Gargi : Only For Die Hard Fans Of Sai Pallavi

Gargi directed by Gautam Ramachandra is a khichdi of many films. Courtroom drama interspersed with an important social topic has become a genre in itself. Case in point being Surya’s Jai Bheem and Prithviraj Sukumaran’s Jana Gana Mana among others. The topic of sexual abuse is also something which we have seen in films earlier too. A film becomes engaging only when a director brings something new to the table even within the familiar zone. Gautam did try to make it engaging but he did not succeed completely. One thing is sure, the twist at the end is something which knocks off your feet.

(Sai Pallavi) is a school teacher leading a decent life in Hyderabad. Her father (R.S Shivaji) is a security guard. He is accused of sexual abuse on a girl child, this girl child lives in the apartment that he works. Gargi is convinced that her father is innocent and she wants to prove it. No lawyer is ready to fight his case as everyone is convinced that the security guard is indeed guilty. At this crucial juncture an inexperienced advocate Gireeshan Kappaganthula (Kaali Venkat) steps in. Adding to the mix there is also Aishwarya Lekmi playing a typical version of cinema journalist. The rest of the story is about whether the security guard has been falsely accused or if he has actually done this heinous crime.

Gautam Ramachandra doesn’t waste any time in setting up the plot. More than the story it is the narration that pulls you in. The director does a good job in capturing the lifestyle of Gargi and her surroundings. There is no artificiality here.

The portions between Sai Pallavi and Kaali Venkat have also been well developed by the director. The way he comes forward to help Gargi has come out well. There is also some subtle humour that he brings to the table.

The director also deserves credit for creating the character of a transgender judge. Sudha S brings a certain authority to the part. She is particularly good when she gives it back to the public prosecutor after his snide remark.

One major failure of Gargi is how it depicts the media. Stereotypical representation of media has become a common feature in these kind of films, and Gargi is no different. The character of Aishwarya Lekmi doesn’t bring anything substantial to the tale. The change in her character at the end comes across as lame. There are some other supporting characters too which could have been avoided. These include the uncle character and also the boyfriend of Gargi that we see earlier on. They don’t really help in any way.

The scenes showing the childhood trauma of Gargi are rather inappropriately placed. The intention isn’t wrong but the placement is where it goes horribly wrong. Gargi gives you a sense of deja vu as Sai Pallavi’s love story also had the theme of sexual abuse.

Though Sai Pallavi essays the role of a lower middle class woman with a conviction, which by now we have got accustomed to, the theme of the film has become redundant; it might have reached its expiry date.

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