Cast: Sandeep Madhav, Muskan, Satya Dev, Abhay Bethiganti, Shatru, Manoj Nandam, Mahati and others
Director: Jeevan Reddy
In recent times, no other film got as much pre-release buzz as George Reddy. The film has no stars, no popular names, but still was hyped because of the name George Reddy. Reddy was a radical student leader in Osmania University.
Director Jeevan Reddy brings back the 50-year-old story of George Reddy, who was killed by his opponents at the age of 25.
The story unfolds in the early 1970s. George Reddy (Sandeep Madhav) after spending his childhood in Kerala, enters Osmania University, Hyderabad, to do his research in Science. The university is full of student politics, in which caste and religion play important roles.
George Reddy is a brilliant student, but against the caste and feudal politics. He creates his own set of people and starts a fight with other student leaders dominant in the university. Within a short span of time, Reddy became popular not only in the university but also in society. Some of the leaders couldn’t digest the rise of George Reddy and they planned to stop him. Who planned and killed George Reddy and how students play a bigger role in society is the crux of the story.
Director Jeevan Reddy earlier made Dalam, a realistic film for which he was appreciated. George Reddy, based on the life of a real character, nevertheless begins with a disclaimer that it is ‘inspired’ by George Reddy but has used some fiction for cinematic purposes.
The film is also topical because George Reddy was the founder of the Progressive and Democratic Students Union (PDSU), currently under fire from the state, branded as Naxal.
Reddy was a brilliant student, a gold medallist and also a boxer. There are a few films already made inspired by George Reddy that include Mani Ratnam’s Yuva where the character played by Suriya is inspired by him. Thammareddy Bharadwaj made a film Alajadi in 1989 loosely based on George Reddy’s life. He didn’t mention his real name in the film.
The director’s attempt to show the student leader’s life is appreciated, but the narrative mode is not interesting. Though he did research, it’s not enough to project a young leader who rose like a star within a span of just six years. If the director had approached people like Thammareddy Bharadwaj, a senior filmmaker, who was also very close to George Reddy, to get more information about George, it might have helped.
The film has some good moments here and there, but the director should have concentrated more on George and how he rose to the top. But he concentrates more on students fighting each other on some issues over and over again. He also didn’t touch upon Reddy’s Telugu connection, his Telugu father.
There are more fictional rather than factual elements in the film. It is quite clear that the director wanted to cash it on George Reddy’s name, rather than coming up with a good, interesting and accurate narrative.
The first half of the film is a bit interesting establishing George Reddy as a leader, but the second half is not up to the mark. Why the director goes on about the student elections throughout the second half is inexplicable. The climax scene is also not impressive. The director narrated the story through a girl called Muskan who wants to make a documentary on George and when she meets people, they speak about him.
When it comes to the performances, Sandeep Madhav perfectly fits into the George Reddy’s role. One can understand that he has done lot of homework and also hard work to get into this role and it pays for him. He has proved that he is a bundle of talent with a bright future. Satya Dev, Shatru, Manoj Nadan, Chaitanya Krishna all act well. Shatru is good in a negative role. Many are new faces, but they all supported well.
The highlight of the film is the background music by Suresh Bobbili. He elevated some scenes with his music. The second is the excellent cinematography by Sudhakar Yakkanti. Art director Gandhi should be appreciated for his perfect art work as he recreated the Osmania University of the late 60s and early 70s.
The dialogues are good in parts and the popular line from George Reddy, ‘Jeena hain toh marna seekho, kadam kadam par ladna seekho’ comes in many times in the film.
Jeevan Reddy succeeds in bring back old memories to the present generation, but he should have focused the narration on the leader’s life. While interesting in parts, as a whole, the makers rely more on the name of the slain student leader rather than the content of his life....