Towards the end of World Famous Lover (WFL), when Vijay Deverakonda is seated on a park bench (can’t shake off the memories of Arjun Reddy here), looking dishevelled and drained, I was reminded of his recent statement that this film will be his last love story. It’s a good decision. Because, no matter how well he performs, it’s repetitive and tiresome to watch him as the broken man pining for his love and wasting himself. This is one portion of the story, but enough already. What makes it tougher to empathise with his character is the shaky premise of WFL.
The film comes alive when Vijay becomes Seenayya in the coal mines of Yellandu, romancing Suvarna (Aishwarya Rajesh) and Smita (Catherine Tresa); and later when he lives the high life in Paris, skydiving and serenading pilot Iza (Izabelle Leite). As the shattered aspiring writer Gautam who’s hoping for the return of good old days with Yamini (Raashi Khanna), he’s back in the Arjun Reddy zone.
The crux of the film is about Gautam who is grappling with writer’s block for a year and a half! The depiction of the situation feels contrived and removed from reality. Anyone who has interacted with young, emerging authors in the last decade or so would know how many start off by keeping a day job to ensure a steady income that runs the family, but write early mornings and late evenings with dogged discipline. Some take a break for the research and writing, but there’s a deadline of a year or two, to figure out if they can get a book published. You don’t become a wreck waiting for storylines and words to dawn on you miraculously.
World Famous Lover
- Cast: Vijay Deverakonda, Raashi Khanna, Aishwarya Rajesh, Catherine Tresa and Izabelle Leite
- Director: Kranthi Madhav
- Music: Gopi Sundar
The film introduces us to Gautam’s world through the listless eyes of Yamini who is bearing the brunt of his writer’s block. He depends on her for everything and yet, has stopped noticing how his downward spiral has taken a toll on her. Understandably, she walks out.
Kranthi Madhav goes back and forth, piecing together the Gautam-Yamini romance from the sunny college days. It comes in spurts to show us Gautam of the past, before he became this self-pitying wreck.
Raashi takes a detour from the bright and chirpy parts we’ve seen her of late, to play the brooding Yamini. Her eyes do most of the talking, effectively. The dubbing could have been better though. In some places, I had to strain to catch the words.
The film’s best portions happen in Yellandu. Vijay aces the part of Seenayya, spouting Telangana dialect. The initial interaction between him and his father (Anand Chakrapani) brings in the laughs, and also lays bare their differences. Seenayya is not a bad guy; when he counsels someone to save money for his son’s education, it stems out of his own disappointments. However, he’s unfair to Suvarna who does everything she can to keep the family boat from rocking, when Seenayya romances his boss Smita. Aishwarya is a natural and plays Suvarna with conviction. This is an actor to watch out for.
Jayakrishna Gummadi’s cinematography accentuates the rugged milieu of Yellandu as much as it revels in the effortless luxury of Paris, later. Gopi Sundar’s music tonally shifts between the different stories and the ‘My Love’ track stands out.
Vijay morphs into a wealthy bachelor in Paris, romancing the French pilot Iza (Izabelle has a charming screen presence). It’s the woman, again, bearing the brunt of his recklessness.
The lead pairs of the different love stories take up most of the screen time that other characters get limited scope — like Anand Chakrapani, and Priyadarshi who appears in an extended cameo.
By the time the different stories are tied together and Gautam, the writer, understands that it’s he who has been insensitive to the women and needs course correction, it’s a long and tiring journey.
As for the cheesy title of the film, it’s tough to discuss it without throwing in a spoiler. So we’ll let that be.