‘Gaali Sampath’ movie review: Not engaging enough

Loud characters become a liability in this survival drama

Every now and then we have been witnessing rescue efforts of the government when a child falls into a open borewell, mostly with no success . In this film, when an adult finds himself in that situation, one expects the audience to empathise, but that doesn’t happen. Rajendra Prasad as Gaali Sampath — isn’t starving as long he is in the well. He has a water bottle that he hangs around his neck and he keeps sipping it at regular intervals and is seen eating chips.

  • Gaali Sampath
  • Cast: Sree Vishnu, Rajendra Prasad
  • Direction: Annish Krishna
  • Music: Achu Rajamani

The drama has two parts, the first one is a narration of Gaali Sampath’s relentless efforts to stage a drama at the Parishad level competitions and win the prize money of eight lakhs to gift his son a truck. The father and son share a blow hot-blow cold relationship on account of the father’s impetuous acts. Despite his good intentions the father ends up sabotaging his son’s (Sree Vishnu) interests and messes up everything. For example, he spoils the alliance of his son, pilfers money that his son had got for a purpose.

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Throughout the first half Rajendra Prasad uses “fa’ in his speech as his vocal chords have been damaged; a translator tells the audience and the characters in the story what he intends to communicate. In between we are shown how he loses clarity in speech and why he abhors rain. Satya does a fine job as the translator, bringing relief from the otherwise unending language. Every person in the film talks in a high pitch and their behaviour is abnormal, be it the girlfriend who has a fetish for eating or a bank manager who helps the hero with some cash. There is a woman who loves plaiting people’s hair. Every time she sees a male or female, she is found combing and plaiting.

The movie begins with a bunch of villagers waiting to see a drama unfold on stage and one drunken man constantly asking when the woman in the play will strip — an allusion to Draupadi! Barring a few seconds when Rajendra Prasad falls into the trench, there is nothing that evokes sympathy. He comfortably wades through the water that fills up the well due to a heavy rain, barges into his house and rescues his son who since childhood has been suffering from respiratory issues.

The entire survival drama appears as a farce. Every scene looks like patch work and a hurried job. Lovely Singh is meant to just look lovely, she has nothing much to contribute in the story. Though Sampath is an aspiring actor, full of beans, it could have helped if Rajendra Prasad had been slightly subtle. Though the film has a crisp run time, it fails to engage.

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