A wave of remakes has hit the Kannada film industry. One of every three films released is either a remake or strongly influenced by successful or not-so-successful non-Kannada films. Gopi is the latest addition to the list, but the listless remake has been made in such an insipid fashion that it fails to hold the audience's interest.
The change of name has certainly not helped young actor Murali Dev. Murali was introduced in the huge hit Chandra Chakori, which ran for a year in Belgaum besides completing silver jubilee runs in many centres. But it looks as if he has a knack of picking either the wrong subjects or the wrong set-up. The result is a string of flops that has conveniently erased the happy memories of hits like Chandra Chakori.
The actor shows a lot of energy onscreen and possesses a good physique, but what can he do if the technical team fails to deliver in a film like Gopi?
It is a remake of Telugu hit Muraari, which was directed by Krishna Vamsi and had the youthful Mahesh Babu and Sonali Bendre in the lead. Muraari was a silver jubilee hit, but not because of a powerful story. It was a hit mainly because of its production values, a fantastic score by Manisharma, and a wonderful climax that made a huge impact on the audience. Unfortunately, the Kannada version has none of these positive elements. The director has not made any corrections to strengthen the film.
The story revolves around a big family, where Gopi is the youngest member and cynosure of all eyes. He is in love with Vasu, who belongs to a rival family. There has been a standoff between the two families for many years. Added to this is another worry for the aged Naani of Gopi's family. There is a death once every 48 years in the family, because of a curse. Now, the soothsayers have predicted that Gopi is on the death list.
The director should have taken care to make some alterations here and there to present a product for the Kannada film audience who want a little bit of logic. He has made a frame-by-frame copy of the original, minus the opening sequence of Muraari featuring Prakash Raj. Therefore, the Kannada film audience will nether understand the curse, nor its background.
The first half of the film is boring, unlike the energetic Telugu original. The second half is equally pathetic. All said and done, this is a strict no- no for people who have seen the original. It may be equally disinteresting for the others, too.
Murali breathes energy in the role and looks lively. Gowri Munjal, the Delhi-based heroine, fails to impress. Umashri is melodramatic and all the other artists who form the large family are just about okay. Manisharma has retained the original tunes, but Seenu hasn't done anything to present the film in a more visually attractive manner.
Give it a miss if you're not an ardent Murali Dev fan.
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