Chennai, 14 Feb 2020 17:50 IST
Arjun Reddy worked to an extent because it was the story of a jilted lover which was portrayed reasonably realistically. World Famous Lover turns that realism into a sob fest.
It is slowly beginning to feel as if Arjun Reddy (2017) is a curse that will never leave Vijay Deverakonda. The Telugu star's latest, World Famous Lover, is a flawed love story that drowns in the image built around the hype and controversies surrounding that Sandeep Reddy Vanga film.
World Famous Lover follows struggling writer Gautam (Deverakonda) and the events in his life after he is dumped by girlfriend Yamini (Raashi Khanna).
Yamini feels entrapped in a loveless relationship which once was full of life. When she decides to leave Gautam, he hopes to win her back by writing again, and we are introduced to the world of Seenayya (Deverakonda), Suvarna (Aishwarya Rajesh), Smitha (Catherine Tresa) and Isa (Izabelle).
Through each story, Gautam learns something about love and the experience helps him to understand what went wrong in his own relationship with Yamini. But when the writing stops, reality hits him like a ton of bricks.
Taking inspiration from the line from Imtiaz Ali’s Rockstar (2011) that said “to become an artist you need heartbreak”, the film allows one to differentiate between fantasy and reality through the stories Vijay creates while imagining himself as different characters with different women.
If Arjun Reddy was a world created by a selfish, hot-headed, alcoholic surgeon, World Famous Lover is the manifestation of a disgruntled writer who has to go through multiple heartbreaks to understand what he has messed up in reality.
The film tries to emphasize that it takes a lot of effort and commitment to make relationships work and it isn’t as easy as how it is usually portrayed in the movies. This is effectively portrayed through the relationship of Gautam (Vijay) and Yamini.
Call it obsession or the Arjun Reddy Syndrome, Vijay Deverakonda is starting to get fascinated with the idea of messy, dysfunctional relationships. Much as you want to treat World Famous Lover as an original story, you can’t ignore the Arjun Reddy hangover, especially in the second half and towards the climax.
Of the four stories, the segment featuring the actor as Seenayya and Aishwarya Rajesh as Suvarna really stands out; it deserved to be made into a complete film. Thanks to the Telangana dialect and some quirky writing, Deverakonda's performance in this segment establishes that the star retains a lot of untapped potential. Raashi Khanna shines in what is supposedly one of her more intense characters.
Arjun Reddy worked to an extent because it was the story of a jilted lover which was portrayed as realistically as possible. World Famous Lover turns that realism into a sob fest and it gets unimaginably boring when the story shifts to Paris.
In spite of the great performances, World Famous Lover falls flat and there is nothing anyone can do about it.
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