Krishnamma partially gripping, yet not truly engaging

Cast: Satya Dev, Krishna Burugula, Laxman Meesala, Athira Raj, Archana, and others

Direction: V V Gopala Krishna
Rating: 2//5
Young actor Satyadev has had varied roles in films like ‘Bluffmaster’ and ‘Godse’ and also impressed as a baddy in ‘Godfather’ and proved his acting talent. He returns as a street smart thug in ‘Krishnamma’ and his world revolves around two friends (Lakshman Meesala and Krishna Burugula) and they live on the banks of River Krishna in Vijayawada. While Krishna prefers decent earnings, Satyadev and Lakshman indulge in ganja smuggling to make a quick buck and they are notorious in the slum area.
Probably, director V V Gopala Krishna was inspired by hard-hitting film ‘Jai Bhim’ featuring Suriya and weaves a story around three friends and how they are forced to accept a crime due to police brutality. But he missed two important things- he initially shows people living in slums accepting to serve sentence for crimes they have not committed for a lump sum and also by showcasing the protagonist (Satyadev) as street smart and sharp witted-yet undergoing police thrashings which looks more contrived than real. Whereas, the whole film ‘Jai Bhim’ banked on the innocence of Tribals on whom police foist wrong cases and few ended up in lockup death too. No doubt, ‘Krishnamma’ offers some gripping episodes and showcases brutality but it gives a sense of déjà vu feelings.
The film begins with two friends Satyadev and Lakshman Meesala trying to kill each other but Satyadev manages to tie him up to a tree and pours liquid jiggery on him and police began investigation. Thereafter, Satyadev narrates his story and claims they are childhood friends and orphaned. They always crave for a family life. While Satyadev and Lakshman like to earn quick bucks by even smuggling Ganja, while Krishna runs a printing press to eke out his living. A young girl Athira Raj who also manages a printing press falls in love with Krishna after a few misunderstandings. She also makes Satyadev her brother by tying a rakhi and the girl’s family own three friends. Everything goes well, until Athira Raj’s mother falls seriously ill and demands immediate surgery. The three friends decide to earn a few lakhs and give it for her surgery. They set out to smuggle ganja but all things go awry as they land up in jail. Will they be able to come out and resolve their woes?
Satyadev looks cool and performs realistically as a thug and showcases even innocence with ease but couldn’t salvage a wafer-thin plot. Krishna Burugula and Lakhman Meesala also do a good job, while Athira Raj impresses with a simplistic performance.
Director Gopala Krishna should realize that stories around police atrocities have worked wonders in Tamil films like ‘Visaranai’ and ‘Jai Bheem’ and people connected to the victim's pain and anguish. Hence, his latest offering works in parts and is gripping too, yet fails to grab empathy for his characters.
( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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