Valmiki (Gaddalakonda Ganesh)

2 Hrs 50 M | Action | 2019-09-20

Varun Tej, Pooja Hegde, Atharvaa, Mrunalini Ravi, Brahmaji and Others

Director - Harish Shankar
Producer - Gopi Achanta, Ram Achanta
Banner - 14 Reels Plus
Music - Mickey J Meyer

Gaddalakonda Ganesh aka Valmiki is a remake of Tamil cult hit Jigarthanda. Director Harish Shankar took the basic plot of the original and made changes to make it Varun-centric film. The original was a classy film with mass characters and Harish has made it an out and out mass film with all the commercial elements.

What is it about?

Abhi (Atharva), an aspirant filmmaker wants to make a movie on a real life gangster. He zeroes in Gaddalakonda Ganesh (Varun) for his script and starts following him. But Ganesh comes to know about someone following him and recording all his events. Will Ganesh agree to tell his story to Abhi or beats him to pulp?


The film is all about Varun Tej. He has brought Gaddalakonda Ganesh character to life with his terrific portrayal. The styling is spot on as Varun looks menacing as the bad guy. His look of eighties also is impressive. This is the best performance of the actor by far. Atharva is good as the aspiring filmmaker. Pooja Hegde has a brief role to play and she steals the show with her beauty. Mrinalini Ravi is just okay. Satya is good in a lengthy comedy role. Brahmaji has some fine moments of humor. Tanikella Bharani, Supriya and Annapurna have their moments too.


Harish Shankar knows the pulse of the masses well. He makes sure to mix all the commercial elements into this plot. People who had seen Jigarthanda may not agree or entirely like the way Harish has dealt it, but the right mix of commercial elements and the way he had shown Varun Tej makes the difference.

Mickey J Meyer's score is surprisingly energetic. The theme music he has done for Ganesh's character is superb. The remix of Velluvochi song and the superhittu song are highly impressive. Cinematography is very good, but editing is not crisp. The film's runtime is too long. Production values are good.

Thumbs Up:

Varun Tej

Velluvochi song

Pooja Hegde episode


Thumbs Down:

Uneven first half

Lengthy runtime


Harish Shankar has taken the main plot of Jigarthanda and made many changes to it. Like he did for Gabbar Singh, he made so many changes to the original so that it suits the image of the lead actor. The character of Gaddalakonda Ganesh has grey shades, but it presented like a hero. First half is entirely dedicated to showcase how powerful and ruthless Ganesh is. Things get repetitive after a point but the scenes that lead to interval are very engaging.

Harish has given a back story for Ganesh's character, which creates scope for showcasing the romantic side of his. This episode has come out well with the sizzling chemistry between Varun and Pooja turning out to be a major highlight. Velluvochi Godaramma remix is an icing on the cake. The filming part isn't as effective as the original as the director couldn't show the villain character like a buffoon. However, the final portions are done well as the realization part doesn't look forced or cinematic.

The transition is done smoothly without any hiccups thus giving a better impression of the film on a whole. The real soul of the film lies in the final thirty minutes where Varun does a fabulous job in showing varied emotions. Fans of Jigarthanda may not approve the changes made to the original script, but Gaddalakonda Ganesh scores in terms of commercial appeal. It has ample elements to strike a chord with the B and C centers audience. There is enough entertainment and novelty factor that will find the acceptance of youngsters and urban audience as well.

Varun's fantastic portrayal of Ganesh's character, two mass songs post intermission and the commercially packed second half makes this a winner.

Verdict: Gun-esh Fires!