Guna 369 Movie Review: A concoction of cliches that fails to stir
The tedious two-and-half-hour watch just makes you crave for some real plotline to cling on to
Anyone who watches Guna 369 won’t be able to say exactly what is wrong with the film, but it somehow just doesn’t feel right. It doesn’t really make us feel anything, in fact. The tedious two-and-half-hour film only makes us crave for some real plotline to cling on to.
Cast: Karthikeya Gummakonda, Anagha, Adithya Menon
Director: Arjun Jandhyala
Guna (Karthikeya) is the apple of everyone’s eye. He hates conflict and believes in compromise. He is in love with Geeta (Anagha) and they envision a life together. The local goon (who is built up more than the hero even), Radha (Adithya Menon), is unforgiving except when it’s Guna asking. Meanwhile, a gang of regular-seeming men are actually rapists who follow and trap unwitting couples, and take videos of the gang rape. The story takes so many turns that I am not sure if I should mention any more at the risk of spoiling an intended 'twist'. All these lives get entangled leading to Guna having to turn violent to prove his innocence in a murder case.
Right up until the interval we have no idea where anything is going. We don’t know who we are supposed to be invested in or which emotion of Guna we are supposed to pay attention to. The long-winding love story reaches its summit abruptly and rather inconsequentially. Just when we think that the movie is finally going to actually start, it reaches a rather convenient climax.
The number of cliches in this film are just too many to count. A token sidekick friend played by Mahesh, a younger sister (to show the hero’s sensitive side), the unnecessarily cute love interest, corrupt police, gangsters, and rapists — almost every scene will make you feel you’ve seen it a thousand times. Guna 369 tries hard and fails miserably to be the fabled commercial film with all the 'elements' making it a romantic-comedy-action-family-revenge-drama The purpose of these 'elements' is to evoke emotion — some emotion... any emotion. Despite the many routes that the film takes, not one of them is effective enough to come through.
Arjun Jandhyala has not passed up any chance to make Karthikeya take off his shirt for the camera. The actor certainly looks good in his ripped glory, but it’s just unnecessary. This will hopefully be the film where we all understand that objectifying men is just as disturbing and cringe-worthy as it is when done to women. Karthikeya performs earnestly and flits effortlessly from funny to romantic to furious. He shows the potential to be a much better performer under a competent director. Anagha manages to perform convincingly in the limited scope she is given — essentially a bubbly girl driving a Vespa. Adithya Menon is underused in a one-toned half-written role. The music barely stays with you. Art direction, cinematography, and even the direction too feel outdated. I mean, isn't it a little too on the nose for the lead pair to meet for the first time against the backdrop of a flowering nursery?
Perhaps under the rubble of cliches there is a plotline that could have been interesting. Guna’s transformation from a person who believes in compromise and harmony to a person who goes full-throttle on a hunting spree could have stirred some intrigue. But, alas!