Gulebagavali review: Kalyan Kumar succeeds in mission of cheering audiences

Release Date: 12 Jan 2018 / Rated: U / 02hr 09min

Cinestaan Rating

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

Manigandan KR

The comedy entertainer has good performances by Hansika and Prabhu Deva, who play the lead along with Revathy and Munishkanth.

Director S Kalyan Kumar, who has made a couple of films earlier, has come up with this funny entertainer, which, to a certain extent, succeeds in its sole mission of making people laugh.

The story begins with an incident that takes place in the year 1945.

On a stormy night, a foreigner hastens to a catch a ship that is docked in the Madras harbour. Awaiting his arrival anxiously at the harbour is an Indian craftsman, concerned that the white man might miss his ship.

The foreigner arrives, just before the ship leaves. But even before the craftsman can realise what is happening, he kills his driver and then orders the craftsman to carry two heavy boxes that he has brought along with him in his car. The craftsman obeys.

Carrying a suitcase himself, the white man hastens to the ship, followed by the craftsman, who struggles to keep up with the foreigner. Eventually, the craftsman ends up dropping one of the boxes. Diamonds and other precious stones spill out on to the floor. In the spilled precious stones, the craftsman sees an opportunity to grow rich.  

He quickly collects the stones and hides them under a barrel and then fills the suitcase with rocks. He delivers the box of rocks to the Englishman, who does not realise he has been tricked off his treasure as his ship sets sail immediately after the box is delivered. The craftsman, who now holds the treasure, decides to bury it outside the temple of Gulebagavali. But before burying it, he comes up with an ingenious plan to make sure nobody other than him and his successors are able to find it.

Days pass and the craftsman dies after a while. Two generations later, his grandson, who has become a thug, is looking to recover that treasure. The problem is when he tries, along with Don, his partner in crime (Anandraj) to recover the treasure, three other thieves, who are completely unknown to each other too get wind of it.

The story starts off in perfect fashion. However, director Kalyan is unable to hold the audience's interest after a great start. With the story shifting to the present day and age, the proceedings turn a little boring. But just before the intermission, the story again starts picking up steam.

Several sequences in the film are solely there for the purpose of making audiences laugh. Some of them work, others don’t. Those that do not work annoy you. Those that work just about make the cut.

Prabhu Deva delivers a decent performance as Badri, a thief who specialises in stealing antique idols in the film. His performance is a controlled one in this film and that works for him and the film.

Hansika as Viji, a thief who steals for the sake of her sister, seems to have made quite an effort to make her presence felt and that has paid off richly. She looks sensuous and classy and enjoys the attention. In fact, others in the same frame as the actress have to compete hard to get their share of attention. Her performance in this film is likely to bring her back in the spotlight.

The film boasts of a number of comedy actors but then, not everybody scores in the film. The ones to score are just three people — Yogi Babu, Anandraj and Motta Rajendran. Yogi Babu is the best of the lot as he makes you smile almost every time he appears on screen.

Anandraj, in his inimitable style, delivers the occasional factual one liners, that make you grin and Motta Rajendran’s comedy works more due to the situation he has been put in.

Yesteryear actress Revathy has a huge and crucial role in this film. She plays Masha, a thief who cons people by earning their sympathy. Interestingly, Masha happened to be the name of her character in Arangetra Velai (1990), a film that went on to become a superhit.

The film has two music directors but none of the songs are retention-worthy. The dances, however, catch your attention and almost earn your admiration.  Anandakumar does a neat job in the cinematography department.

On the whole, Kalyan’s Gulebagavali just about makes the cut.