Konda Polam is about a man from a marginalised community who fights the odds for professional success — but the screenplay is very superficial, even if the main character is interesting.

Vaishnav Tej and Rakul Preet from Konda Polam
news Review Friday, October 08, 2021 - 16:46
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Irony. That’s the first word which came to my mind when the end credits of Director Krish Jagarlamudi’s Konda Polam rolled. The film is supposed to be an inspiring story about how a youngster overcomes fear and succeeds in life, but it is largely an uninspiring tale with some songs which fail to redeem it. The film stars actors Vaishnav Tej and Rakul Preet Singh in the lead.

The story of Konda Polam is very simple. It is the journey of Ravindra (played by Vaishnav Tej), a man from a marginalised community, living on the fringes of a forest, away from the mainland, who struggles to get a job due to his poor communication skills and his lack of confidence. Whether eventually Ravindra overcame them and found a job is the story. But we already know that he has surpassed these challenges in the very beginning of the film as the actual story is a two-hour flashback, a story he’s telling the interviewers of the Union Public Service Commission. So all we are now left with is whether the flashback is intriguing enough. Which, sadly, it isn’t.

A story about a man, that too from a marginalised community, who graze sheep in the forest for a living should have earned empathy, but it fails, because Krish doesn’t delve deeper into his background to show the obstacles he has been through. Ravindra's lack of confidence and his poor command over English is not just because of fear, but also because of his social location. He is a man from the forest, which is completely cut-off from the city, with hardly any resources to study. He is the only man from their village who has somehow managed to find his way through these systemic challenges, but is struggling to earn a job in an MNC. Besides, the scenes of Ravindra failing to qualify in the interviews just come as a montage, making it hard to associate with his struggle, and they do not evoke any empathy.

Ravindra’s character is nevertheless interesting. Here is a man who finds it difficult to be in a different terrain — the city — and equally struggles to be on his own ground — the forest.

Krish however fails to document the culture and lifestyle of the community which Ravindra belongs to. Except for the language that these characters speak, there seems nothing authentic about them. If the director had perhaps spent time with the community and researched enough about them and their customs, their interesting lifestyle would have been reflected on the screen. But all we see is a superficial attempt to make an ambitious film with exotic locations. 

Konda Polam is an adaptation of a book of the same name, written by Sannapureddy Venkata Ramireddy. Both Sannapureddy Venkata Ramireddy and Krish worked together to translate this novel into a visual format, adding the female character of Obulamma (played by Rakul Preet Singh) to make it more palatable to the mainstream audience. 

Krish solely focuses on the evolution of Ravindra — from a timid man to the one who fights a mighty tiger — and the other characters hardly have a role, which makes Konda Polam an underwhelming film.

Vaishnav Tej gives a decent performance as Ravindra. Though Rakul Preet perfects the lip sync, she still looks odd amongst the rest of the characters. While we should appreciate Krish for not blackening her face to get an “authentic look,” why couldn’t he cast someone who fits the bill? Sai Chand, as Vaishnav Tej’s father, delivers a good performance as usual. Dear Tollywood, please stop typecasting him.

Music for the film is by MM Keeravani, who tries his best to keep the film engaging with his brilliant background music. Gnana Sekhar, the cinematographer, takes full advantage of the film’s setting, which allows him to explore a range of shots. The cinematographer does a phenomenal job in showing the expanse of the forest and its beauty. Though the film excels in these two departments, they cannot make up for a bad screenplay.


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