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Film: World Famous Lover

Director: Kranthi Madhav

Cast: Vijay Devarakonda, Raashi Khanna, Aishwarya Rajesh, Catherine Tresa and Izabella Leite

Stars: 2 out of 5

“Love isn’t a compromise, love means sacrifice and love is divine. There’s also joy, pain, life, madness and friendship in love.” A profound exposition indeed. But director Kranthi Madhav fails to convey this convincingly in his movie ‘World Famous Lover’, out now in the UAE.

With Vijay Devarakonda and four glamorous heroines in the cast, we’d expect it to be a wholesome entertainer, but it falls flat.

The film goes back and forth between four love stories — that of Gautam (Devarakonda) and his live-in partner and college crush Yamini (Raashi Khanna) and French pilot Liz (Brazilian actress Izabella Leite). There is also union leader Seenayya (played by Devarakonda) in the coal mines with Suvarna (Aishwarya Rajesh) playing his wife, while he gallivants with his boss Smitha (Catherine Tresa) in a sort of love triangle. The film takes you on a roller-coaster ride, leaving you dizzy.

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The gist of the story is that Gautam quits his job to pursue his passion of writing a book. Faced with writer’s block, he wastes more than a year without penning a single line. Devarakonda could give quite a complex to Bollywood actor Salman Khan. He goes shirtless for most of the film, eating, lying on the sofa or watching cartoons on the telly without making any effort to realise his dream as a writer while his partner works.

A frustrated Yamini then walks out of his life. So how do the other women enter his life? That’s for you to see, if you still care to.

The break-up spins him into a fantasy world where Gautham imagines (and later writes in his well-acclaimed book titled, you guessed right — ‘World Famous Lover’) how life would have been different as a middle-class married man while romancing his appreciative boss or hitting it off with a white woman had he accepted a transfer to Paris instead of sacrificing his job for Yamini.

His idea of externalising the pain suffered by the break-up appears ridiculous. He smashes his head into a car window to reveal a gory visage. Just actions would have sufficed. But he explains why he did it. His misplaced anger lands him in jail and by the end of his prison term his book is out.

“I wanted to be a lover, but never imagined that my life itself would be a story,” he tells us. Here’s another gem: “We are what we write and compromise is in our life.”

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At 2 hours 36 minutes running time, the film is painfully lengthy. There were several junctures where the film could have ended. Just when you think, yes it’s going to end, it takes a twist now and a turn next.

Devarakonda has declared this would be his last love story for at least the next three years. This would be some relief! We hope he never does one again and instead looks for other, more meaningful themes. No doubt he is a versatile actor, but his versatility seems to have gone in vain in ‘World Famous Lover’.

Raashi Khanna’s characterisation has not been etched out well. Her role had immense scope for emoting feelings, but the fault lies with the writer/director Madhav. Catherine Tresa seems to have been roped in just to add up for the ensemble cast. She had nothing substantial to contribute for the story’s progress. Worse, her role only impedes the flow.

Among the four heroines, Aishwarya Rajesh is convincing with her simple looks as a middle-class housewife, who suppresses her feelings, desires and dreams to appease her arrogant husband.

The film has quite a few sensual, bold scenes, which have become de rigueur of Devarakonda’s movies since his ‘Arjun Reddy’. Overall, what’s missing is soul. Except for the song ‘Boggu Ganilo’, Gopi Sundar’s music is average. However, the camera work by Jayakrishna Gummadi is brilliant.