Gulebagavali: Flat humour, unexciting adventure
The film is nothing home to write about but everytime Prabhudheva's dances are a cathartic experience
How we have missed Prabhudheva. I mean, make no mistake, the film, Gulebagavali, is nothing to write home about, but every time Prabhudheva takes control of the songs, he reminds you what a cathartic experience it is to see someone dance incredibly well. It's no breaking news that he can dance, but it's still astonishing to see that he can make pointless songs seem almost useful even today.
Cast: Prabhudheva, Hansika, Revathi
Director: Kalyaan S
Back to the film, it's conceived as a comic caper, as evident from its title, which takes after the eponymous 1955 MGR film that dealt with the hero having to perform a series of quests. Here too, the hero, Badri, along with his accomplices, has to negotiate a series of obstacles -- mostly idiots masquerading as treasure hunting villains -- before they can get their hands on buried gems. "Why do they always need to be buried?" one character asks in exasperation.
It's a film that should be an exciting adventure, a funny comedy, a quirky romance. Instead, it's a dull journey, an unfunny comedy, and a disturbing romance, at best. From the moment Badri sets his eyes on the heroine, Viji (Hansika Motwani), he's decided she's his. He's constantly touching her, making loud comments about her body, taking horrible liberties with her. He even renames her. "Nee gummunu irukka, so unna Ammu nu koopudren," he says.
The jokes generally are like that. Something about a character running around in his underwear. Something about a character being made to parade naked. The hero's response to Viji likely made to do this is to say, "Naane unna muzhusa paakala." Otherwise, he would ostensibly be okay with the idea of her being made to do so. Some boyfriend.
Poor Revathy is stuck in a story that maybe sounded interesting on paper. But around the time she's made to hold a shovel and riff it like it were a guitar, the film has hit lows so deep that even Prabhudheva's dancing doesn't seem worth it anymore.