Banner: Lakshmi Prasanna Pictures
Cast: Mohan Babu, Vishnu Manchu, Shriya Saran, Nikhila Vimal, Prudhvi Anasuya and others
Story, dialogue: Diamond Ratnababu
Music: S S Thaman
Cinematography: Sarvesh Murari
Editor: M R Varma
Fights: Kanal Kannan
Producer: Dr. Mohan Babu M
Direction: Madan Ramigani
Release date: Feb 09, 2018
Veteran actor Mohan Babu has returned to playing lead roles after a long gap. His getup and his inimitable dialogue style in the trailer of “Gayatri” have created huge interest around it. The trailers promised something different.
Let’s find out its merits and demerits.
Sivaji (Mohan Babu) is a stage artiste who makes a living out of slipping into the characters of convicted criminals. He earns money by spending time in jail for few days in the places of rich criminals in their getup.
On the other hand, he has been searching for his missing daughter Gayatri (Nikhila Vimal) for the last two decades. When he is about knows her whereabouts, she is kidnapped by Gayatri Patel (Mohan Babu in another role), who looks exactly like Sivaji.
Why did Gayatri Patel kidnap Sivaji's daughter? What are his demands?
Mohan Babu has played dual role – one as a good Samaritan and the other as a criminal. The veteran actor is excellent in both the roles. The main highlight of the movie is performance of Mohan Babu. The variation in expressions and different style of dialogue delivery to different roles shows his command on acting.
Vishnu has played the role of younger version of Mohan Babu’s Sivaji character with ease. He has also mouthed some old movie dialogues and verses.
Shriya appears in a brief role which reminds us of her “Manam” role. Nikhil Vimal as Mohan Babu’s daughter is okay. In other roles, Siva Prasad and Anasuya are noticeable.
Movie is shot with good production values. The film also has two melodious songs by Thaman. Fights are okay.
Even though the film has short runtime, the pace is slow and the editing doesn’t help much. Dialogues are laced with some political satires.
Mohan Babu’s performance
Old style taking
Lack of gripping elements
The story of “Gayatri” has enough scope for a veteran actor like Mohan Babu to showcase his versatility. It seems the script is prepared to show the senior actor’s acting prowess once again. His his voltage performance is mainstay of the movie.
The story is also laced with family emotions – father and daughter sentiment scenes - to appeal to the core fan base of Mohan Babu.
Though the basic point has meat, the execution has faltered from the very beginning. Director Madan has taken too much time to come to the point and relied on other unimportant scenes like Anasuya trying to find out the real Sivaji (Mohan Babu). By end of the first half, we come to know that Sivaji gets to know who his daughter is.
The entire first half is consumed by the scenes of establishing various characters and Mohan Babu coming to know the identity of his daughter.
The second half straight away begins with the flashback episode in which Vishnu and Shirya’s romance is established. But sadly, their romantic thread is of old style. The movie really comes to the point in the last 45 minutes of the movie. The twist is here also quite interesting.
The aspect of Mohan Babu vs Mohan Babu (Sivaji vs Gayatri Patel) is another highlight.
From comedy to narration, the movie is packaged in old style. Had the director made it in racy manner and told in modern style, the film would have become a decent entertainer. Weak narration is the main drawback. And all the proceedings are not that gripping.
However, the film works in some sequences like Mohan Babu slipping into the roles of other persons, Nikhil Vimal narrating about her father and Mohan Babu mouthing dialogues laced with politics.
Mohan Babu delivers a few hard hitting dialogues on current political scenario that are effective. He made satires on “land pooling” of AP government, and on “B.Com Lo Physics” comment of a TDP MLA and also criticised AP CM Naidu’s recent Nandyala by-poll campaigning.
On the whole, “Gayatri” is strictly old-style sentiment movie that has some moments and may appeal to Mohan Babu’s fans but for general audiences, it doesn’t work much.
Bottom-line: Old School Drama