When Krish moved to a big budget film with ‘Bellary Bava’ and Nayantara’s white wet saree songs, a slight fear creeped in that he might gradually fall into a commercial trap. Glad that it didn’t happen and is latest offering Kanche proves so. Krish unlike his Krishnam Vande Jagadgurum is strictly back to making a film sans the usually believed commercial elements. His hero is the script. Whether the script performed well is different question all together but kudos to his intent and the conviction in making the film.
Kanche is fundamentally about the man-made fences. It is about the caste discrimination. It is about the racism. It is about all the divides, man has created which could only make the mankind suffer. The intent is so clear right from the beginning to the end of the film. However, the impact the film makes is not up to the intent. Krish takes two backdrops and runs it in parallel. One is in a village and the other one is amidst the world war. In the village is the love story and near Italy border is the war story. Krish greatly highlights that the divisions and the hatred is prevalent everywhere and anytime in the history.
The movie unfolds in 1930s. Doopati Haribabu (Varun Tej) belongs to a caste whose profession is ‘sannai melam’ and ‘gollu teeyyatam’. He falls in love with Seetha (Pragya Jaiswal) who is a princess-like lass of that village. Seetha acknowledges it but the caste differences and discrimination is at a very unhealthy level in that village. How he finally marries is the rest of the story of this thread. In the other thread, is Haribabu’s story as a soldier tries to protect some civilians who are under a threat by the Hitler army. The second thread happens 5 years after the first thread but the screenplay moves back and forth, trying to draw parallels.
The movie is technically brilliant and probably one of the best in the last decade. The production design is impeccable creating the right sets, costumes, props and choosing the right shooting locations. The next appealing aspect is the top-notch cinematography. Then come the beautiful dialogues which go so naturally without any drama or ‘praasa’. Every line uttered in the meaning doesn’t seem extra or out of place. Pulling in some veterans like Gollapudi and Sowcar Janaki was a feast to the eyes. Krish knows the casting so well. For instance, ‘Satyam’ Rajesh was not seen in comic role, but much more effective in the meaningful role he played in this film. Acts like these speak about the director’s capabilities in extracting talent from the actors. The lead pair were very convincing.
The biggest drawback of the film is the pace of the film. Although its 2 hours, it seems like a 3 hour film married with horribly boring songs. The war thread goes monotonous after the first hour. Thankfully, some great lines in between and Srinivas Avasarala’s humour try to keep it alive till the end. The village thread was more appealing and got some potential story moving forward. The most disappointing was the impact-less climax. Not even a quarter of impact that he delivered in Vedam.
All in all, technically brilliant, but the impact doesn’t live up to the intent.