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Gopala Gopala Review

Review by IndiaGlitz [ Saturday, January 10, 2015 • Telugu ]
Gopala Gopala Review
Suresh Productions and North Star Entertainment
Victory Venkatesh, Pawan Kalyan, Mithun Chakraborty, Shriya Saran, Posani Krishna Murali, Krishnudu, Raghu Babu, Ranganath, Vennela Kishore, Prudhvi, Ashish Vidyarthi, Madhu Shalini, Anisa Ambrose, Prudhvi, Diksha Panth
Kishore Kumar Pardasani (Dolly)
D.Suresh Babu and Sharat Marar
Anoop Rubens

Taking on blind faith is a lay man who is armed with common sense.  Ironically, the sceptic makes a living by selling the idols of the gods he doesn't believe in.  As if to become the enemy in lampooning the enemy, he occasionally swindles some random God-fearing, well-heeled devotee by selling a fake 'swayambhu' (self-manifested) idol.  Like all cheats, he has his perverted logic which even the trendy God misses to point out.

Based on the 2012 Bollywood satirical comedy-drama 'OMG - Oh My God', Gopala Gopala is the story of an atheist, sometimes naive, sometimes heretical, sometimes rebel with a monetary cause.  He is not a crusader who wants to beat the fake babas at their own game.  He has just taken the phrase "act of God" in the insurance policy bond quite literally and so wants the causal personality behind the earthquake that destroyed his livelihood to give him indemnity.  He makes his own case by taking on the religious gurus, mocking at the institution of organized religion that gobbles the money of the gullible and exploits the weak-minded.  In this scheme of things, he has the backing of God Himself and the reason why he is the chosen one is revealed only in the climax, albeit it is implicit from the beginning.

The film is quirky from the moment Gopal Rao (played by Venkatesh) takes a literal interpretation of "act of God" (which itself has a legal term and has no spiritual connotation whatsoever.  Written like a social satire that borders on a madcap comedy-drama that takes good many creative liberties, it stretches an arguably trivial idea without dishing out a dose of surrealism.  Gopal Rao questions rituals and superstitions, but his wife is an ideological opposite.  His sidekick (played by Krishnudu) is so stupid that he can't see any irony in deeming a God's 'rath' as auspicious while going to the court to challenge the same God!  Challenging one or all Gods seems bizarre and cracked for a few law practitioners, but not to all.

Gopal Rao makes his own case, egged on by lawyer Akbar Khan (Murali Sharma) and his case is admitted by Judge Ranganath.  He rubs the entrenched vested interests (led by the fake swami Mithun Chakraborty) on the wrong side and gets into trouble.  In comes the Saviour, who does things the Telugu film heroes do for the most part, delivering his dharmic lecture only in a few words - not as long as even two verses.

The film is not really a high-brow social satire because, for all its half-real nature, a satire works best when it presents true-to-life characters and slice-of-life scenarios, though in an exaggerated manner.  It looks asinine when babas/mullahs/pastors are shown to be in a jittery because the foundation of the institution of religion would supposedly be shaken if a court gives a verdict in favour of the atheist Gopal Rao.  Come to think of a 'Gopala Gopala' where the heretic Gopal Rao never gains support of the people but instead becomes a hate figure even as religious gurus make a revelation by seeming better at the art of arguing than a naive, ill-prepared Gopal Rao would have imagined.

There comes a point when you will have to reconcile to the fact that not one character, except God, can argue with Gopal Rao.

For all the creative liberties that may not be for everyone's liking, the film has its good moments.  The dialogues are sharp and witty at some places.  Gopala Rao speaks like a childish agnostic but he is at his best when he speaks like a rationalist with a spine.  A disappointment is that the director allows star (or even real-life) Pawan Kalyan overshadow the actor PK and character Bhagawan Krishna.  The dialogues are synthetic because they sound like the self-styled sentences spoken by a larger-than-life superstar rather than a God.  God, for all we know, has a philosophical bent of mind, but when he is essayed by a superstar?

As for the film, it belongs to Venkatesh and Pawan almost equally.  Playing the middle-class, naive Gopal Rao, Venky is a natural.  He proves to be versatile, yet again.  He shines all throughout, whether he is arguing or expressing awe or just camaraderie in the presence of Bhagawan Krishna.  Pawan's starry presence is sure to take the film to a new commercial level.  His role is not full-fledged but he leaves an impact, by striking the perfect rapport with Venky.  Pawan raises the roof when he breaks into a dance with Venky.

Mithun is as good as he was in the original, playing the fake godman with feminine mannerisms.  Asish Vidyarthi and Krishnudu do justice to their roles.  Shriya Saran almost disappears as soon as she appears at the few places she has to, not even having to romance her middle-class hubby.

Posani Krishna Murali gets to play a lengthy role, he has the most number of lines after the two stars.  As usual, he excels in playing a character that reveals its mean streak and crassness at the drop of a hat.

If Anoop Rubens changes his style for this distinct genre, the cinematography and art work are not up to the mark.

Verdict: Kishore Pardhasani (Dolly) is not a revelation; this one is a faithful remake that has a few highs and some sharp lines.  For all the apparent difference, it plays to the gallery.

Rating: 2.75/5

తెలుగు వెర్షన్ రివ్యూ కోసం ఇక్కడ క్లిక్ చేయండి

Rating: 0 / 5.0

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