Cast: Vaibhav, Sharaddha Arya, Sayaji Shinde, Nataraj, Chalapati Rao, Delhi Rajeswari, Babloo, Chitram Srinu, Jayaprakash Reddy, Brahmanandam, Venumadhav, AVS, Nagababu, Suneel, Raghubabu, Uttej, Annapurna, Subhashini and Others. Art: JK Murthy. Cinematography: Dinesh. Dialogues: Paruchuri Brothers. Editing: Marthand K. Venkatesh. Music: Mani Sharma. Direction: A. Kodanda Rami Reddy. Producer: A. Bharati. Presenter: A. Suneel Reddy. Banner: K Films. Release Date: 7th December, 2007.
For someone who has made several movies before, including 20 movies with Chiranjeevi, his son's debut venture comes as a disappointment. Kodanda Rami Reddy's Godava starring his son Vaibhav and newcomer/Zee Cinestar runner-up Shraddha Arya seems like a mishmash of recent hits, including Hindi trendsetter Dil Chahta Hai. As for Vaibhav, he shows some spark, with a style of his own already, but shows obvious traces of Pawan Kalyan and Ravi Teja. Even Harivarun of Laila Majnu tried to act like these stars, but that was a total dud. Vaibhav, on the other hand, is both confident and gives it his all in a weak script and an old screenplay.
Plot Balu's parents have had a love marriage but fight incessantly. This has put him off love, and he doesn't believe in it. After a series of spats with Anjali, he helps her out saving her honor, after which she falls in love with him. Her father fixes her wedding to a super rich guy, but Anjali's problem is more than that. She has to first make Balu believe in love before attempting to have him reciprocate her feelings.
Story, Screenplay and Direction You look for one major 'Godava' or several small but interesting Godavas. Nope. The concept is old news, and the title has little to do with it in reality. The character of Balu is based on Aamir Khan's character in Dil Chahta Hai, and even the Opera scene with Priety Zinta has been used. The script lacks clarity and the love story totally lacks conviction.
As for the comedy, there is one half-baked track with Venumadhav that is overdone. Suneel steps in and leaves without evoking a smile, and the situational comedy is just okay. That is to say that in the second half everything goes for a toss. The first half keeps the interest level up, because we still wait for the Godava, we still wait to see where it's all leading to. The character is established, his conflict is clear, but everything else is blurry. Editing and dubbing are flawed, with jerky scene endings and imperfect lip sync.
Anjali's habit of pinching people borders on perversion. As opposed to Balu, Anjali's character has not been dealt with properly. But she more than makes up for it, with her skimpy clothes and oozing sex appeal in the songs.
Performances Vaibhav is impressive mainly because it's his debut, and he performs very confidently for a debutant. It will take a movie or two more to see if he's someone to actually watch out for. Right now he has done justice to the role of Balu. Shraddha Arya is pretty and poised. Sayaji Shinde, Jayaprakash Reddy and Annapurna as Shradha's father and grandparents respectively have given a repeat performance. So has the whole gang of friends that the lead pair shares.
Song and Dance Two songs are catchy, and the picturizations are watchable, especially the ones in the first half. Mumait's sister is good too, Zubein Khan shows that it's all in the family. But she obviously has only part of Mumait's oomph.
Last Word Godava is not a bad movie. It's a movie that has unfortunately borrowed from all good Telugu and Hindi movies and the mix and match result is inevitably boring. The first half is the saving grace, but the second half is beyond redemption. Godava is definitely not one of this year's better releases, but Vaibhav has given a decent debut considering he held his own in a script too shoddy for words.