Gulu Gulu – A sporadic dark comedy with a tinge of emotions
The first thing that works best for me in this film is the brilliant characterization of the protagonist ‘Gulu Bhai (a) Google’. The origin of this character has so much depth and uniqueness that works so well on emotional/serious sequences. The language and socio-political ideologies portrayed through ‘Gulu Bhai’ is so deep that it had all the scope needed for the film to speak a strong content. Gulu Bhai’s childhood, his life experiences, and the way he uses his life lessons are written beautifully and it cannot get better for Santhanam to perform on screen.
Santhanam probably gets his lifetime best role to play as a protagonist in the movie where he cannot deny anyone who seeks help, he had so much scope to perform with a unique character arc. When he is put into a situation to save a guy from danger, the events that follows the given scenario did not utilize the depth so well. The scenes where his emotional side is portrayed works so well especially on a scene where he is asked for help to slap a cop on the middle of the road. This scene is so well staged and executed that we expect so much of such exciting scenes but falls short. Santhanam does fit in the role so beautifully and justifies it.
The writing is as outlandish as it gets, which is ideal for this genre. In this genre, weirdness and idiocy are acceptable, yet most of the scenes lack visual coherence, which distances the viewers from the characters. For instance, to bring in Gerontophobia ‘fear of old aged people’ with an acceptable justification and the father daughter relationship works well emotionally but could have had a better writing throughout.
There are indeed some burst out laughter moments and some light humor that excites the audience but not for long due to some inconsistency. The huge strength is undoubtedly Santhosh Narayanan who has done his best to add more quirkiness. One of the best background scores that without even the visuals convey what kind or genre a movie this is, even such a great fantastic score could not lift few scenes. Every character play weird and are apt for this genre, with George Maryan is easily my favorite.
Gulu Gulu is a hugely expected film from Rathna Kumar mainly for his outstanding previous works and his well-known contribution with writing outside his directorial ventures. Despite some brilliant dialogues in most of the places, I wish this film too had that consistent writing throughout instead of working so well only in parts. Hoping to see Santhanam, who stands out as Google, do more such characters.
Screenplay and Direction: Rathna Kumar
Music director: Santhosh Narayanan
Cast: Santhanam, Namitha Krishnamurthy, Athulya Chandra, George Maryam
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