The corny-sounding Telugu movie “World Famous Lover” has an attractive starcast with Vijay Deverakonda (Gowtham/Seenayaa), Raashi Khanna (Yamini), Aishwarya Rajesh (Suvarna), and Chatherine Tresa (Smitha) in lead roles. Written and directed by Kranthi Madhav, World Famous Lover is a combination of four different love stories that gel into a single story of love, trust, and sacrifices. Released in theaters in February, the film recently popped up on Netflix with subtitles for a wider range of audience, which is certainly good news for Nepal’s South Indian movie fans.
The film starts with the story of live-in couple Gowtham and Yamini. Gowtham is a stay-at-home aspiring writer who has been unable to write anything for a year. His mental block and frustrations surrounding it weaken his relationship with Yamini, who is the sole breadwinner of the house. Her expectations from her partner have certainly not been met. Gowtham is not only nonchalant towards his work, but also indifferent to her wants and feelings.
Things change when Yamini finally decides to leave Gowtham. Hurt by the Yamini’s departure, Gowtham decides he needs to force his way past his writer’s block and prove his worth. This is when the film begins to unfold in flashbacks and imaginary sequences. Gowtham’s first story has himself as the main character in the form of Seenaya, a middle class working man who’s married to Suvarna. Seenaya, also the union leader of the factory he is working in, gets romantically involved with his boss Smitha. When Suvarna finds about the affair, she is distraught but decides not to confront him till the very end.
At the end of the Seenaya-Suvarna story, Gowtham is shown as a young and highly paid executive living and working in Paris. There, Gowtham meets Iza (Izabelle Leite), an international pilot acquainted with the Telegu language and Indian culture. They quickly fall in love before their love story is cut short by a tragedy.
As the stories Gowtham is writing unfold in visual form, his own story with Yamini is told in flashbacks. The moments when Gowtham first saw Yamini, their courtship, their acceptance of each other’s love, their start of the live-in relationship, all are shown in flashbacks to give the audience an insight into the now estranged couple’s life.
Not all stories in the film are perfect. Nor are the endings to all love stories happy for the characters but that does not seem to be the film’s motive. Love is looked at from a wider perspective with a message that compromises and sacrifices are essential in sustaining it.
Actor Vijay Deverakonda retains his rustic look and the angry demeanor from the blockbuster “Arjun Reddy” (2017). Following Arjun Reddy’s success, there has been no looking back for the actor who has impressed fans and critics alike with his good looks and effortless acting. After delivering a string of back-to-back hits, Vijay takes the screen in multiple roles in this film. From a frustrated writer to a devastated lover; from a young college graduate to a small-town factory worker; to a suave professional in Paris—Vijay performs all his roles with conviction and compliments each of his opposite actors who are as adept in their respective roles.
The only problem with the movie is its 2h 34min run time, which is not supported by the screenplay. Despite the story having enough girth to make for a compelling love drama, the screenplay feels painfully slow and certain scenes redundant. There are also attempts at humor that fail to engage the audience.
Who should watch it?
As we have the power to skip scenes we don’t like on Netflix, World Famous Lover is an enjoyable love story. It is one of those South Indian movies that deviate from the feisty and stereotypical mainstream cinema to present a serious, lifelike narrative. Definitely a ‘can watch’ during the lockdown.