Did you ever notice a depressed person trying to bring out best in others? You see them undermining others effort if they feel it’s not enough to achieve anything. You also feel they are more abusive than others. This might seem obnoxious and totally unwarranted but it is their harsh behaviour that ignite an underlying passion in the future champion. Well, I met such a person today who coached a simple vegetable vendor to Boxing World Championship glory.

PLOT : Coach Adithya Rao (Venkatesh), who has to fight his way through with head coach, Dev Khatri (Zakir Hussain), is a man on mission to find the best woman boxing champion for India. His search ends in Vizag with him meeting Rameshwari (Ritika Singh), a vegetable vendor, who accompanies her sister, Lakshmi (Mumtaz) who is trying to get a police job in sports quota, from past eight years. Adithya’s inherent rude behaviour is generally misunderstood but finally, Ramudu, sees through his tough exterior and tries to rise to his ambition. Did she? If she did, how? Watch the movie for the answers.

Performances : Debutant Rithika Singh reproduced her Tamil valiant performance as the underdog boxer once again ameliorating the impact from original without any complacency. Venkatesh Daggubati vanquished his old traits to emerge in top form as the rude coach who works with single step agenda. As a hot headed person at times in a bid to not so too much emotion, Venkatesh does become a bit wooden. Had he found a middle path to being wooden to refrained his performance would have come out even better. Still Dharma Chakram, Ganesh, Prema, Venky in house is complete delight over Bobbili Raja. Nasser, Anitha Reddy, Raghu Babu, Mumtaz and Tanikella Bharani standout with refrained and nuanced portrayals through out the movie. Zakir Hussain once again proves that he can excel in a scene even if he doesn’t understand the language.

Technicalities : Cinematography by Shaktivel tries to capture the undertones and nuances in the actors performance highlinghting the overall theme of the movie. His work is the best in the movie after performances. Editing by Satish Surya symbolises for smooth transitions between the scenes and shots without letting one realise it is just a movie. Sudha Kongara comes up with an age-old underdog story but manages to triumph in her attempt to capture the coach and protege relationship that has sweet romance too. It is the characters in her entire creation that lend her a hand in letting audience members experience the journey of the characters.

Music and Back Ground Score by Santhosh Narayan gives a perspective to the film and carries the emotion through out. The lyrics did have a flavour of translation from original Tamil and Hindi. One feels let down by that. Sunanda R and Harshavardhan lend their support to Sudha in writing the movie screenplay and dialogues. Even R Madhavan gave his support in writing the screenplay as well. But all of them seem to have missed the point in adapting the movie in Telugu. A bit more effort in letting audience feel that the story is happening with Telugu people at centre would have been better.

Analysis : Sports dramas are normally laced with many regular tropes and clichés. All we look from them is a positive journey that lends a supportive system to fall back on for inspiration. Guru, tries to be one such movie but at times feels to constructed brick by brick by a writer than a natural flow of events. Well, keeping that minor flaw aside this is one good sports drama in Telugu. Watch it for the performances and underlying important message of women empowerment.

Rating : 3/5

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