2 Hrs 22 MIns | Love | 08-10-2021
Cast - Vaishnav Tej, Rakul Preet, Nassar, Kota
Director - Krish
Producer - Y Rajeev Reddy
Banner - First Frame Entertainments
Music - MM Keeravani
After failing to create magic with the NTR biopic films, director Krish has decided to adapt the Konda Polam novel into a feature film. He roped in Vaisshnav Tej and Rakul Preet to narrate this literary work on the big screen. Has he got it right? Did the director of Gamyam and Vedam deliver this time?
Ravi (Vaisshnav Tej), who fails to get a job for four years after his degree, returns to hometurf where his family is struggling to make ends meet. He along with his father goes to Nallamala forest to do Konda Polam for their cattle. This changes his life and gives him the much-needed self-confidence. He opts for Civil Services and gets selected as an IFS officer.
Vaisshnav Tej has chosen yet another heavy role after Uppena. It is not easy for him to pull off such a heavy subject early in his career. At times, he shines. In some scenes, he fails to create the impact. Rakul Preet is good as shepherdess Obu aka Obulamma on screen. Her screen presence, performance, and accent bring the much-needed relief in the rather dull movie. Sai Chand has come up with the finest performance. But it becomes redundant over the period of time. Kota Srinivasa Rao is alright as the grandfather. He gets limited screen presence. Character actor Ravi Prakash gets a decent role. His phone call scene to wife conveys how family relations are affected. Rest of the characters are not serious enough to care about. All the characters speak with an authentic Rayalaseema accent which brings authenticity.
In an attempt to do justice to the novel, director Krish seems to have put the commercial elements aside. This makes the film dull and flat. Instead, he should have just taken the essence of the story from the novel and should have made it into an appealing feature film. Scenes should have been written keeping the feature film in mind. Krish makes honest attempt in translating novel. The subject itself is such that it is more of novel-like. It’s not an easy task. Keeravani’s music and background score are the biggest strengths which rescued the film. Visuals in the jungle are appealing. Lensman did an impressive job. CG work is good.
Authentic Jungle Ambience
Dead Slow First Half
Lack of Serious Conflict
Literature and movies often get inspired from one another. It is challenging when a literary work is being made into a feature film. Even an experienced and critically acclaimed filmmaker like Krish couldn’t overcome this hurdle. That is the biggest drawback for the Konda Polam which suffers right from the word go. Krish took a chunk of time in establishing the characters, their lifestyle, their pain, agony. Lot of energy and effort has gone into this which delayed the conflict point. Krish tries very hard to evoke some laughs through sidekicks. But these seem forced and inorganic. Rakul Preet and Vaisshnav’s chemistry is refreshing. Songs are well shot.
The film throws light onto the lives of shepherds in drought-hit regions. The makers succeeded in giving the audience an authentic jungle ambience. Tiger in the jungle resembles the fear in the protagonist and how he faces it shows the transformation in his character. The pre-interval fight episode is interesting. It appears to have lifted the film ahead of the interval and keeps the hopes on the film alive.
But post-interval, the film travels at its own pace, style. The emotion has been there throughout. But it is not enough to engage the audience hooked to screens. There are no goosebump scenes. The film sans a strong villain. The ordeals in the jungle for survival, lack of water, food and fighting the smugglers, saving lives from wild animals are the hurdles. Background score saves the film at several portions. Overall, Konda Polam is a genuine attempt with some cinematic liberties. But art and literature have dominated the cinema. Konda Polam may disappoint the masses. After Uppena, Vaisshnav offers a raw deal.
Bottom Line: Art Dominates Cinema