Gaddalakonda Ganesh (Valmiki) Movie Review - Rating 3/5
Varun Tej and Harish Shankar's Valmiki (Gaddalakonda Ganesh) movie is a Mass Masala Gangster Drama with a remake of a highlight song "Elluvocchi Godaramma"
By Aravind Peesapati,
September 20, 2019 10:52 IST
Valmiki Movie Review - Summary:
An aspiring assistant director Abhi (Atharvaa Murali) gets a breakthrough in his career when a producer gives him the chance to direct a film for him. Instead of making a film on dead/old gangsters, Abhi decides to write a film about an inform gangster. In the search of a powerful story, he finds Gaddalakonda Ganesh (Varun Tej), a ruthless gangster. To write a full-length script, he reaches Ganesh’s town and tries to get to know more from his gang. Rest of the story is about how Abhi manages to make his film and the hurdles he faced in the process.
Valmiki Movie Review - Performances:
Varun Tej: Varun Tej is one of the upcoming stars of Telugu Film industry, who recently received stupendous success with his last multistarrer blockbuster F2. He proved himself as a decent enough performer when it comes to love stories and youthful entertainers. For the first time in his career, he takes up a challenge to play a massy role which has tons of negative shades. And he comes out with flying colours as Gaddalakonda Ganesh aka Valmiki in this remake of highly acclaimed Tamil drama Jigarthanda.
This film belongs to Varun, right from the first scene he entertains us with his Raw screen presence, brutal histrionics, evil laughs and powerful one-liner. Harish Shankar’s Protagonists are always presented with terrific heroism, in this film Varun gets to showcase his villainism as well. However, his Telangana accent could have been better as at some portions he might have overdone it. Anyways, this is his best performance to date, and it’s a treat for masses.
Atharvaa Murali: Atharvaa is a new face to Telugu audience but he is a proved actor in Kollywood. He does justice to his role as a desperate debut director. Some of his scenes with comedian Satya in the first half came out well. He is convincing in love scenes.
Pooja Hedge: Pooja Hegde does a cameo as Sridevi in flashback episodes, she looks beautiful and delivers a commendable performance in her short role. The romantic track between her and Varun Tej is good.
Other casts: Mrunalini Ravi as Abhi’s love interest does a fine job although she has very little to do in the film. Satya gets a full-length role as Abhi’s Friend in the film, his comedy sequences came out well in the first half. Brahmaji as acting teacher is not effective, and the track fails to generate laughs. All the other actors are adequate.
Valmiki Movie Review - Positives:
2)Music and electrifying background score
3)Song picturizations (Jarra Jarra and Velluvethi Godaramma)
4)Harish Shankar’s writing and adaptation
5)Comedy in the first half
6)Pre interval sequences
Valmiki Movie Review - Negatives:
1)Limited entertainment quotient in the second half
2)Love Track between Atharva and Mrunalini
3)The dragged comedy track of Brahmaji
4)Some overdramatic scenes.
Valmiki Movie Review - Verdict:
Jigarthanda was one of the best raw gangster films made in Tamil cinema in recent times. The film has realistic direction by Karthik Subbaraj and bold performance from Bobby Simha. When I heard, Harish Shankar is remaking this film with Varun Tej, it was kind of surprising as both Harish and Varun are known for entirely different kind of Cinema.
Harish Shankar is well known for his "Mass Masala" entertainers, who uses everything he got to entertain the audience. His films have great dance numbers, comedy and mass presentation of Hero. Here, Harish takes the basic plot of Jigarthanda and tries to present it in his own style and he does a pretty good job in doing so. The entire genre of the script is changed from Dark Comedy Drama (Jigarthanda) to Masala entertainer. He sticks to his strengths by showcasing his trademark mass elements and manages to engage the audience for 175 minutes. In the first half especially, he establishes the characters well. Ganesh is presented as this Evil, brutal gangster right from the first scene with numerous scenes where his Villainism is elevated. His writing is very good and pre-interval scenes were executed well. Love track of Varun and Pooja in the second half is good. Song situations are very well designed, particularly the scenes which leads to Velluvethu Godaramma song are entertaining. This song and the item song are choreographed well. These songs are appealing to B, C centres mass audience and balances the film pace in the first 40 mins of the second half.
However, the pace of the film drops slightly post Jarra Jarra song. Episodes like acting class by Brahmaji, film shooting scenes are dragged and could have handled better. And there is also a surprise element missing in the film particularly in the second half which was a major highlight of the original film. Harish takes the film into an emotional zone in the third act, which is decent but could have been much more effectively.
Micky J Mayer is another major highpoint of the film. His background score is electrifying, and music is very good. Cinematography is neat, editing could have been better.
Overall, "Gaddalakonda Ganesh" aka "Valmiki" is a Harish Shankar mark mass masala with a striking performance from Varun Tej. It has enough elements to entertain the mass audience. However, a better handled second half could have pushed its impact it a little further than it is now.