Adhiti is way cooler to be even compared to most heroes.

Godha is not a great sports movie but its kickass female lead is the heroine weve waited forFacebook
Flix Mollywood Saturday, June 03, 2017 - 15:36

Sometimes we all just need to read the adventures of a girl in a cape saving orphans with her flying horse.

-The spectacular sisterhood of superwomen, Hope Nicholson.

Now, we can’t say that there are no cool, independent women characters in our movies. There are, but almost all of them are either in non-mainstream films or they are secondary characters. They, too, will be defined by their male counterparts at one point or the other. Asking for better is always brushed away as feminism, which like many progressive ideologies will take time or won’t sell.

So, despite the moving experience of well-defined characters in arthouse movies, we long for a cool woman hero in mainstream films. We have only rare examples like Nayanthara, or hopefully an imported Wonderwoman.

Given this context, Godha is a memorable movie. It’s also about wrestling, but it’s not a great sports movie. It may not find itself in many lists. But it sets a precedent, it brings on some long pending changes.

A coach losing glory, finding light through an unlikely student is a common trope in sports movies. There’s a similar story here too, not just a coach, but the coach and his village. Like Mahashinte Prathikaram, Kammattipadam and Angamaly Diaries, Godha has a town at its heart. But unlike its predecessors, it makes no effort to portray the town beyond the setting needed for the narrative.

Kannaadikal for the movie is the town where a once glorious and happening gusthi ground stands, still waiting to be occupied by cricket playing youngsters. An expected revival happens here, too, but two things make the movie special. The star is a woman and an outsider. There is a man who is from the village and is in love with the woman, but no, he is not the star.

Played by Tovino Thomas, Anjaneya Das is not one who has conversations with Marx and Che. He doesn’t travel to America to advise a woman who loved him once on the masculinity of Keralite men unlike Dulquer Salmaan’s character in Comrade in America.  He doesn’t reveal any secret or a game changing move at the end to reveal that the movie was about him all along. He makes mistakes. Gets rejected. Hates and loves his father. Gets inspired by the lead character. But he learns, adopts, making his character almost as cool as Adhiti’s, played by Wamiqa Gabbi.

What makes the film important is Adhiti’s character. She’s the star of the story and she rules it. One may argue that the film has just taken an old-as-the-written-word story and changed gender roles. Well, that itself is no insignificant feat. But the film does a lot more than that.

Though it’s mostly on the verge of becoming a mindless entertainer and there isn’t much depth to the majority of the characters, it makes no mistake when it comes to its lead. Adhiti is fun, adamant, arrogant, determined, and sometimes vulnerable. And all these qualities get their screen time.

She is way cooler to be even compared to most heroes in our movies. She does not allow anyone else to define her and she makes her decisions by herself.

If you are a fan of the sports movie genre and watch Godha with such expectations, you’ll be disappointed. Godha has no great wrestling scenes. All sports movies nowadays have nationalistic zeal, some make you stand up even in the middle of the film. Godha has nothing of that sort.

Sports movies are also about winning. However, sports usually do a lot more than that in a society. Godha understands this. Adhiti has ambitions but she knows that she has the right to dream to be a wrestler even if she may never win any Olympic medals. She loses sometimes, too. That is also perfectly okay in the story. She fights.

The other characters, like any other feel good movie, are truly, deeply good people - some of whom make some mistakes. But this positivity is at a normal, bearable level unlike a Jomonte Suviseshangal or a Kullanari Koottam.

Godha is an entertainer that keeps you charmed till the end. The sequence when a couple of men try to harass Adithi at a festival is refreshing and energizing to watch. The theatre whistles as the audience knows that the male lead, Tovino Thomas, is not going to rush to help her. Adithi is going to thrash them on her own.

Godha is a film where the theatre erupts with cheers when there are descriptions of beef dishes, anti gau rakshak dialogues, the heroine rejecting the male lead’s proposal and more. Mainstream cinema is cool again. When change comes, things get less boring. One hopes that the trend catches on. 

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