'Gaalodu', produced by Raja Sekar Reddy Pulicharla, was released in theatres today.
Gaalodu (Sudigali Sudheer) is a happy-go-lucky, irresponsible youngster from a small village somewhere in a Telugu State. He is fond of gambling, addictions and picking fights with all and sundry. On one fateful occasion, he accidentally kills the son of an influential village head. To escape the law, he runs away to Hyderabad, where he falls in love with the daughter (Gehna Sippy) of a rich businessman. But there will come a day when he will be tried for murder. How is he going to escape? Will he be able to live happily with his girlfriend?
'Gaalodu' rides heavily on the image of its lead man Sudigali Sudheer, whose unimpeachable popularity among youngsters is proven by the fact that the film's opening-day collections are respectable. In a Hyderabad multiplex, where this reviewer caught up with the mindless movie, the attendance was about 90% for the evening show. This would qualify to be a win even in the pre-pandemic era; today, it's a bigger win.
It takes a special ability to fritter away such goodwill. The momentum offered by Sudheer's popularity is also the film's biggest demerit. Everything is about Sudheer in this film. The action, the love story, the conflict - everything has been rendered mindless to the point that even the most optimistic audience member starts gasping in utter disbelief at the unfolding farce.
The male lead is addicted to vices, doesn't mind stealing, and proudly flaunts his incompetence. The heroine, like a true-blue Telugu cinema female lead, likes him and calls him Rajinikanth. Two or three dream songs follow. If you are wondering what makes a rich woman with perfectly fine parents fall for such a loafer, it is the fact that he saves her from, well, rapists. In our films, rapists exist for the sole purpose of helping the hero sweep a rich girl off her feet.
When a Shakalaka Shankar or a Sudigali Sudheer is the hero, the film's identity assumes confusing forms. 'Gaalodu' becomes a farcical comedy in the pre-climax phase when the heroine is shown to admire the hero because he says things like this: 'Crows are ideal because they have so much unity amongst themselves'.
What passes for romance in this film is harassment: the hero walks into the heroine's bedroom (he is her driver, so it's very believable that he gets access to her bedroom in the middle of the night. Isn't it?) and makes her believe that he wants to molest her. She doesn't scream despite what her driver is up to. Days later, she is firmly in love with him.
This film is a star vehicle for wannabe star hero Sudigali Sudheer. This line must be enough to scare you. Isn't it?