Dear Comrade review: Vijay Deverakonda shines in gem of a film

The pre and post-interval halves of the new Vijay Deverakonda starrer ‘Dear Comrade’ are like two different films. And that’s not a bad thing at all

Image Courtesy: social media
Image Courtesy: social media

Subhash K Jha

The pre and post-interval halves of the new Vijay Deverakonda starrer Dear Comrade  are like two different films. And that’s not a bad thing at all. Not in this case. For, what the schizophrenic saga tells us about human nature and its gamboling shifts of perspective is far more valuable than the concept of consistency that we seek in art and seldom find in real life.

The first half of Dear Comrade builds on Deverekonda’s Arjun Reddy image of a young hot blooded man in serious need of anger management. Unlike Arjun, Bobby in this film is a rebel with a cause. The director creates a believable construct of an impending destruction that comes to those who care too much about what goes on in the world to notice that their own life is coming undone.

Deverekonda who has grown into one of the most likable star-actors of the country takes us through Bobby’s romantic journey with Lily (Rashmika Mandanna, natural and likeable though a little too eager to emote at times). His eyes body-language and even his amazingly evolved dancing skills convey a wealth of love and devotion, so that when the girl tells him to back off at a family wedding (the venue of so many heartbreaks in Indian cinema) we feel  Bobby’s hurt jump at us out of the screen with palpable urgency.

Deverakonda’s performance is filled with surprising intensity and warmth. He is never afraid to show his emotions in an unvarnished condition. The music and songs by  Justin Prabhakaran make telling use of classical elements to create an aura of raga-soaked romance. In the first-half the romance perched at a perfect pitch.

The  ecstasy of  love dissolves in the second-half when the film wants to tell another  story. The switchover to a plotline on sexual harassment, where Bobby’s anger  is directed at a social system that encourages women to stay silent when violated, shows a  selfassured shift of perspective brought on by the conviction that in life and in a relationship, commitment is not only personal issue.

There are moments  between the couple that are  at once heart wrenching and  edifying. The narrative keeps the central relationship from slipping off from the credible zone even as  the emotions go from real and raw to curiously unbelievable to the stylishly filmy.

Through all the ordeals by fire that the lovers go through the film captures the impassioned intensity of the Bobby-Lily reckless affinity. To just see this couple in love is to feel the impact of love.

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