'Konda' was released in theatres today (June 23). Here is our review detailing the film's umpteen missteps.
Konda Murali (Thrigun) and Surekha (Irra Mor) start out as student leaders at LB College in Warangal. Murali, a youngster with fire in his belly, gets attracted to Naxalism when he reads the poetry written by Naxal leader RK (Prashanth Karthi). Soon after he becomes a Naxal sympathizer, Murali makes enemies. Among the enemies he makes is the ruthless political leader Nalla Sudhakar (Prudhviraj). After Murali and Surekha get married, different forces come together to drag them down, eliminate Murali, and end their political career.
Thrigun, who was formerly known as Adith Arun, gets an image makeover. He speaks authentic Telangana dialect in 'Konda' and makes us forget his soft-spoken characters in movies like '24 Kisses' and 'Dear Megha' while we watch him in this film. However, the artists picked for other key roles water down the impact of his performance. Irra Mor is a total misfit, with her characterization bordering on the parodic.
RGV thinks that he is pulling off a casting sensation every time he casts unlikely artists for negative roles. Prudhviraj irritates us every time he laughs like an evil clown. 'Jabardasth' Ram Prasad is unbearable. The likes of Shravan do no good.
Prashanth Karthi is good although he wears the same expression throughout. Parvathy Arun plays a female Naxal leader. Tulasi and LB Sriram as the hero's parents are routine.
Anand's BGM and DSR's music are of laughable quality. Malharbhatt Joshi's cinematography is basic. Manish Thakur's editing, again, is nothing archaic.
For those who don't know, 'Konda' is a biographical action drama, where the word 'drama' has been misinterpreted by RGV for the nth time. As for 'action', the filmmaker has had a warped sense of it for too many years now. What about the 'biographical' part? The film has been produced by the daughter of the couple whose life the film is about. So, how much of the film is a biography and how much of it is hagiography is for you to figure out.
This is the kind of film where the hero just embarks on an acid attack without any planning. He can do anything in a fit of rage, for the sake of others' good. He is a do-gooder and that's all we are supposed to know about him. There is no attempt to tell us how Murali discovered his strengths, how he evolved as a human and a fighter, what kind of emotional struggles he faced, etc. When his life is under threat, Murali seethes with anger. When his girlfriend is threatened by a villain, Murali seethes with anger. When he reads revolutionary poetry, Murali brims with fire. Whole scenes have been portrayed in this manner. It is as if we have to buy whatever Murali throws at us, because, well, RGV is in love with Murali.
The interval block, which was supposed to be a defining one, arrives without a bang and ends with Surekha laughing hysterically at the top of her voice. As the scene starts, we wonder when Murali became a mass leader in the first place. We know more about the villain's personal assistant than Murali's meteoric rise.
It has been years since RGV's films have cared to tell a story. His characters just verbalize everything. "Murali's rise is dangerous," someone says with a cold expression. There is no attempt to show his rise in a dramatic fashion. We just have to believe that the masses were magnetized by Murali's charms or something and he became a force to reckon with.
At less than two hours, 'Konda' has time for two elaborate songs involving Naxals. But the film itself doesn't give a semblance of insight into the kind of larger-than-life influence that Comrade RK has on Murali. Staging a scene between Murali, Surekha and Congress leader YS Rajasekhar Reddy is supposed to be seen as a substitute for 15 minutes of painstaking drama.
'Konda' is an insincere attempt. Weak production values and lousy writing make it a forgettable film.