Director: K.V.R. Mahendra
Cast: Anand Deverakonda, Shivatmika Rajasekhar, Vinay Varma, Sarnya Pradeep, Kishore, and others
Dorasani undoubtedly created a fair amount of buzz leading up to its release. The film features Vijay Devera-konda’s brother Anand Devera-konda and Jeevitha and Raja-sekhar’s daughter Shivatmika, both of whom have made their debut in it. The movie also happens to be K.V.R. Mahendra’s debut directorial.
The film is set against the backdrop of rural Telangana in the ’80s. Devika or Dorasani (Shivatmika) is essentially the daughter of a landlord (Vinay Varma) in a village in Telangana. A rather interesting character, for she isn’t allowed to step out of Gadi, her residence, and if anybody touches her or attempts to even look at her, then they are subjected to punishment. Raju (Anand Devera-konda) comes from a poor, lower caste family whose members paint houses for a living.
During the Bonalu celebrations at the landlord’s residence, Raju notices Devika and falls for her beauty. Subsequently, he begins to write and dedicate poetry to her, and enchanted by his charm, she reciprocates. Soon after, for the first time ever, she steps out of Gadi — with Raju — and finds herself spellbound by the beauty of the world outside. Thereafter, she begins frequenting the outdoors with Raju. Alas, one blessed day, the landlord notices them and — plot twist — loses it. His reaction, their reaction, and their fate are what the film’s plot revolves around.
Director K.V.R. Mahendra seems to have handpicked the subject for his first film judiciously. Inspired by a true story, Dorasani is a period drama and expounds issues like the feudal system in Telangana, the Naxalism, and how the police favour landlords over innocent individuals. While the film’s concept isn’t particularly novel, the director has done a commendable job with writing the film, and his portrayal of the feudal system is a lot more realistic than anything else one might have seen so far. With stark attention to everything from the rural setting to its characters’ accent and the way they carry themselves, the movie transports the audience to the ’80s from its very beginning.
While it is evident from Dorasani that the director possesses good command over poetic filmmaking, the film would have been a lot better had he presented Naxalism and the feudal system in greater detail. Further, if a landlord’s daughter is to fall for a poor boy, then ought to be depicted well — perhaps with exaggerated moments to augment its magic? Besides, the story is quite predictable — except for its climax, which comes to the audience as a breath of fresh air.
Cinematographer Sunny Kurapati has done a remarkable job with capturing the essence of some of the most picturesque locations of rural Telangana. Prashant Vihari’s background score and soothing numbers further add to the film’s value. And needless to say, the artwork deserves a worthy mention here.
Performance wise, Shivatmika has without a doubt done a splendid job with her expressions — she does not have as many dialogues in the film. Anand Deverakonda, too, has delivered an impressive performance — he certainly seems to have put his best foot forward in his debut feature. Vinay Varma, who plays the landlord, has literally brought his character to life in the film. Sharanya Pradeep has done justice to her role as a domestic maid. Supporting actors Kishore, Chowdhary, and others have done well in their respective roles. All characters in the film are seen communicating in the pure Telangana accent. In a nutshell, Dorasani is an honest attempt by Mahendra to put together a film inspired by true stories from Telangana. We can’t say for sure if the film will attract commercial success, however, it surely does deserve a few accolades.