Those who like cinema they make a business out of it but those who love cinema they respect its values. Radha Krishna Jagarlamudi (Krish) is one among the limited number of directors who make films with a responsibility to convey something to society. His previous films “Gamyam”, “Vedam” and “Krishnam Vande Jagadgurum” conveyed the same. Telugu cinema is touching new genres this year and Krish came up with “Kanche”, the first periodic war drama on Indian Screen. Starring Varun Tej and Pragya Jaiswal, this film was produced by Rajeev Reddy and Sai Babu under First Frame Entertainments.
The story is set in the period of World War II in which Dhoopati Haribabu (Varun Tej) is a commander in Royal Indian Army. He narrates every experience of him in war to his lover Seetha (Pragya Jaiswal) through letters. How did they both unite? What’s the reason behind Haribabu joining the army? How his life has changed later form the story.
In Hollywood many films were made in the backdrop of Second World War and Adolf Hitler, like “Saving Private Ryan”, “Fury” etc. India played a prominent role in Second World War under the administration of British Rule which was never shown on the screen. So, Krish made a mark with his Kanche. The story woven around war and several Indian emotions was highly appreciable. Varun Tej who belongs to Mega family yet accepting this kind of story should be appreciated as well.
Krish didn’t waste a single second in his 126 minutes of run. He used a back and forth screenplay technique to make the audience travel with Haribabu’s memories. The places where narration shifts its time were perfect.
The first point to be kept in mind when someone wants to make a film from history is “Emotions” and Krish succeeded in portraying them well with his work. A story set in 1936 which had illiteracy and caste feelings helped him a lot. He made use of them without hurting anyone. Meanwhile he even attracted with good songs visualizations. In the first half, I liked the visuals of song “Ooru Erayyindi” which was composed well by Chirantan Bhatt and sung awesomely by Shankar Mahadevan. Besides this the character played by Avasarala Srinivas was so realistic if one knows the exact history. During Second World War, many people who were not soldiers were made soldiers. There were writers, typists etc. Avasarala’s character replicates one among them who was fond of poetry. Later the transformation of this character was good.
The second half’s narration turned slower which was highly negligible. The caste riots portrayed here were started and ended in a simple way. It should have been started with an effective conversation among two selfish people. I had a doubt why the song “Nijamenani Nammani” was shot from Haribabu’s perspective but I got a detailed explanation for this later. Seetharama Sastry’s lyrics which suited the situation well were appreciable. Its visualization was also good and Pragya Jaiswal looked pretty.
The main portion of the film was climax which was shot very well with slow motion shots. The song “Ra Mundadugeddam” started in an apt place after an emotional conversation between Haribabu and Eeswar (Nikithin Dheer). Varun Tej performed well in this scene. I found at some places there was no relation between the lyrics and visuals during the song. The lines “Khandaaluga Vidadese Jandalanni…” should’ve been kept at the ending frame which would raise the emotion well. But Krish covered this with an emotional scene which made the heart heavier. The film also had the perfect ending which was light year ahead of regular commercial film’s format and increased the story’s eminence.
Overall, Kanche was a good experience and I recommend this film to all movie “Lovers”. At the end Eeswar saluted Haribabu and I saluted Krish Jagarlamudi. There was a very good justification for the title “Kanche” and the line “Yudhdham lo kuda prema undi. Ekkadaina prema yudhdham laage untundi”.
Coming to performances, Varun Tej’s performance was improved when compared to “Mukunda” and the scene where he says “Idi mana oori kathe…” was an example for this. Pragya Jaiswal suited well for the character with a pretty appearance and did justice to it with her performance. NIkithin Dheer was good for the role and his performance in the climax was also good. Yet there should be a Telugu actor for this role. Senior actors like Showkar Janaki and Gollapudi did an obvious justice to their roles. Veteran director “Singeetham Sreenivasa Rao” appeared in a guest role as a pianist. Avasarala Srinivas was apt for his role. Posani got a notable role but director didn’t concentrate on it.
- Story, Screenplay & Direction. Krish’s story which linked native Indian emotions to World War was very good and he handled it well with his narration.
- Seetharama Sastry’s Lyrics. They introduced the plot’s intensity much before the film’s release and these are the best lyrics of 2015 till date.
- Gnanasekhar’s Cinematography. It proved that cinematography is the heart of these kinds of films with its rich visuals.
- Sahi Suresh’s Art Direction. All the locations and sets replicated the 1930s and 1940s atmosphere.
- Chiranthan Bhatt’s Music. The songs were very good and the background score was apt for the scenes.
- Sai Madhav Burra’s dialogues. The most eminent part of this movie. Please read my Telugu version for separate mention regarding dialogues.
- Varun Tej. He tried to perform well and there’s an improvement from Mukunda. Besides this, I’m mentioning him for not sticking to commercial stardom though there is a big support from his family. He has a good story selection.
- Production Values. Though this is a non-guaranteed business venture, producers Rajeev Reddy and Saibabu didn’t hesitate to make the film appear rich. It may not become a commercial success but got a notable page in Telugu Cinema History.
- Runtime. This film had an ideal runtime of 126 minutes and 22 seconds.
- Simply ended caste riots.
- Relation Breakup between Lyrics and Visuals. (Highly negligible)
A Criticism on Kanche :
I’ve heard from many people that director said that he was making a “Feature Film” and deceived audience by making a “Documentary” kind of film. As far as I know and I’ve seen, a documentary is something which portray real incidents along with the experiences of people who were a part of it. In other words, a documentary can never be a fictional story. It’s “Document”ing a real incident. So, Kanche is a “Feature Film” and a periodic war drama.
A Telugu version of this review can be found here.