Director: Ravikanth Perepu
Cast: Sidhu Jonnalagadda, Shraddha Srinath, Shalini Vadnikatti
In Ravikanth Perepu’s romantic drama, Krishna And His Leela, streaming on Netflix, the protagonist, Krishna (Siddhu) is a happy-go-lucky guy from Vizag, who gradually realises that relationships are often complicated and messy. His girlfriend, Satya (Shraddha) breaks up with him in college because he becomes too possessive, and later, he gets into another relationship, with Radha (Shalini), hoping that it’ll be more stable. However, when he reconnects with his ex-girlfriend, Krishna’s life turns upside down. In his own words, he falls in love at the wrong time, not with a wrong person. And he doesn’t want to break up with either of them because he likes both of them. This is Krishna’s ‘leela’ (play) and it leaves the viewers too utterly perplexed about what the right thing to do in such a scenario, because in the film, Krishna just goes with the flow.
The film revolves around this premise without getting into the morality of being unfaithful to your partner. The only sane voice of reason in Krishna’s life is his mother who reprimands him and tells him that he shouldn’t give his partner any false hopes. But her advice falls on deaf ears. The film also succeeds in showing how incredibly hard long distance relationships are, and how insecurity in a relationship is more common than it seems. In fact, Krishna faces this question on two separate occasions, and he reacts in a contrasting manner. He does what suits him best at a given point of time. Does that make him selfish? Or someone who is beyond the vagaries of youth?
The film is predominantly set in Vizag and Bangalore, and both the cities become a character in the narrative. There’s even a line in the song where we are told that Krishna used to live like a king in Vizag, but in Bangalore, he has lost all his charm. He straddles between two worlds (Vizag and Bangalore) and two relationships (Satya and Radha) at the same time; he wants to go back to Vizag, but he prefers being in Bangalore; he likes Radha for her unconditional love but can’t get over the love that he once felt for Satya. Life feels like a maze, but instead of owning up to his own faults, he blames it on his estranged father because he was never around to guide him. There’s a beautiful conversation towards the end where the father and son talk about living with guilt in their heart; however, the film doesn’t quite dig deep into that aspect in the protagonist’s journey.
On the bright side, Krishna and His Leela is upbeat and light-hearted, and the conversations feel natural. It is also visually quite pleasing. Cinematographers Shaneil Deo and Saiprakash bring alive the vibe and life of two cities filled with myriad characters. Sricharan Pakala’s music is refreshing. The performances from the lead actors, especially by Siddhu Jonnalagadda, Shraddha Srinath, Shalini Vadnikatti, are consistently good within the scope of the narrative. Seerat Kapoor and Samyukta Hornad though have only limited screen time, leave a good impression. Viva Harsha’s banter with Siddhu evokes plenty of laughs every now and then.
The film is, however, quite exhausting because everyone keeps talking about love and relationships without a strong emotion attached to it. Given how Krishna keeps falling in and out of love for all the right or wrong reasons, we don’t know if he really means what he says. The never-ending conversations become so convoluted that it’s easy to lose track of what people are saying after a point. Everything ends up being superficial from a storytelling perspective, and perhaps it will resonate with those who have faced a similar predicament in life? Unfortunately though ‘true rumours’ don’t necessarily make for good drama. Incidents that happen in Krishna’s life could be great party-time conversations; however, the film is so enamoured by what it wants to say that it completely sidelines how it puts this across.
Even if one keeps aside the debate about whether Krishna’s actions are justified or not, the film could have gained a lot more by focusing on the lives of Satya and Radha. They almost always end up being a reflection of Krishna’s whims and fancies, but we don’t quite get to know enough about their lives at a deeper level. Instead, the focus is solely on Krishna and how he reacts to the complications in his life because he isn’t honest enough ever.
The film lacks coherence in its storytelling to an extent that the sequence of events feels too random. It does get one thing right though, love just happens and you can never explain why. The film doesn’t really expect the viewers to take it seriously despite the seriousness of the subject where hearts are broken and mended. It’s like everything that it wants to say is written on sand. After a point, you forget about what you have seen.
The Krishna And His Leela review is a Silverscreen India original article. It was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the film. Silverscreenindia.com and its writers do not have any commercial relationship with movies that are reviewed on the site.