Telugu Reviews

Krishna Gaadi Veera Prema Gaadha Review: The Love Lingers

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The title of Krishna Gaadi Veera Prema Gaadha is a bit of a plot spoiler. ‘Krishna’s brave love story’ suggests this is going to be another ‘mass-masala’ film about a hero overcoming the odds, fighting his girlfriend’s wealthy, powerful, and villainous family, and winning over the love of his life. Krishna Gaadi Veera Prema Gaadha is all this. But there’s a twist: the love story is brave, the protagonist is not.

*****

Nani plays Krishna, a timid youngster deeply in love with his childhood sweetheart, Mahalakshmi, played by Mehrene Kaur. They keep their love under wraps for years, fearful of Mahalakshmi’s brother. The brother is the henchman of Rajanna, a powerful man in the village. When a rival gang attacks Rajanna’s family, Krishna gets involved in this chaos. Can he overcome his fears and unite with Mahalakshmi?

The story sounds ordinary at first, but strong performances from the lead actors draw us into the plot. Nani is a rare actor who never lets his ‘star’ image overshadow his character. In Krishna Gaadi Veera Prema Gaadha, we see Krishna. Not Nani. He surrenders so naturally to the role, that his new tag of ‘Natural Star’ sounds artificial. Even when the screenplay is inconsistent, Nani’s screen presence salvages the scenes, and keeps us engaged.

Meanwhile, debutant actress Mehrene Kaur proves that she’s much more than a North Indian import with a pretty face. She might remind us of Kajal Aggarwal now and then, but thankfully, her acting range does not. She plays an extremely convincing Rayalseema woman, who is torn between her love for Krishna and her desperation to keep him safe. The love story between the two leads is easily the best part of the film. Unfortunately, it ends all too soon, once when the second half begins.

*****

At this point, like an onion being peeled, the different subplots begin to unravel. It goes on and on. Too many characters are crammed into the villain wagon. Too much confusion about who popped up and why. Add to this the situational comedy, where everyone is mistaken for someone else in an already crowded space. The audience is left confused, about whom the hero really needs to fight.

The second half has two subplots dedicated purely to the comedy. The one between Prudhvi Raj and Murali Sharma is funny enough, but also distracts from the main plot. By the time we reach the climax, after all the subplot hopping, we can’t but wonder whether they contributed much to the film as a whole.

*****

Three year old Naina Kommera was an audience delight, evoking ‘awww’ reactions every time she spoke. Music director Vishal Chandrashekar has already earned bragging rights this week with Jil Jung Juk. He delivers here as well. The song ‘Nuvvante Naa Navvu’, playing in the background, infuses pathos into scenes of longing and love between the lead pair.

*****

A highlight of the film is the consistency of the protagonist’s character. Too often in Indian cinema, heroes are meek up to a point. After that, the superhero inside suddenly emerges, and beats all their problems into submission. That’s not how it works here. Krishna is a relatable character who, realistically enough, doesn’t want to be involved in anything dangerous. He does express outrage in vain attempts to save his love. But, later, he feels he said too much, and repents. He does rise to the occasion, but in a subtle, convincing manner.

“Ninnu preminchake prema meedha prema perigindhi (It’s only after I fell in love with you that my love for love has grown),” Krishna tells Mahalakshmi. Though partly overshadowed by plot overload, Krishna Gaadi Veera Prema Gaadha leaves its love story and great performances lingering in our minds.

*****

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