'Konda Polam' is out in theatres from today (October 8). Shot in 2020 in less than 45 days, the film is based on a Telugu novel. Is it worth a watch? We will tell you in our review.
Kataru Ravindra Yadav (Vaisshnav Tej) fails to land a job in Hyderabad for four years. Equipped with a degree, he lacks the skillset to do a white-collar job. Upon his grandfather's (Kota Srinivas Rao) beseeching, he decides to walk into the Nallamala forest area as a shepherd to help his father's (Sai Chand) lambs fetch water. He has for company his fellow villagers, mainly Obulamma (Rakul Preet Singh), with whom he strikes instant chemistry. What threats do Ravindra Yadav and his cohorts face in their journey into the forests and on the mountains? That's the crux of the story.
Vaisshnav Tej has shed his 'Uppena' person to a fairly good extent. He did this movie after working on his debut, which was a blockbuster this February. The Mega family actor is not influenced by the heroes from his family and that's a plus. He also emotes well in the scenes that expect him to look somewhat timid in the intial portions.
Rakul Preet Singh, who has been reduced to playing glamorous roles in movies like 'Sarrainodu', is lovable like she was in movies like 'Raarandoi Veduka Chuddham'. It would have better elevated her performance had she dubbed for it herself. Sai Chand, who was seen in 'Fidaa' in 2017, is excellent. Kota is limited to a couple of scenes.
Annapurna and Hema have cameos. Ravi Prakash and Mahesh Vitta emote well. Racha Ravi and others are part of the cast.
Director Krish Jagarlamudi has worked with composers as different as Chirantan Bhatt and Mani Sharma over the years. MM Keeravani has been his constant choice of late. The 'Baahubali' composer brings grace to the proceedings with his BGM. A couple of songs are remarkable, especially 'Shwaasalo'. From 'Dham Dham Dham' to 'Daarulu Daarulu', the songs are executed well. Gnana Shekar VS's cinematography is able. Shravan Katikaneni's editing is an asset.
A film like this needed proper visual effects and Rajeev Rajasekharan's team does an adequate job. Rajeev has previously worked on Hindi films such as 'Housefull 4' and 'Dabangg 3' as a VFX supervisor.
The spiritual intent of the caption, 'An Epic Tale Of Becoming', has been borrowed from the Telugu-language novel 'Konda Polam', which was written by Sannapureddy Venkata Rami Reddy. The author has joined the writing team of the film. As such, the feel and soul of the novel were expected to be retained.
Krish's screenplay is found to be inadequate in a lot of portions. This is not to say that he doesn't have sharp episodes written. The film gives us a glimpse into the lifestyle and ways of the shepherds who have to move heaven and earth to keep their lambs in good humour.
The first half goes into establishing the premise well. The montage songs are brief and placed well in the larger scheme of things. The negative characters come and go. A ferocious tiger becomes a consistent threat to the life and property of the protagonist and his cohorts.
A major flaw is that 'Konda Polam' lacks a gripping conflict plot point. The second half is a huge drag, with the conversations being a big bore. The songs keep up the audience's interest, so also the performances. But the story is absolutely lacking.
The love story has a predictable arc.
'Konda Polam' could have been a superb adventure film. But it is an under-achiever.