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'Virodhi' Review: Ideology Confusion

'Virodhi' Review: Ideology Confusion

Rating: Not Applicable (Off Beat Film)
Banner:
Meka Media
Cast: Srikanth, Kamalini Mukherjee, Ajay, Kamal Kamaraju, Nagineedu  and others
Music: R P Patnaik
Cinematographer: H Ramachandra
Editing: Gautham Raju
Story, screenplay, direction: Neelakanta
Producer: Anil Meka
Release date: 01/07/2011
 
The National Award winner Neelakanta has emerged from his brief hiatus and this time, he chose a rather sensitive subject of Naxalism and society reforms, how effective is that let us see
 
Story
Jayadev (Srikanth) is an honest journalist who believes in exposing the corrupt politicians. He goes to interview a minister (Ahuti Prasad) and at the same time, a group of naxals led by Gogi (Ajay) come to kidnap the minister. In the crossfire, the minister is killed and Jayadev is taken as hostage. This causes a furore in the political, media and the other naxal groups. However, Gogi is adamant on his rules. He is accompanied by his team Hari (Kamal), Rehana (Rupali) and others (Sivaji Raja, Ravi Varma, Sri Ramya etc). While on their escape to the forests, Jayadev comes across the lives and past of each member and realizes the various aspects happening in the name of revolution. How does he deal with that forms the rest of the story.
 
Performances
Srikanth has come up with a subdued performance and unlike his movies wherein the focus is on him, this time it is his character that is displayed.
 
Ajay got a meaty role and he made good use of it. Though he was unable to deliver the intensity, he made an effective impact with his act.
 
Kamal Kamaraju proves his mettle as a performer. He came up with good balance in his body language and expressions.
 
Kamalini Mukherjee came and went, her sensuousness was not portrayed. Sriramya made her presence felt. Ravi Varma was neat. Rupali Fulsunge was good and showed potential, she can opt for glamour roles. Ahuti Prasad was hardly there. Kiran Varanasi has strong screen presence. Sivaji Raja was natural. The others did their bit as required.
 
Highlights

  • Attempt to give an insight into the Naxal lives
  • Locations which bring us close to reality

Disappointments

  • No storyline
  • Inconsistency in scenes
  • No conviction in critical sequences
  • Lack of intensity
  • Emotional quotient weak

Analysis
The very first doubt one gets after watching the film- is this Neelakantha’s film? Given his brand and the past projects, the expectations were high among the audience and they were sure that he is bound to offer something strong given his comeback.
 
However, that didn’t happen. It is important for any film maker to ensure that there is a message which goes to the audience and that didn’t happen here. What should the viewer expect? What is the feel in the film? Such things matter. The intent to bring about the realistic picture in the lives of Naxals is appreciable but then it would have been more effective if sufficient layering of the plot was done for the audience to get convinced. Since the film doesn’t have commercial values and is an offbeat attempt, there will be selective audience.
 
The brilliance of Neelakantha’s screenplay and his directorial skills was missing. At the box office, expecting a success is difficult but given the budget involved, it could turn out to be an average grosser.
 
Bottomline: Good thought but weak execution

(Venkat can be reached at venkat@greatandhra.com)

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