowing the audience with the parallels and ironies galore.

The period human-war drama is set in the late 1930s.  For a film of this genre, the run time at 126 minutes is surprisingly modest.  Director Krish prefers to keep it restrained and measured rather than resort to heavy-duty scenes, much as the average filmmaker would have been carried away by the enormity and sentimental value of the subject.  While taking creative liberties in terms of the dialogue (tokka, totakoora - Hari Babu who lived in pre-Independence times says!), the director avoids the temptation of melodrama and worse.  The tempestuous events are soul-stirring, even though the pace slackens in the second half.

The film narrates two stories parallely - the story of soldier Hari Babu (Varun Tej) and his tryst with Nazi savagery on the one hand, and that of Hari Babu's tryst with Seetha Devi (Pragya Jaiswal) and the casteist henchmen in his village on the other.  After subtly suggesting the parallels between the racism of Hitler and the separatist consciousness of casteists, Sai Madhav after many scenes gets a courageous and idealistic Hari Babu to say, "Edhee mana oori kathe."

Hari Babu and Seetha Devi are separated by ritual and secular status.  Their love rubs Eeshwar (Niketan Dheer), Seetha's brother, on the wrong side.  Just as a village bays for the blood of the other in the name of tradition, an army is busy baying for the blood of a toddler!  The narration flits between these two stories, driving home the point without adopting a preachy or melodramatic tone.

The strength of the screenplay lies in the fact that the proceedings are kept brief, and even the stacatto burts are easy on the ears, while pricking the conscience all through. Many scenes have the element of parallel narration with a parallel narration, like for example the scene where Hari and Seetha are seen wondering if their journey will be smooth even as Posani Krishna Murali and Sathyam Rajesh (both play effective cameos) are busy litting the casteist fire.  A tense conversation here, an existential crisis there, a dialogue bringing out a woman's heart-felt feelings  - intelligence is written all over.

The scene where a Nazi soldier seeks the murder of a toddler would have been a messy affair but Krish thankfully doens't make the soldier spout lines like an Indian film villain.  That's how authentic some of the scenes are.  

Avasarala Srinivas serves to dish out some laughs, especially with his parodic song against Hitler.  In another scene, he delivers the most profound line like a natural, without seeming even remotely overboard.  His references to Sri Sri are hard-hitting, again.  Much as his presence is an asset, it would have helped if he was made not to seem glib in certain battle scenes.

Many scenes where war strategists are seen speaking in English are presented with sub-titles, a drawback for sure.  Much as it all sounds high-brow, siding with the authentic in this case seems wrong.

It's a visual treat, be it the locales or the nifty cinematography, you have it all.

The songs stand out both for their lyrical beauty and cinematographic meaning.  One can't help but notice Srivennela's marvellous creativity all through.

Varun Tej surprises with his studied portrayal of a brave soldier with the heart of an idealist.  Sai Madhav puts some of the most beautiful lines written for a Telugu film in recent times in his mouth.  Krish ensures Varun's body language is old-fashioned where necessary.  Pragya Jaiswal is good-looking and fits the bill.

Niketan Dheer looks apt for his role.  Gollapudi and others do a fine job.

Verdict: A soul-stirring film that pushes the envelope.  Class stuff with high technical values.  Sai Madhav Burra and Sirivennela complement Krish's narration of a mind-numbing Nazi pursuit and the 'kanche' in an Indian village.

తెలుగు వెర్షన్ మూవీ రివ్యూ

Rating: 3.25 / 5.0

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