Banner: Renaissance Pictures
Cast: Varun Tej, Saiee Manjrekar, Jagapathi Babu, Upendra, Sunil Shetty, Naveen Chandra and others
Music: S Thaman
Director of Photography: George C Williams
Editor: Marthand K Venkatesh
Producers: Siddhu Mudda - Allu Bobby
Direction: Kiran Korrapati
Release Date: April 8, 2022
Varun Tej has worked on “Ghani” for nearly three years, and the film marked the first production of Allu Arjun’s elder brother Allu Bobby. The film hit the theatres today after getting postponed many times.
Let’s find out its merits and demerits.
A boxing champion Vikramaditya (Upendra) was disgraced for his alleged misconduct in the game before his death in the ring. Vikramaditya’s wife Madhuri (Nadiya) takes her son to Vizag to start life afresh. Her son Ghani promises that he would never follow in his father’s footsteps or take up boxing games. But fifteen years later, the grown-up Ghani (Varun Tej) begins a mission to win the national boxing championship and gets trained secretly.
The rest of the story is about how Ghani becomes a boxing champion and takes revenge on those who wronged his father.
It is evident that Varun Tej has put in a lot of effort to portray the role of a boxer. By going for a complete makeover and achieving the physique required for a champion, he gets the right physical appearance and fits well into the character. His sincerity is appreciable.
Upendra has the required gravitas for the movie but the role is short. Nadiya as Varun’s mother is just okay. Jagapathi Babu’s role is clichéd. Bollywood actress Saiee Manjrekar doesn’t have much to do in her Telugu debut. Naresh as a boxing coach looks comical.
The film boasts rich frames with George C Williams’ sharp camera work. Thaman’s music doesn’t help much. Editing lacks sharpness. A lot of money seems to have been spent by the producers to get a grand look.
Varun Tej’s sincerity
Dull first halfWeak love track
Lack of surprise or big twist
Formulaic screenplay writing
The basic storyline of Varun Tej’s “Ghani”, despite its lack of novelty, is fairly worth exploring. Generally, in all sports dramas, the protagonist’s goal is winning a championship. But the motive of the protagonist in this film is different. Excelling in the game is not his driving force, but an act of personal revenge is. A pretty straight line of the story.
Such a flimsy thread needs a far gripping screenplay. New director Kiran Korrapati doesn’t get it right in the writing department. The first half of the film is devoted to Ghani’s secret boxing training, the bonding between mother and son, and the hero’s love track. The banal proceedings in the entire first half test our patience.
Except for withholding the backstory of the hero’s father, the narrative runs on expected lines till the end. There is no surprise element at all. This is the drawback of the film despite the hero having a clear-cut goal and reason for revenge.
Though the second half of the film is fairly better than the first half, it lacks a tight hold on the narrative. Plus, the film suddenly shifts gear in the third act and tries to go in Thalapathy Vijay’s “Bigil” format. The betting mafia, the corporatization of boxing games, the Indian Boxing League, etc, come in place in the final act, further bringing predictability.
Furthermore, the mother-son sentiment drama is not effective either. Nadiya’s character turns silent for the most part in the second half and appears at the last moment. It is out of place for the story.
Sports dramas require inspiring moments when the protagonist plays the match, but here all we see is only a repeat of punches that don’t give an emotional high. The writing team and director seem to have failed to put in the effort as much as Varun Tej has to achieve physicality.
In a nutshell, “Ghani” lacks the required punch for a sports drama. The efforts are visible, but the play doesn’t hold our interest at all.
Bottom line: Revenge Drama