Krishna and His Leela movie review: Love me Two!

Telugu, 2020

Cast:  Sidhu Jonnalegadda, Shradda Srinath, Shalini Vadnikatti, Seerat Kapoor , Jhansi and Sampath Raj

Directed by Ravikanth Perepu

Music by Sricharan Pakala

Streaming now on Netflix

 

Krishna and his Leela, the latest Telugu OTT offering, presented by Rana Daggubati,  is a breezy rom com that is a essentially an update on the age-old ‘one guy-two women’ staple . Though there is certainly no reinventing of the wheel here, director Ravikanth Perepu does put in a neat little job of giving some relatability and rootedness to the whole tricky subject.

Sidhu Jonnalegadda, who is also a co-writer on the film, is introduced in one of those typical cinematic ‘jilted lover boy’ fashions – with the trademark unshaven beard, pondering over life in some picturesque corners of the country. And knowing Telugu cinema, we may easily write offthe rest of the film as one suffering from the Arjun Reddy hangover. But breaking the fourth wall, Sidhu’s character Krishna assures us this could be lighter by asking us not to laugh at his emotional tales. And we pretty get the mood of the film from thereon.

Krishna does not waste time and gets to the heartbreak instantly. We are immediately told how his girlfriend Satya dumps him when she believes the relationship is not going anywhere. The breakup leaves Krishna completely broken, spending the rest of the days crying and sobbing away. It takes a few good time before he decides he is over all these girls and relationship dramas.

But Krishna cannot be kept away from his Leelas for long, and it is no surprise when he ends up immediately falling head over heels over a junior he meets at college, Radha.

As Radha claims, Krishna does not tick off any of her boyfriend material lists. But she still ends up liking the guy and Krishna would believe everything is finally smooth sailing in his love life.  However then comes the hurdle, with a job offering in Bangalore. Having to move out from Vizag, he assures an unsure Radha that they will get this long-distance working.

But things take an interesting turn when in Bangalore, where he runs into his ex-girlfriend Satya. If that is not spice enough, add an attractive roommate (Seerat Kapoor) to the mix. And you know you are getting a perfect recipe for trouble in Sidhu’s paradise.  The rest of the film has Sidhu trying to figure out the Dos and Donts of relationships. The only question is will it be too late by the time he does the figuring out.

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The biggest strength of the movie undoubtedly lies in its restrained writing. At several instances, there is an opportunity to go too melodramatic or score some each cheap laughs, except for a few initial portions involving Viva Harsha. But the writing holds back and avoids falling into the usual easy trappings of Telegu commercial cinema. The characters are certainly well written, especially the women and therefore keeps the proceedings refreshingly relatable and real.

Performances also immensely helps here. After all, it is vital that the audience needs to develop a rooting interest in the characters for this set up to work. And to the credit of the writing team and the trio of Sidhu, Shradda and Shalini, the manage to nail that factor.Even the fourth wall breaking which may seem gimmicky at first, works well in opening  frank one way conversation between the audience and the main character.

Lead man Sidhu masterfully steers his complicated character convincingly through the whole messy deal. Shradda as usual impresses effortlessly, while Shalini Vadnikatti though good, finds herself a little short when it comes to the emotionally heavy sequences.  Seerat Kapoor chips in just fine with Rukhsar, a very interestingly written character that in my opinion, deserved a little more space and voice in the screenplay. Sampath and Jhansi plays the roles of Sidhu’s parents in graceful, convincing manner, with a delicately written scene showing their dynamics in a mature, no-frills manner. It was also an appreciable gesture of having the dubbing artists names alongside the actresses in the title credits.

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The movie just about loses steam even with its mere 120-minute mark as the screenplay goes back and forth between the Leelas of this Krishna’s life, constantly shuffling between Vizag and Bangalore with a little Coorg detour. But Ravikanth keeps things light and constantly moving. And though the performance manages to sell the lead character’s predicament, the final speech disappointingly falls flat sticking out like a weak excuse. And also time writers realise that this lazy act of transforming their characters into overnight authors is getting a little too stale.

But these are minor quibbles in what is essentially a welcome addition to an otherwise ‘done-to-death’ romcom formula. Refreshing and sure-footed, it is worth spending a couple of hours checking out Krishna and his Leela, for an easy OTT watch.

– Joxily John

Imagine there are no countries…

It was pouring heavily that afternoon as we started our drive from Mumbai to Bengaluru. The announcement in the car radio was warning of possible shut down of the city as there was a strong possibility of thunders shower coupled with the high tide, which was expected to hit the shore of the city soon. We were thanking our stars as we were expected to be out of the city limit by that time…but we thanked our stars too soon! We took a snacking break amidst the downpour at the Panvel unit of the McDonalds outlet. And while re-boarding the car, in a hurry to shelter our daughter Mou’ from the rain, we managed to lock her in the car with the key inside!Continue reading “Imagine there are no countries…”

Grasim shoots with Brand Ambassador John Abraham

India’s home-grown and men’s lifestyle brand Grasim from Grasim Bhiwani Textiles Ltd., a subsidiary of Grasim Industries Ltd. and a part of the Aditya Birla Group, recently conducted a brand shoot with its brand ambassador John Abraham. Grasim is a young, fashionable and innovative brand targeted at the 30 years + fashion forward consumer.  Grasim Suiting is currently endorsed by Bollywood heart throb John Abraham who himself is a Self-Made Man.  He is one such man who has risen at the cost of his own hard work, pain, trials and tribulations, and has ultimately reached the pinnacle of success. John Abraham acts as a perfect catalyst to communicate the brand attributes and connect with the consumers.  The latest brand shoot has featured John in Grasim’s upcoming Autumn/Winter Collection’15 and Festive Collection’15.   Continue reading “Grasim shoots with Brand Ambassador John Abraham”

Innuendo: An Indie Film from Bangalore

“A film is neither good nor bad. It is always an extension of the film maker. So just like an individual, film too has many shades to it”. This is something Arvind Kamath told me at the Film Making Workshop hosted by IIT Madras in 2012 when we met for the first time. I however understood this completely only when I saw his indie venture Innuendo. Here is the trailer of the film.Continue reading “Innuendo: An Indie Film from Bangalore”

In Conversation with Actress Kanika Batra: On Indie Film “Station”, Theatre and More

“I already have a career, I already have work, I will not run after a role. I will do anything that creatively challenges me though.”

After conversations with the director Saad Khan, producer Sumit Ghosh and DOP Venkat Gangadhari, we now present to you excerpts from a conversation with Kanika Batra, who’s portrayed one of the prominent roles in the indie film- Station that is due for release this Friday (28th March).

Station, your theatrical debut is up for release this Friday. Where did your journey till here begin?

Kanika BatraI am based out of Bangalore basically. I have been into theatre ever since I was a young girl and I have  done musicals and other theatre performances. I was part of Saad’s  first musical play in fact and that is how I know him. I was also part of the first batch of centre stage, his theatre company and that is how Station happened.

Continue reading “In Conversation with Actress Kanika Batra: On Indie Film “Station”, Theatre and More”

In Conversation with Cinematographer Venkat Gangadhari: “As a DOP I believe firmly that I should be able to do everything on the spectrum”

Station is an indie Hindi feature film that’s been made by a team of Bangalore based professionals. Releasing on 28th March by PVR Director’s Rare, the film is directed by Saad Khan and produced by Sumit Ghosh. Last week had a conversation with Saad and Sumit (check it out here) & now we bring to you excerpts from a conversation with the DOP of the film, Venkat Gangadhari.

Venky shooting for StationStation is up for release. This is your debut as a DOP. How did it happen?

I met Saad when I was working on Khele Hum Jee Jaan Sey and he was with Gowariker as well. We bonded well from that time, would often discuss Station and share ideas on how shots and scenes could be executed etc. Two years ago, Saad came to Mumbai and narrated the final format of the story . I loved it and was on board since then.Continue reading “In Conversation with Cinematographer Venkat Gangadhari: “As a DOP I believe firmly that I should be able to do everything on the spectrum””

In Conversation with Director Saad Khan and Producer Sumit Ghosh: Station was a leap of faith that has paid off

Saad & Sumit 1Sumit Ghosh Media & PVR Director’s Rare presents presents
Station – a fast paced crime thriller about three psychotic assassins sent to carry out a job at a waiting room on a deserted railway station. A deadly mind game ensues owing to their past, where the last man standing wins, but does not live!

Station releases across select screens Pan India on 28th March.

In a free wheeling chat with MAM, director Saad Khan and producer Sumit Ghosh talk about their indie film Station,their upcoming release through PVR Director’s Rare, the prospect of indie films in India and more. Here’s an excerpt from the same.Continue reading “In Conversation with Director Saad Khan and Producer Sumit Ghosh: Station was a leap of faith that has paid off”