(This article is authored by Alar)
Gargi! Heavyhearted, outspoken angry, speechless... this is what director Gautham offered when storming out of theatres with 'Gargi'. After 'Jai Bhim' this is the best courtroom drama that will let you devastated for a few days. Every good drama has one thing in common - the ability to evoke a deep emotional reaction from its audience. 'Gargi' did that for sure. This intricately woven story made to sob and feel good at the end.
'Gargi' follows the narration of a middle-class family woman - a soft-spoken, innocent school teacher. Her father is a security guard at an apartment and her mother is a housewife with a small business. Gargi's world gets upside down when she got to know that her father is accused of a gang rape case. She then pulls mountains to get back her father to home safely.
The film begins with the main lead Sai Pallavi seeing the breaking news of a school staff room and stamping the title zooming out with Sai Pallavi's face when she witnessed the news was brilliant. The film belongs to Sai Pallavi. She lived as a Gargi in the film and had a realistic performance is a bonus to the film. Wearing a cotton saree and throwing natural acting, Sai Pallavi gives a neighbour girl look and is effortlessly connectable in heeding a responsible sister and daughter.
The storytelling is good when the film put us to travel along with Sai Pallavi in a crucial situation like we both didn’t know what is ahead for her. That’s made comfortable to watch. Sai Pallavi gave a nostalgic shadow of 80s Revathi, Lakshmi vibe as she combated for punishment and justice. Her acting when she was strongly determined about her father's innocence, and her interactions with the victim were proofs of the best performance in her career.
Kudos to Sraiyanti and Premkrishna Akkatu's visuals, which showed the sensitive gang rape matter in a pragmatic way and meantime, that made to feel the realistic atmosphere of the issue. But couldn't help to not mention the first scene of court, where Sai Pallavi’s father dragging from police custody to court was given away to rubbered feel. Monochromatic scenes were shown throughout the film. Looking at them and when following the current story, it was hard to get a clicking connection. But in the climax, it made a slamming sense.
Govind Vasanta's scoring made the movie eerie and rousing. Gautham Ramachandran already made his debut with 'Richie', a Kannada remake. Now adding Gargi, both narrate a story of a case, which has both heads. He hooked in the very beginning when he made a witty gratitude note on 'movies- I watched, movies I didn't watch..' Using elements of broken glass in specific scenes, Vivekananda's photo frame adds the mood to the story concept.
The casting selection was top-notch. Till Gargi, Kaali Venkat proved his fullest performance even for small parts in earlier movies. But this film handled him a giant space to show his full potential, and he nailed it too by appearing as a newbie lawyer who struggles to handle the case. Hats off to both Gautham and co-writer Hariharan Raju for writing - the scenes where the transgender judge, delivered a stunning performance, when the opposite lawyer sparingly commented, ''If a judge was a 'normal' person, the case will be closed now".
Her slamming response was a lauded one, as she replied, "I know the pain of woman and arrogance of a man, I'm Both!. There is no best person to handle this gang-rape case better than me''. Paruthiveeran fame Saravanan's performance as the father of the abused girl is superb. His performance of explaining when her daughter screams at night cause of pain, but couldn't help, reminds him of 'Mahanadi' Kamal Hassan. When he says, 'She doesn't see me as a father now, she sees me as a man.' was a heart-crushing one. The film delivers the tone in the epilogue with Aishwarya Lekshmi's character, a journalist the film, who spoke to Pallavi's sister during the phone call.
Scenes like having a TV in school premise, the factor of no CCTVs in a highly maintained city apartment, a gangrape attempt on a staircase, and Sai Pallavi's mother's performance who doesn't show half of the panic as much as Sai Pallavi has for her father, Sai Pallavi handling a case to a newbie lawyer, who didn't handle a single case in history, just as a reason that she has no other option... If we slide apart these bothering points aside, 'Gargi' will surely travel with you for a few days with difficulty to survive in society.
Gargi - This gripping thriller is a must-watch!