For years, Telugu Cinema has been known for commercial entertainers. Things have changed in the recent past. Now, it is all about content. In this digital world, especially post lockdown, the Telugu audience are craving for movies that are entertaining as well as content oriented. Gaali Sampath, with all its promotional stuff, seemed like one such movie. With a talented cast and crew, the film has made the right noise, but is it worth your valuable time and money? Let’s find out!
The Real Hero: Story
The film’s story is written by S. Krishna who also happens to be the producer of Gaali Sampath. As revealed by the team, the film is on the lines of 127 Hours, Cast Away, etc. Though we have seen films like Helen, Trapped, etc. in Indian Cinema, they had a very different approach. To bring such a kind of story to Telugu Cinema is a gutsy move from the makers. To make things more interesting they have added emotional depth to the characters, they chose to one of the leads to play the role of a dumb person, etc.
On a simpler note, the film is set in the beautiful village of Araku. Gaali Sampath is a mute person who is interested in acting. He believes that he can act and tries to participate in local plays. His son, Suri played by Sree Vishnu is a truck driver who dreams to buy a truck on his own and stay independent. Gaali Sampath lands in trouble or troubles the villagers in one or the other hilarious manner and this irks his son.
Meanwhile, Suri falls in love with Papa and she reciprocates the same feeling. On the other hand, Sampath gets to know that if he wins a drama competition he will win Rs. 8 lakhs as a cash prize. He decides to participate by paying Rs. 5 lakhs for the slot. Due to a miscommunication, Suri scolds his father at this situation and asks him to leave his house. What happens after Sampath lands in a huge trouble, how the father-son bond is explored further forms the rest of the story.
Gaali Sampath is filled with talented actors in its cast. We have two fantastic actors Sree Vishnu and Rajendra Prasad in the lead roles. Rest of the cast features actors like Lovely Singh, Satya, Raghu Babu, Mirchi Kiran, Gagan Vihari, Karate Kalyani, Racha Ravi, etc. It is not an exaggeration to say that not even a single actor did not perform well.
Rajendra Prasad has shown brilliant variations in a role that demanded more from him both physically and mentally. For his age, to accept a role that is as demanding as Gaali Sampath itself is praiseworthy. There is no doubt that he is a legendary actor, but he has outdone himself in Gaali Sampath. We have never seen him play such a role in his 43-year long and illustrious career. There are a couple of whistle worthy sequences in the second half while the pre-interval sequence is a testimony to his talent as an actor. Rajendra Prasad’s expressions in the second half especially when he is in trouble are nothing short of brilliant. To play a mute role with such conviction and perfection is not an easy job but the legend has done it with such ease that we start to feel how Telugu Cinema is underutilizing him.
Sree Vishnu as Suri is the perfect choice from makers. No other young actor who is at the peak stage of his career would have agreed to this role if not for Sree Vishnu. To give more screen space to the other senior lead actor and to play just a character in a good movie needs a lot of guts. Sree has done complete justice to his role while absolutely nailing it in his scenes with Rajendra Prasad.
Among the other actors, Satya is hilarious as the translator of Rajendra Prasad. To share the same frame as Rajendra Prasad and still be able to grab the viewers’ attention needs some real talent. Satya has got a good screen space and his minute improvisations can be easily recognised while laughing your heart out. Lovely Singh, despite being a debutant non-Telugu actress has done a great job. She is very expressive and energetic in a bubbly role while showing a great promise. Raghu Babu is hilarious in a couple of sequences and the rest of the actors did perform well within their limits. Not to forget Srinivas Reddy who has a couple of well written comedy sequences.
First of all, the film has a brilliant story which is one of its kind in the Telugu Cinema. Every scene has its importance while getting an overall conclusion by the end of the film. The suspense factor, the drama in the second half is maintained well with crisp editing while the climax is very heartwarming. The first half is equally perfect with hilarious comedy scenes and love track.
Anil Ravipudi’s dialogues and screenplay work in the favour of the film. There are equally good comedy and emotional dialogues that are suitable to the story. The screenplay is near perfect with just a couple of unnecessary scenes in the second half. Despite being a perfect commercial director, he chose to present and provide dialogues, screenplay for a different concept based film which is commendable. Other successful directors need to follow this trend and encourage content oriented films to improve the quality of Telugu Cinema.
The music by Achu is first rate. Only 2 songs were used as per the story’s requirement and he has given two catchy tunes for the same. Where Achu excels is the background score. The last 15 minutes of the movie went to the next level because of Achu’s epic re-recording. The art department has done a fantastic job with a crucial set while the cinematographer Sai Sriram has captured the locales of Araku Valley beautifully. The overall visuals bring the feel of watching a rural drama unfold in front of our eyes. The editing by Thammiraju is crisp as the overall runtime is just a minute short of 2 hours which is perfect for a survival drama like this.
Aneesh who has directed a fun film Ala Ela has handled Gaali Sampath perfectly. He has made sure both entertainment and emotions are properly handled with neither of them going overboard.
Gaali Sampath is a first of its kind attempt in Telugu Cinema and has been executed perfectly. It has brilliant performances from the lead cast and arguably the career best performance from Rajendra Prasad. The story is brilliant and there are not many flaws while executing. The overall feel, the hilarious comedy, the emotional depth in the characters make it a must watch film and probably one of the best films of 2021.