Director: Bharat Kamma
Cast: Vijay Deverakonda, Rashmika Mandanna, Shruti Ramachandran, Suhas, Sanjay Swaroop.
Vijay Deverakonda uses the canvas afforded by Dear Comrade, the debut offering of Bharat Kamma, to show why he is considered one of the best actors of his generation. Rashmika Mandanna, paired for a second time with Vijay after Geeta Govindam, pulls of a difficult role.
Chaitanya a.k.a. Bobby (Vijay Deverakonda) is an aggressive student leader, who literally fights for the right cause. He falls in love with Aparna, or Lilly (Rashmika Mandanna), a cricketer trying for a spot in the national team. She falls in love but leaves him because of his violent ways.
Bobby takes off for the Himalayas. He returns after three years, a changed person. He learns Lilly is in hospital for depression. Bobby helps her get back on her feet but there is another battle ahead.
Debutant director Bharat Kamma infuses a big dose of social awareness into a love story. He uses the word ‘comrade’, generally reser-ved for the Leftists, for anyone willing to lend a helping hand. Vijay’s character is similar to that of Arjun Reddy, but in Dear Comrade his aggression is for a cause. Bharat infuses Bobby’s relationship with Lilly with emotion and warmth.
The director deals with the subject of sexual harassment in the second half but takes some time to get to it. The only minus point could be the time Bharat takes to establish his lead characters. The last half-an-hour is terrific.
Vijay Deverakonda once again comes up with a stunning performance. He has set up quite a track record and in Dear Comrade, he is Bobby personified.
For Rashmika Mandanna, the role of Lilly is a big challenge because it comes very early in her career and she lives up to it. She steals the show with her lively presence in the first half and an emotional peformance in the second. Such roles come but rarely.
Shruti Ramachandran who plays Rashmika’s sister and Suhas do their roles well and the supporting cast is worth a mention.
Music by Justin Prabhakar is a big advantage, the songs were a big hit and fit the story like a glove. The background music elevates the mood. Sujith Sarang captures every scene almost in a poetic manner. The dialogues also perfect.
Dear Comrade is the intense love story of Bobby and Lilly, narrated realistically with all its emotion and pain by Bharat Kamma, the latest addition to the string of newcomers who are breaking the mould. Vijay Deverakonda and Rashmika are stunning. If there is a blemish, the movie is a mite too long.