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Gunde Jhallumandi Movie review
Gunde Jhallumandi is a college-based love story. Like any other romantic entertainer aimed at the youth, it has loads of comedy in the first half and lots of sentimental moments in the second half.
Madan, who became famous as a writer in Aa Naluguru, debuted director with Pellaina Kottalo, which was a critical and box-office success. Gunde Jhallumandi, Madan's second flick as director, has a fairly novel approach to the usual love-conquers-all kind of movie that is the order of the day.
Neelima (Mumbai debutant Aditi Sharma) starts her first day at college by declaring to all and sundry that she has a boyfriend named Rajesh. But who is this Rajesh? He is a boy she bumps into while entering college and she catches a glimpse of the boy's ID card. Based on this casual encounter, she spins her fantasy around this unknown boy. Her reason? She thinks that boys can be kept at bay with a fictitious boyfriend!
Balraju (Uday Kiran) comes to Hyderabad in search of a Bachelor's degree as this is the minimum requirement for becoming the village sarpanch. He gets admission in the same college as Neelima. The two youngsters are drawn closer by a series of casual encounters and Balraju gradually starts to fall in love with Neelima. To prevent her from guessing his true feelings, he invents an imaginary girlfriend, Lavanya.
Just when the two discover their true feelings for each other, a villain in the form of the imaginary Rajesh stakes a claim to Neelima. How they extricate themselves from this sticky situation and reunite forms the rest of the story.
The film has been made very naturally, with no artificial mannerisms, just like real college students would behave in their natural habitat. Uday Kiran has vastly improved in all aspects of acting. He has given a convincing performance as a villager uncomfortable with city life. His emoting in the climax scenes shows maturity with easy delivery of dialogues and his stunts in the action sequences have improved considerably.
Aditi Sharma is very good at being the naïve Neelima that we have to remind ourselves that she's a debutant. Her fluid style and chirpiness show her as very talented, which is what Tollywood needs badly.
Venu Madhav's interpretation of Rajesh keeps the audience in splits all through. Master Ritham's role of the pesky little Dindu is absolutely brilliant. Ajay as the villain is just average. Dance master Vidya and Ajith Mohan have done their roles adequately. Ahuthi Prasad and Jaiprakash Reddy have done justice to their roles.
Gunde Jhallumandi is 'old wine in a new bottle' and the director done justice to the script and screenplay. The pace of the film could have been more taut as it tends to lag in the second half. The production values are the highlight of the film. It is the lead pair and Venu Madhav that lifts the movie above the mediocre.
This has all the makings of a minimum guarantee movie and should be Uday Kiran's comeback vehicle to Telugu films.