When story dominates over stars, the movie eventually becomes more engaging and that is what has happened with Godha, the new movie directed by Basil Joseph. Basil made his debut with an out and out comedy film Kunjiramayanam and this time he sort of extends his trademark humor to a heartening story of chasing and supporting dreams. With memorable characters and emotions staying in our mind along with appreciable technical perfection, Godha succeeds in entertaining its audience within the boundaries of a commercial cinema.
Anjaneya Das is the son of a famous wrestler addressed as Captain by everyone (including his wife!). Das once was a wrestler but later he left the sport. The film is actually about Das’s journey to Punjab for higher education and about the subsequent changes that happen in his life after he met a Punjabi girl Adithi, who was a passionate wrestler. How Adithi changes Das’s perspective towards wrestling and how the backdrop of Das helps Adithi is all what Godha dealing with.
Like I said, it is almost an extension Basil’s Kunjiramayanam. We have a place like Kannadikkal, very similar to Desham with many characters that are together and at times against each other. The elders and the younger lot have different views about wrestling. Basil manages to create very humorous moments of laughter at those areas. Even when the plot shifts to Punjab or even when it becomes a little more serious about its ultimate goal, director never loses the grip over humor. The movie touches the deep emotional moments of Captain, Adithi and Das very subtly through frames with very minimal dialogues. The dramatization has reduced the novelty of the theme slightly, but still the engrossing factor stays on the screen.
You can’t really call it a Tovino Thomas film as the weightage given to both Wamiqa Gabbi and Renji Panicker is almost same or sometimes greater than Tovino’s character. The good thing about Tovino in the film is the way he has handled the humor. It never has a gimmick kind of feel and the actor was also good in those portions where the character undergoes that transformation. For me the real surprise was Wamiqa Gabbi. She has really made an impact through her screen presence. Her body language and looks have that earnestness of a wrestler and her performance looks honest on screen. Renji Panicker gets a really good character in the form of Captain and he manages to bring in the heft and emotional vulnerabilities of that character. The gang of Das comprising of actors like Aju Varghese, Dharmajan, Hareesh, Sreejith Ravi etc. offers ample humor. Others in the cast including Parvathy, Mamukoya, Hareesh Peradi and several more, were also pretty effective.
Basil Joseph pushes his limits with Godha. What is the best thing about Godha is that it has an emotionally appealing story in its core which was the reason why films of similar backdrop like Dangal and Sultan worked for us. The similarities with such movies are only on the emotional level. You get to see a girl achieving her dreams with the support of a whole lot of people who shows faith in her. There is a sequence where Captain tells his son about being a real man by pointing at the quality of the girl and in the end it is a girl who inspires a man to go behind his dreams. So the kind of feminism in the film is less of a verbal debate. Vishnu Sharma elevates the film with quality frames and Abhinav’s cuts were pretty effective especially in the fight sequences. Shaan Rahman’s songs were perfectly in sync with the mood of the film and he once again creates a musical feel though those BGMs.
Godha is a thoroughly entertaining cinema that keeps you inside its world with humor and emotional arcs. The fact that it manages to reciprocate positivity even after being a commercial humor driven film is its achievement in my view.
Godha is a thoroughly entertaining cinema that keeps you inside its world with humor and emotional arcs.