Krishna & His Leela (Telugu, Netflix)
Starring Sidhu Jonnalagadda, Shraddha Srinath, Shalini Vadnikatti, Seerat Kapoor
Direction: Ravikanth Perepu
Rating: ** ½ (two and a half stars)
Okay, here is the question of the day. Can a man be in love with two women at the same time? He can! If he happens to be as juvenile, petulant, privileged and spoilt as Krishna (Sidhu Jonnalagadda, passably likable).
Krishna thinks the world is a romantic playing field. Though we do see him at a job place at one point in the story most of his time goes into deciding which among the two girls to date and which one can wait, how to hoodwink the current to start on a clean slate.
Two-timing as an art form has never been more brazenly displayed as a cinematic device in any film that I remember seeing. Most of the time, director Ravikanth Perepu lets his horny be. If he is happy to sow is ‘child’ oats, so are we. The narrative tries to be literate with references to the ironies of life popping up for no other reason than to ensure we don’t think the protagonist to be a juvenile delinquent.
The film has a cocky jaunty air to its storytelling. And when it is not trying to hard to be ‘cool’(our modern-day Krishna Kanhaiya uses the ‘F’ word like it’s his birthright to be a liberal on the digital platform) the narrative actually manages to be sassy virile and tongue-in-cheek. Refreshingly the hero is stripped of all his heroic qualities. He throws tantrums at the drop of a hat and cries like baby when at the start, Satya(Shraddha Srinath) leaves him. It doesn’t take him long to fall in love again, this time with Radha(Shalini Vadnkatti).
Most of the film finds Krishna swinging like a pendulum from one women to another, Luckily for us, there is no hiding-girl-in-the cupboard-when-other-girl-suddenly-arrives sequence.No attempt is made to satirize Krishna two-timing tendencies. In fact we feel sorry for the hero because at the end he is left with neither woman.
Incidentally, at some point Krishna’s estranged father barges in to suggest that two-timing can be genealogical. So can stupidity, if you think about it.
Frankly, after a point, we don’t care a damn which of the two ladies ‘gets’ the hero, as long as we get a way out of this two-timing-is-cool baloney. It is good to see a film so non-judgmental in its attitude towards its protagonist. But after a point Krishna’s vacillation becomes a pain the ass. He thinks he is interesting because he is dating two women. And the director seems to agree with Krishna. If you think about it Krishna is actually as aimless and pointless as any metropolitan wastrel his age. Luckily this mildly engaging film is neither aimless. Just pointless.
If it had not tried so hard to make its hero a sanitized version of Arjun Reddy, Krishna & His Leela would have made a lot more sense.