“Gaalipatam”s significance and attention is due to the producer and writer of the movie, Sampath Nandi. Sampath’s meteoric rise in Telugu cinema is perhaps unparalleled and may not be repeated in the near future. Just one small film with a sensible script – “Emaindi Eevela” and Sampath went on to bag a film with Ram Charan – “Rachcha”. People might say he was one lucky guy who was at the right place at the right time, but he has also proven his mettle beyond doubt in both his movies, and went on to win the confidence of Pawan Kalyan who is known to be a difficult person to impress. As his next big directorial “Gabbar Singh 2” is still some time away, he turned a new leaf and produced this film, also writing the script.
The story of the film deals with the fast life style of current youth, their clarity with regard to every important affair of their lives etc. Same clarity with regard to love and marriage, the repercussions of such decisions form the crux of the movie. Karthik (Aadi) and Shwetha (Erica Fernandez) are shown marrying each other. They have few problems in adjusting to the married life, but they are adjudged the best couple in the office where they are working together. The victory briefly brings them together but their past differences resurface and pull them wide apart, looking like making the division permanent. Then it is revealed that both had love affairs in the past but had to leave them aside due to ideological differences. Their respective love stories are then narrated where Aarav Reddy (Rahul Ravindran) and Parinithi (Kristina Akheeva) are shown as love interests of Shwetha and Karthi respectively.
Aarav is a sort of silent lover who is trying to win Shwetha’s heart, but Shwetha doesn’t believe in love marriages and has huge confidence in her mother’s planning for her. Though they are meeting constantly, Shwetha never accepts Aarav’s love. On the other side, Karthi falls for Parinithi the moment he sees her. Parinithi is an NRI, a very mature girl who has clarity on every issue in her life, and takes independent decisions with regard to them. She likes Karthi’s intelligence and commitment and soon they become lovers, share physical love too. But when Karthi’s mother talks about their marriage in a casual meet, she gets uncomfortable and says that she never intended to marry. She declares the same ideas to Karthi and tells him that he can come and live with her but marriage is out of question. As Karthi does not succeed in changing her ideas, he decides to part ways and marries Shwetha.
Now that their differences and past affections have cropped up in their short married life, they decide to try the other alternative and decide to take divorce. What happens in the gap before they are awarded the divorce, will they change their views again? Is decision of youth the best way forward in marriage; Or, is marriage itself a dying decision and it is better that the elderly parents too move on with the changing times? Will the filmmaker answers all these questions convincingly forms the rest of the movie.
The first half of the movie looks quite fresh, moves at a fast pace, filled with lots of funny, entertaining scenes. Though there is a multitude of characters in the movie, they are well introduced and clearly stand out in their own spaces. Though some scenes are clearly ‘inspired’ from other movies, they mix well in the story. Second half of the movie is where the script sort of goes haywire. There is a forced episode of elderly women who are weeping over for being left alone by their children. The parody on “Attarintiki Daaredi”s “Kaatam Raayudaa…” song tests patience of the viewers. The “Jabardast” episode with comedian Chandra is also ill placed and does not jell well in the movie. Major characters of the movie – Karthi and Shwetha have already reached their decisions by this time, so more hammering on the point was unnecessary. Chandra – Hyma’s song too disturbs the flow and does not serve purpose in any way. Too many unsubstantiated change of hearts of the lead characters severely reduce the impact of the crucial second half of the movie and almost bring down the movie.
The editor has presented the movie well, particularly in the first half. The cinematography too is good. Film is picturised in many virgin locations and they look good on screen. Couple of songs are also good, particularly the “Paani Puri” song. Kailash Kher’s bit song is also good.
The climax of the film doesn’t reach the crescendo it should and ends on a flat note. What majorly mars the movie is the excessive ‘dialogue baazi’ of one and all characters in the movie. Regardless of the stature of nature of the character, all indulge in sharp repartees and rhymed punch dialogues. They come in such quick succession that there is no silent space to savor them and put them to memory. In a couple of scenes, there is a punch dialogue even just before a scene change is coming up (“thoda paasham vaddu”). Another disturbing factor is the too many drinking scenes and the way few characters casually talk about immorality and licentious sex. Hero’s friend’s gigolo episode should also be included in this list. The over grown kid is an old problem in telugu movies, here he is also mixed in sex scenes which is in bad taste.
There is nothing to find fault with Aadi’s performance, but he is looking too brawny in the movie, somewhat less charming than his age. Erica Fernandez does not live up to the lengthy character she has got. Rahul Ravindran is adequate in the almost minor, supporting role. Kristina Akheeva (Russian) girl seems a good find as she looks fresh and shows some commitment in dialog delivery and performance too. Other actors – Sridhar, Preethi, Chandra, Pragathi, Saptagiri and others are OK.
Finally, the film begins well but loses focus in between and lost plot entirely in the second half. Many dialogs are good in the movie, but it is the excess of them that reduces their taste. Thematic handling in the second half is also not up to the mark. Strictly looking at the entertainment quotient, the film is OK for a one time watch for young audience only.
Rating: 2.25 out of 5