BY SUBHASH K JHA
“Adithya Varma” (Tamil film); Cast: Dhruv Vikram, Banita Sandhu; Direction: Gireesaya; Rating: * *(two stars)
“Adithya Varma” is the third film based on Sandeep Vanga’s stormy ode to misogyny. Frankly, we don’t need one more version of the story of an insufferably arrogant doctor who insists on performing operations in a drunken state, pulls a girl out of her classroom and insists she is his girlfriend, and feels his grandmother is the wisest woman in the world (which she probably is).
“Adithya Varma” tries to soften the blows in the other two versions of the film (“Arjun Reddy” in Telugu, “Kabir Singh” in Hindi) by making the young wild rudderless doctor less of a menace to society and women(in that order). In doing so, it loses it edge and ends up being neither fish nor fowl. It is a film that wants to embrace all of the original’s audacity without being held accountable for the trespasses that the other version were held guilty of.
As a vehicle for young Dhruv’s burgeoning talent, “Adithya Varma” holds up just about evenly enough to be considered a decent debut. Dhruv tries hard to appear as committed to be a riotous renegade as Vijay Deverakonda and Shahid Kapoor in Telugu and Hindi. Sadly this debutant comes a little too late bringing nothing to the character that we haven’t already seen, and nothing that we really want to see. He is eager. And we are touched by enthusiasm. But that’s it.
The pea patch in the front of the pants remains intact. But the shock value has worn off. And I wondered all through the lengthy film why it was being done all over again for the third time. Dhruv,I am sure, has a bright future. But this is hardly the showcase that he needed. Banita Sandhu as his docile beloved looks more correct for her role than her two predecessors. But really, how much can you do with such an unconvincing doormat of a character who quietly submits to her self-appointed boyfriend’s bullying?
For me the highlight of “Adithya Varma” is Leela Samson as the out-of-control hero’s grandmother. Ms Samson is the loveliest and most talented actor in a film which otherwise left me with just one lingering thought.
Why again? What is so special about this story of an unbearable lout who thinks his beard gives him the freedom to break all social norms.
BY SUBHASH K JHA