Hippi movie cast: Kartikeya Reddy Gummakonda, Digangana Suryavanshi
Hippi movie director: TN Krishna
Hippi movie rating: 1 star
You know a film is deeply flawed when you see two guys engaging in a “kickboxing” match while wearing MMA gloves. It demonstrates utter carelessness on the part of the director (TN Krishna) and the stunt choreographers who helped put the questionable action scene together. It is 2019 and still, many filmmakers have not stopped taking the audience for granted. They continue to feel accomplished by churning out nonsensical films that are totally unworthy of our time, encouragement and money.
Hippi stars Kartikeya Gummakonda, who played the role of a dejected lover in last year’s RX100. In his previous film, Kartikeya was the victim of a woman, who deceived him in the name of love. RX100 ended with the gravely wounded protagonist dying at the hands of his cunning lady-love not before making a long speech about his unadulterated love. In his latest film, Hippi, Kartikeya plays a role which is on the other end of the spectrum.
Kartikeya’s character is ironically named Devdas aka Hippi. Now, you may think why is he called Hippi? Even after watching the film, you may not find an answer to your question. Apparently, growing your hair a tad bit long, riding a bike and learning martial arts makes one a ‘hippi.’ (And, why is it wrongly spelt instead of hippie?)
Contrary to the legend attached to his name, Devdas is a heartbreaker. But, still, he plays the victim as his girlfriend is dominating. He is dating Amukta Malyada (Digangana Suryavanshi), who was the close friend of his ex-girlfriend.
Devdas meets Amukta while travelling to Goa along with his girlfriend. It is love at first sight for him. He professes his love for Amukta and later tells his girlfriend about his change of heart. Following which his jilted girlfriend attacks Amukta in public. And Amukta takes out her anger on Devdas inside his house. And after a stretch of lazy writing, Devdas and Amukta get into a relationship.
The end. You wish.
It’s only now the actual story that Krishna wants to tell begins. It seems like the idea for this film came to the director while he was watching How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days on Netflix. With a little tweak to the plot, Krishna has made a problematic romantic comedy in a desperate attempt to appeal to the young members of the audience. Like the 2003 Hollywood film, the lead stars of Hippi engage in mind games.
Devdas wants to ditch Amukta Malyada and escape from the toxic relationship. Amukta understands her boyfriend’s intentions. Any person with some self-worth in her place would have walked out of the relationship. But, she grows closer to him so that she can punish him for making her fall in love with him in the first place. Her personality has sociopath written all over it. And Devdas’ masterplan to make his girlfriend break up with him is to tolerate everything she does and suffer in silence.
What initially seemed like a promising romantic comedy is undone by Krishna’s unoriginal ideas, which shows his disconnect with today’s ever-evolving relationship rules.
Kartikeya and Digangana’s energetic performances are the only saving grace. The remaining characters played by JD Chakravarthy, Vennela Kishore and Shraddha Das look lost as they are only time-fillers.
Another major problem with Hippi is the way women are treated in the film. Now, Krishna may argue that he has given a feminist film, where female characters always come out on top. It might be true, as the leading woman gets some of the gutsiest punchlines, while the leading man plays a cry baby. But, all the progressive strides that Krishna made while writing the leading woman goes out of the window at the end of the film.
The scene is set inside a house, where Amukta Malyada and Devdas are thrashing out their differences. She tells him that her friend thought he was impotent because he did not touch her when they both were in a live-in relationship for seven months. Devdas’ male-ego gets hurt. And he doesn’t clarify her doubts with words. Instead, without even her consent, he jumps on her and pulls down her pants.