Cast: Shriya Saran, Shiva Kandukuri and Priyanka Jawalkar
Director: Sujana Rao
Story: Based on the world of socially backward people, Gamanam is set against the backdrop of the Hyderabad deluge. It is an anthology that explores the life of Kamala (Shriya Saran) a hearing-impaired woman in a slum who is the mother of an infant, trying to make ends meet while waiting for her husband to return from Dubai. The other story is about Ali’s (Shiva Kandukuri) love track with Zara (Priyanka Jawalkar) and the third narrative is about two underprivileged and homeless kids who crave a cake so as to celebrate their unknown birthday. The struggles these characters go through have been portrayed by showing how everyday lives are easily disrupted by floods.
Review: Director Sujana Rao makes her directorial debut with Gamanam, and it is an impressive one. Although flooding might be the ‘conflict point’ of the story, the way these characters are developed makes for a good watch. She not only justifies these characters but also gives them some emotional spin.
The director presents stories that cut across different age groups and social strata in Hyderabad and portrays what a deluge can mean to different people.
In the Ali and Zara story, Ali trains hard in cricket to make it to Team India, but his grandfather (Charu Haasan) wants him to be a medico like his late father. Zara lives in a strict household but she constantly harbours dreams of a fairy-tale life with Ali.
The effective portrayal of the kids (rag pickers) in the third story is narrated with warmth. And we can easily say that the film’s casting worked to its advantage.
Although the central plot of the film revolves around hope common to all the characters, perhaps connecting them is too far-fetched!
Sujana was apparently inspired to make the film after witnessing the devastation caused by the Hyderabad floods. Though certain scenes, especially in the second half, lack emotional discipline, the director has managed to tell the stories with conviction and honesty.
Performance-wise, Shriya Saran breathes life into her character. She has certainly given her best and her acting chops in the pre-climax and climax portions add depth to the film.
Young actor Shiva Kandukuri also comes up with a good performance as an aspiring cricketer, which is sure to catch audience attention. Priyanka Jawalkar was adequate, and her chemistry with Shiva was appealing.
One of the biggest assets is the cinematography by Gnana Sekhar VS. He brought in a realistic flavour through his lens. His photography is very sharp and he does a fanatic job of transporting the audience into the world of these characters.
Breaking away from all the routine and mundane commercial masala clutter, the director comes up with a niche story. On the whole, the three-segment anthology Gamanam is an intriguing social drama that sees fine performances by the artistes....