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Gayatri review: Mohan Babu steals the show

A regular father-daughter sentiment drama

SIFY

Monday 12 February 2018

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Movie Title

Gayatri

Director

Madan Ramigani

Star Cast

Mohan Babu, Manchu Vishnu, Shriya Saran

Sivaji (Mohan Babu) is searching for his missing daughter. He runs an orphanage and also steps into the jail to stay for few days in the place of convicted rich criminals. As he is a stage actor who can easily slip into the get up of any person, he takes up this work for some quick big bucks. When luck brings him to be in touch with his daughter Shruti (Nikhila Vimal), he gets kidnapped by a criminal politician Gayatri Patel (Mohan Babu) demanding to act like him for 14 days in prison. What happens next, why has Gayatri Patel has chosen Sivaji?

For a seasoned actor like Mohan Babu who had done more than 550 movies, the story of a human chameleon who slips into body double of any person is an apt one. A dream role for any actor certainly. To showcase versatility!

The story has meat – an actor turning into the character of powerful and rich convicted criminals for money. An interesting premise, indeed.

Although the story is credited to Telugu writer Diamond Rathnababu in titles, it is actually based on a Bangladeshi movie Aynabaji (2016). Writer Diamond Rathna Babu and director Madan have not changed the basic plot of Amitabh Reza's directorial debut Aynabaji but they have changed the focus of the story. In the Telugu version, ‘father-daughter’ sentiment supersedes the main thread.

Also, the gender of the reporter’s role is turned from male to female (in the original it was played by a male character, here Anasuya has done the role).

Instead of delving more on the novelty factor of the story – actor impersonating convicted criminals, the director has put the camera lens on the regular and oft-seen father-daughter sentiment scenes. Like the clichéd sentiment thread, the narration is too weak and regular. The scenes that the writer and director have written also are very routine. In the entire first half, we get to see peripheral aspects of the plotline. The movie only comes into the groove in the penultimate sequence.

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Much of the movie doesn’t excite as the narration is too weak and is told in a slow-paced way. But it showcases Mohan Babu, the veteran performer’s histrionics well. His performance is the main highlight of this predictable sentiment movie.

Though the runtime is 2 hours 5 minutes, the slow-pace makes it seem lengthier. A lot of unnecessary sequences are added for the sake of runtime.

The veteran actor once again excels in the two roles. In particular, he is at his best in the character of Gayatri Patel. Vishnu and Shriya appear in a flashback episode. Vishnu as younger Mohan Babu is suited well. Shriya gives matured performance. Anasuya is okay. Sathyam Rajesh’s catchphrase ‘Jyothi’ is not convincing. Ali’s comedy is outdated. Prudhvi as a politician is okay.

The film has some politically loaded dialogues here and there. Mohan Babu takes potshots at AP government and the current politicians.

Watch the triler here:

Songs by Thaman are melodious. Nuvvu Nenu is very catchy. Technical and production standards are good but editing is not good. Writer-turned Madan has shown his mark in the handling of sentiment scenes but he resorts to old-school drive.

Gayatri is regular father-daughter sentiment drama told in an old-fashioned manner but Mohan Babu’s performance in the dual role the is the highlight. This plot needed better handling (direction) and speed pace.