Director Krish, who is known for his offbeat films, has teamed up with Varun Tej for Kanche, the first Telugu film made with a World War II backdrop. Dhoopati Hari Babu (Varun Tej) is a low caste man from a village called Devarakonda. He studies in a college in Madras (now Chennai) where he meets Seetha Devi (Pragya Jaiswal) the daughter of his village’s zamindar. The two fall in love and plan to get married but Seetha’s brother and father are against the marriage because of Hari Babu’s caste. Hari Babu joins the Army, where he is part of the Allied Forces, fighting in Europe against Hitler’s Germans. The Germans capture some Allied commanders and Hari Babu and a few others escape. They then decide to rescue the captured Army personnel.
Director Krish deserved kudos for coming up with a genre that has never been attempted in Tollywood. He is a sensible director and like his earlier films, in Kanche, too, he has dealt with pertinent social issues. The war scenes look authentic. Credit to cinematographer V.S. Jnana Sekhar for capturing the war scenes. Kanche is no less than any Hollywood film as far as the war scenes are concerned. Varun Tej deserves a pat on the back for choosing a challenging script that shows his thirst for becoming an actor, not just a star. His portrayal of Hari Babu, as a low caste villager, and as a soldier is brilliant. Pragya Jaiswal looks beautiful and perfectly fits the role of a girl from a rich royal family. Avasarala Srinivasa Rao as Hari Babu’s friend in the Army is another highlight and his dialogues are excellent.
Gollapudi Maruthi Rao and Shavukaru Janaki are experienced actors and show their prowess while Nikitin Dheer as the zamindar’s son has also come up with a decent performance. The other highlight of the film is the dialogues written Sai Madhav. Some of them are really thought provoking and heart-touching. Through Avasarala character, the writer cleverly renders Sri Sri’s Mahaprasthanam. However, there are a few loopholes. The narration is slow and some of the dialogues are in English, which may upset the Telugu audience. While the outfits and the dialogues suit perfectly, Pragya and Varun’s body language seems not of that period.
Given the restrictions in the village, it is surprising to see them move close. The pujari’s character, too, seems odd in the film. The director should also have shown more of the village life. But all said and done, Krish has once again come up with a novel subject. If you are looking for a change from the regular action-masala-song-dance-drama kind of films, you should watch Kanche.