Gulebagavali, directed by Kalyan had a rollicking cast of Prabhudeva, Hansika, Revathi, Ramadoss and ‘Naan Kadavul’ Rajendran. The movie certainly didn’t promise a sky, but all it did was guarantee a 2 hour long mindless entertainment disguised in a treasure hunt plot that begged for logical plot points.
These treasure hunt movies that ambitiously strives to strike a balance between thrill and comedy often walk on thin ice. Influenced by the western cinema, with the likes of “Raiders of the Lost Ark” the filmmakers try hard to fit local ethos into the proceedings. Time and again many have failed in the process. The recent disaster being “Indrajith”.
In Gulebagavali, things were no different. But, somehow the situational comedy worked due to whacky characterizations and the way in which they were spun into the script. Be it Yogi Babu who slyly writes “Interval” on the ground after being beaten or Mansoor Ali Khan who finds a chance to bring down a charade of boastful declamation or a deceptive Revathi, who cons people time and again and gives a damn about it.
The only people who didn’t seem to fit the bill were the lead pair of Prabhudeva and Hansika. They were used to lead the pack with songs and action, which they performed to their respective capacity. Of course, they also brought in the much needed “poster-value” for the movie as the known and commercially viable names.
As far as the commercial elements go, there were songs of which “Guleba” was foot-tapping and was brought to life with Prabhudeva’s spine bending moves. It was wonderful to see a passionate Prabhu Deva in his mid-40s flexing his body and gyrating to the moves. For Hansika, it was more about the role fitting in with her performance than the other way around. She was meant to look like a doll and ran around with the gang.
Revathi was the seasoned performer of the lot who was cast in a role that required her to bear the “motherly” looks but had “wickedness” imbibed all over. In fact, there was a cheeky reference to “Arangetra Velai” with a photo of a young Revathi and V.K. Ramasamy. So the character came across more as a spin-off from the yester year movie. Director Kalyan seems to have had some vision with respect to character sketch!!
Sathyan’s role and the episode of him being deceived time and again were funny. Rajendiran, with his “voice modulation” and goofy slapsticks was a revelation towards the climax.
The villain combo of Anandaraj and Madhusudhan Rao were just borrowed for their looks. However, Anandaraj made the proceedings come alive with his natural humour and dialogue delivery.
Overall, the movie did carry the mood of being whacky and goofy throughout. There was not a single moment that made sense, but at the same time, the plot was tailored as such.
If you’re planning to spend time with your family on the festive occasion without caring about logic, you can put your money on Gulebagavali which goes full-on entertainment without any logic!!