Review Telugu

Dear Comrade review: Intense but uneven love story of two contrasts

Release Date: 26 Jul 2019 / Rated: U/A / 02hr 50min


Cinestaan Rating

  • Acting:
  • Direction:
  • Music:
  • Story:

Haricharan Pudipeddi

Dear Comrade is mostly beautiful, and it’s well written, but it has some problematic portions. It’s the kind of film that leaves you with mixed feelings about whether you want to love it or hate it.

Bharat Kamma’s Dear Comrade, which stars Vijay Deverakonda and Rashmika Mandanna, isn’t the perfect love story we have been used to watching in Telugu cinema. It’s not a run-of-the-mill boy-meets-girl-falls-in-love story. It’s an intense tale of two contrasting personalities, Bobby and Lily, falling for each other and fighting for what they love and yearn for. If Bobby finds anything remotely unjust, he is ready to bash people up for it. For Lily, it’s playing cricket and standing her own in a world full of men trying to choke her will to survive.

Deverakonda plays Chaitanya aka Bobby, a student leader with anger management issues. When Aparna aka Lily, a state-level cricketer, enters his life and takes him by surprise, he falls for her. But she has issues with his violent nature and though she is aware that he fights for the right cause, she hates to see him put his life in danger. Much as she tries to keep him off the path of violence, he gets drawn towards it and this threatens to tear their relationship apart.

Dear Comrade is mostly beautiful, and it’s well written, but it has some problematic portions. It’s the kind of film that leaves you with mixed feelings about whether you want to love it or hate it.

Unlike Deverakonda's Arjun Reddy (2017), which was panned heavily for endorsing misogyny, Dear Comrade respects its women and gives Lily a voice of her own. At a key juncture in the movie, there is a scene where we see Bobby wish to become more important than cricket in Lily’s life. You wonder why a young woman should give up her dreams for the sake of the man in her life.

As you wonder if this might end up as another film where the young woman gives up everything that matters to her for the sake of love, the film proves you wrong. The credit goes to Bharat Kamma for not making his heroine surrender to the hero and making it very clear that no woman should give up her passion for love.

If you are wondering by now if Dear Comrade and Arjun Reddy have anything in common, let me just say both end with the lead characters' temper problems. However, both Arjun Reddy and Bobby are very different because of their ideologies and their approaches to life.

Vijay Deverakonda is terrific as Bobby and though his character arc changes many times, he delivers with ease each time. But the real star of Dear Comrade, without a doubt, is Rashmika Mandanna, who makes Lily one of the more memorable and strong female lead characters. She breathes life into Lily with a superlative performance that won’t be easily forgotten.

Dear Comrade, especially towards the end, is disappointing with a sub-par climax, but it’s still an effort you want to appreciate. The film, about life, love and facing our worst fears, achieves more than one can imagine, and that’s what makes it a refreshing watch, in spite of some pacing issues.

You might also like