Maa Vintha Gaadha Vinuma Movie Review: A simple, realistic romance that is almost there
The film is actually a fairly common story. What makes this love story special, is its universe filled with realistic-yet-flawed people.
What if the old 'they got married and lived happily ever after' tale got modified into a contemporary romance that goes '...and they fought happily ever after'? That essentially summarises Maa Vintha Gaadha Vinuma.
Though the title translates to 'Listen to our strange tale', the film, written by its male lead Siddhu Jonnalagadda, is actually a fairly common story. What makes this love story special, is its universe filled with realistic-yet-flawed people. A single, influential mother, who goes to the extent of calling off her daughter's wedding to safeguard her image, is also willing to reconsider her decision when things change for the good, a friend-like-father puts his foot down and says that his son is in the wrong and has been the only problem of his relationship, and the 'hero' of the tale doesn't think twice before breaking down in front of his ladylove and admitting he needs her support.
Director: Aditya Mandala
Cast: Siddu Jonnalagadda, Seerat Kapoor, Tanikella Bharani
MVGV, much like the recent Aakasam Nee Haddura, plops us right in the middle of the story. The in media res opening straightaway introduces us to a conflict, saving the customary intro scenes for later. We get to see characters living an important day of their lives, way before understanding who they are.
I also quite liked how Siddhu is established as a habitual storyteller; it feels like the most natural choice to make him the narrator. Storytelling is incomplete without an active listener and Tanikella Bharani aces it as the cinephile cop who gets excited by the stories of his detainees. It is fun to see him say that a police job is nothing like in Venkatesh's Gharshana and that it is pretty much like any other desk job. The track involving Fish Venkat, who hops on as the second listener, is a delight to watch as well.
Being so accustomed to certain stereotypes in college romances, it is refreshing to see a driven girl suffer in academics and an ever-partying guy being successful. On the flip side, though, the only major conflict and challenge in both the leads' lives is love. It is disappointing that even in the better love stories, like this one, there is hardly any exploration of real-life struggles like identity, financial stress, or parental pressure. The lack of such layers makes this mostly relatable story feel a bit alien.
However, the story's predictability is an acceptable trade-off for the fair representation of women. They smoke, drink, and party, just like their male counterparts, but there is no judgement or moral policing. It almost feels like director Adithya and writer Siddhu are talking to the audience, when a character says, "Who are we to decide who is wrong? What feels right to one is wrong to another."
I imagined myself as the third listener of Siddhu's love-breakup story. But somewhere in the middle of the story, I found myself relating more to Fish Venkat's character who keeps craving more excitement and isn't easily satisfied by the proceedings. I believe it is a fair expectation to have from such a film which has got all its basics right and is an inch away from something greater.