Hippi Movie Review: A toxic romance
All gimmicks aside, this film is a bare basic love story of two stereotypical youngsters about whom we know nothing after a two and a half hour long journey
Hippi or Devadas (Karthikeya) is a free-spirited kickboxer. He’s dating Sneha (Jazba Singh) because she fell in love with him and he “agreed” to date her. He then meets Amukthamalyada (Digangana Suryavamshi), Sneha’s best friend, who he falls in love with. He comes clean to both of them, and Amukthamalyada after heavy pursuing and Sneha’s blessing starts dating Hippi. Now, as every stereotypical free-willed man, Hippi also feels like his “paradise” is lost because of this relationship and tries to get her to break up with him by acting strange. However, Amukthamalyada is aware of what's happening and cunningly plays him too. This cat and mouse eventually goes out of hand, literally turns rowdy, ends in lovemaking and just like that all is well. Oops, spoiler alert! Oh, but wait, the trailer already teased the audience with these love-making scenes. Everyone knows how this ends. No spoilers there.
The filmmakers and distributors seemed to have been pretty clear about what they were selling — sex and stereotypes, which were both used abundantly in promoting the film. However, as I watched the film, I realised the makers weren’t committed to selling the same in the film itself. Yeah, there were specific scenes and shots that were present just to titillate. But they are not really unnecessary or cheap like you would expect. In fact, the trailer itself misleads you into thinking that the film has something to do with live-in relationships or being in love with another girl while seeing her best friend. Even the title is misleading, as you might imagine the protagonist to be someone who believes in free love. Just 20 minutes into the film you realise they were all marketing gimmicks.
Cast : Karthikeya, Digangana Suryavamshi, Jazba Singh
Director: Krishnan K.T. Nagarajan
Karthikeya, who plays a kick-boxer, could have just as well been a receptionist, and it would have still not made any difference to the plot. Digangana is a bike-riding badass traveller who by the end of the first half, with no explanation whatsoever, turns into a salwar-wearing software employee. Maybe she was both all the while, but you’ll never know better because we don’t know anything about anybody. Jazba Singh who plays Sneha has barely anything to do despite how her role takes off. She’s introduced and gone in the first half. It’s almost like the writers picked random pointers like a kickboxing hero, bike-riding badass, a love triangle and completely forgot about everything halfway through the movie.
Karthikeya has an endearing air to him. He dances well, he is earnest in his act, and has potential. But he has a long way to go in terms of skill. Digangana's experience as a TV artiste shows in her screen presence and expression. Jazba is mostly just treated as a sexy prop, so let’s not add insult to injury. The music wasn’t memorable but was easy on the ears. Visually however, there were a few things the movie did right — whether it was art, locations or styling.
All gimmicks aside, this film is a bare basic love story of two stereotypical youngsters about whom we know nothing after a two-and-a-half-hour-long journey. As for the love story itself, the guy thinks the girlfriend is controlling in every way a sexist Whatsapp forward would describe. The girlfriend believes the guy is at her disposal for the crime of falling in love with her. They fight, don’t communicate, go to extreme lengths to get back at each other and make up through sex. If that is not a toxic relationship I don’t know what is. But hey! True love always wins!