Gamanam Movie Review: A heartwarming take on the everyday life
Gamanam is a simple story that has its heart in the right place
Gamanam, directed by debutante Sujana Rao, is an anthology of three distinct stories set in different parts of Hyderabad. The film addresses themes of urban poverty, gender, economic inequality, and innocence of children.
Cast: Shriya Saran, Charu Hasan, Priyanka Jawalkar, Shiva Kandukuri
Director: Sujana Rao
Kamala (Shriya Saran) is a hearing-impaired tailor, who lives with her baby girl and is hoping for her husband to return from Dubai. Ali (Shiva Kandukuri) plays an aspiring cricketer, who lives with his grandparents (Charu Hasan & Indu Anand) and falls in love with Zara (Priyanka Jawalkar), from his neighbourhood. Two orphaned rag pickers (Manu and Bhanu), comb a scrapyard to collect things that help them celebrate their birthday.
Sujana tells an uplifting story that deals with a deluge in Hyderabad. She manages to draw our attention to the themes handled in the film and the story has a major sense of deja vu.
The film feels overlong with many of the characters (like Nithya Menen, Kancharapalem Raju) coming off underdeveloped. The realistic element doesn't blend seamlessly enough to give us a soul-stirring journey, and the film lacks a strong emotional connect. For example, the story of Kamala could have been more engaging, but the director fails to effectively portray her struggle. Also, the conflict between Zara’s father (Sanjay Swaroop) and Ali’s grandfather could have been handled much better. Even the story of the kids wasn’t explored to its fullest potential. Yet, it is the heartwarming bond between the kids, the relationship between Ali and his grandparents, and a struggling tailor trying to overcome all odds that stay with you.
Take, for instance, the beautifully crafted scene, where the kids relentlessly try to sell a clay idol of Ganesha and the rain washes away the clay and their dreams. Also, the scene where Charu Hasan cooks mutton for his grandson and asks his wife to clear off the kitchen, and the episode where Kamala shares an anecdote with her daughter will keep you invested in the tale.
I must say these kids are the heart of this story, and Sujana Rao has roped in talented actors, who steal the show. Shriya Saran has a natural ease in front of the camera, and she pulls off some of the pivotal scenes without a sign of self-consciousness. It holds the same with Charu Hasan, who effortlessly conveys a warm but somewhat impervious expression through his eyes. Shiva Kandukuri and Priyanka Jawalkar are aptly cast in their respective roles and both delivered earnest performances. Unfortunately, Suhaas was wasted in an insignificant role.
Ilaiyaraaja’s background score and music are a major asset to the film and Gnana Sekhar VS’s cinematography gives us some greatly lit frames.
Gamanam is a simple story that has its heart in the right place. It is in many ways a sincere and poignant tale of redemption. Sujana Rao beautifully captures the innocence of the kids and gives us some genuinely touching monents. Despite all its familiarity, to be honest, the film does hit a few right notes.