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Godavari revisited

Justifying the title, Godavari is the story of a woman



CINEMA SCOPE Kamalini and Sumant in `Godavari'

More than 30 years after the iconic duo of the Telugu films Bapu-Ramana made Andala Ramudu, a major portion of which was shot on the Godavari, another filmmaker took the river yatra. Godavari of Sekhar Kammula retained the ANR connection. Andala Ramudu starred Akkineni Nageswara Rao and Godavari his grandson Sumant.

Justifying the film's title, Godavari is the story of a woman. But it subtly touches upon the dilemmas of young women against the backdrop of middle/upper middle class sensibilities, new aspirations, identity crisis, independence, yearnings and moreover, parental concerns. Low key, simple performances without melodrama are fresh and allow a spontaneous flow of the story. The only character allowed the luxury of some drama Kamalini Mukherjee, playing Sita with Sumant as Ram. The names, the boat ride to Bhadrachalam, the abode of Rama, the puranapurusha, on Godavari (the boat and the river) with the familiar symbolism unfold an interesting journey - into the hearts of the young and their finding love.

Ram, played in a matter-of-fact way, stands for the swades-bound do-gooder techies looking to dabble in politics. In the status-conscious society, Ram loses the hand of a demanding cousin. Kammula also brings in indulgent male attitude giving in to the girly tantrums and makes it lovable. Like in Andala Ramudu, the class divide is at play complete with a grandmother and a dosa-seller. Godavari, one might say, after all is a love story. But it is fresh. Uncliched

G.V. PRASADA SARMA

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