‘Gundello Godari’ may be a wonderful surprise from Lakshmi Manchu’s production house Manchu Entertainments. The film will have all its charm and color of its made-in-Godavari locations with well designed characters, well executed artists, well crafted film and a beautifully composed music. This bilingual film, titled ‘Maranthen Mannithen’ in Tamil, features Lakshmi Manchu, Aadhi, Taapsee and Sundeep Kishan in central roles. Written and directed by Kumar Nagendra, the plot centers around four lives amidst a natural disaster in a small village in East Godavari district. The theme of the story is based on 1996 Godavari floods which were referred to as ‘Enabhai Aaru Godavari’.
‘Gundello Godari’ is a maiden film for director Kumar Nagendra who earlier worked for Krishna Vamsi. Incidentally the director hails from East Godavari district only. According to him he penned this story inspired by the Hollywood’s magnum opus ‘Titanic’. Instead of routine formulaic love stories, he wanted to create a niche of his own with an infrequent subject. Hence, he came with the idea of 1996 Godavari floods theme. His belief in the power of creativity led him to the passion producer who is eventually hungry to introduce several new conceptual films to the South Indian audiences.
‘Gundello Godari’ has a great ensemble casts who are promising personalities. Aadi Pinisetty, who made his debut in Telugu with ‘Oka Vichitram’ carved a niche of his own in Tamil film industry with 5 films so far. Apart from this bilingual film, Aadi is playing a key role in Rajnikanth’s ‘Kochadaiyaan’. He will be seen as ‘Malli’ in this movie. Nandi award winner Lakshmi Manchu, the producer cum actress played the role of Chitra. This multi-talented young lady is currently involved in Maniratnam’s ‘Kadal’ also. The gorgeous Taapsee played a village belle named Sarala, which is for the first time. This sweet smile beautiful young lady is also busy with films in multiple languages. Sundeep Kishan, who is presently on cloud nine with the success of his recently released ‘Routine Love Story’ is full of enthusiasm to see the audience’s response for this film too. He is essayed the role of Suri in GG. In this movie, Ravi Babu also played an important role as villain.
Shooting took off with the floods episode at Chinchinada village in West Godavari district which took place for about 80 days from 6 PM to 6AM. Lakshmi Manchu and Aadi Pinisetty had a fearful experience while shooting for this film. This is one of the most critical scenes which was supposed to be createdby opening the gates of a reservior. When all set, the gates (six numbers) were opened at a time creating a flood like situation and no doubt it was truly as expected which caught Lakshmi and Aadi by surprise resulting in their being washed away for a considerable distance. However the local fishermen with their right sense of timing immediately swung into action and saved both. Apart from this crucial episode, director Kumar Nagendra shot the movie in beautiful locations like Antarvedi, Palakollu and Papikondalu.
‘Gundello Godari’ is noteworthy for its music and cinematography as well. When it comes to music, Ilayaraja’s scintillating experiencenumbers with beautiful sound effects is the main highlight. All songs with the maestro’s grand orchestral work were soothing to ears and connected well with the music lovers. Singer cum actress Andrea Jeremiah lent her soothing voice to the song ‘Jillumandi’ along with Hemachandra. While she considered it as a special song in her singing career, this song had a new wave hit among all the seven tracks. Above all, dialogues, music and effects make up the sound elements of the film. Hence his re-recording work plays major role in making the movie successful.
Major part of the film was shot in the beautiful surroundings of Godavari districts. For shooting the crucial flood scenes, a fishermen village set was erected on a 27 acres landscape with more than 120 huts and houses near Chinchinada Village of West Godavari District. Some scenes were shot by cinematographer Palani Kumaar during the night. The technicians used the balloon light to shoot some of the flood scenes in the night effect which is said to have come very natural. Overall, Kumar Nagendra’s vision along with Palani Kumaar’s technical skills must lie in engaging the audience in an amazing experience with the love story set in the backdrop of 1986 Godavari floods.