Geetha Govindam movie cast: Vijay Deverakonda, Rashmika Mandanna
Geetha Govindam movie director: Parasuram
Geetha Govindam movie rating: 3 stars
Once Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan said, “I dignify her (a woman) so much that she falls in love with me.” Vijay Govind (Vijay Deverakonda) in Geetha Govindam is a staunch follower of this wisdom. Not sure whether Vijay got this wisdom from Shah Rukh Khan, but his gentle personality is shaped by it. He grew up on the countryside under his strict, conservative father. His ideas about culture and ideal female qualities were shaped by the discourses on religious TV channels. And he idolizes Sukanya’s Amrithavalli from Indian (1996) as she knows what her husband Senapathy (Kamal Haasan) wants before he could even ask her.
“That’s how the communication should be between a husband and wife,” tells an enthusiastic Vijay to his friends, while explaining to them a scene from the movie. One day, Vijay sees Geetha (Rashmika Mandanna) at a temple. She is dressed like a bride, smiling and lighting lamps. (No, it’s not Deepavali. She is just overdressed for a regular temple visit). Vijay falls for her right that very moment. And begins to lose sleep and appetite thinking about her.
While heading to his hometown for his sister’s engagement, he meets Geetha on the bus. And her seat is next to his. As the night progress, Vijay, who was making all the right moves and winning Geetha’s trust, suddenly falls from grace. His dream gets a rude jolt when Geetha gives him a tight slap right across the face. Vijay’s life falls at Geetha’s mercy. She is not as ‘perfect’ as he imagined her to be after all. Geetha is so unforgiving, (not among popular feminine qualities) that she begins to bay for his blood. She is not ready to let him off the hook. She wants him dead. Period. Her rage leaves Vijay no option, but to jump out of the moving bus and run for his life.
What’s refreshing about writer-director Parasuram’s approach to this romantic-comedy is the way he has handled the leading man. Yes, the hero of this film is conservative and convinced about patriarchal ideas of marriage and women. But, he never mistreats Geetha, talks her down, or try to gain some control over her. Or even tell her to ‘behave like a woman’. The hero never tries to teach the heroine ‘a lesson’ even when she repeatedly, slaps, insults and punishes him in different ways. He overcomes the heroine’s trial by fire with patience and dignity.
Parasuram has written this film while steadily keeping one finger on the pulse of the audience. He supplies enough moments for the audience to laugh out loud. There are some tiny gaps in the writing. For example, a cop character is introduced at the beginning in a way that we expect him to play a significant role but he vanishes without a trace after a couple of scenes. But, these minor hiccups don’t come in the way of enjoying this film.
After playing a ‘rowdy’ lover-doctor in his previous film Arjun Reddy, Vijay Deverakonda entertains us with a role that puts a woman’s dignity and her emotions well above his male ego. Rashmika as uncompromising Geetha also does a pretty good job, except for not getting the lip-sync right in a few scenes. I personally enjoyed Vennela Kishore’s character, which is as progressive as he’s naive.
And I was more content with Geetha Govindam for debunking a false notion about masculinity. That a man can win a woman’s heart with patience, respect, and kindness, without having to be aggressive and dominate.