Cast: Prabhu Deva, Hansika, Munishkanth, Yogi Babu, Revathy, Madhusoodhanan, Anandraj & others
Cinematography: RS Anandakumar
Editing: Vivek Velkutty
Written & Directed by Kalyan Kumar
Produced by: KJR Studios
Release Date: 12-01-2018
Run Time: 02:09:00
Gulaebaghavali is a jolly-good popcorn entertainer that partially achieves what it sets out to do. Despite the cliched narration and a flawed execution, the movie manages to put a smile on the face of audiences on a few occasions, where director Kalyan Kumar proves his ability to churn out some zany comical sequences.
The movie needed more fun moments, more situations to weave humor-filled lines than the formidable ensemble cast including the likes of Yogi Babu, Anand Raj, Motta Rajendran, Sathyan, and Munishkanth. It’s interesting how Munishkanth, for a change, has disappointed viewers and an over-exposed Motta Rajendran has clicked well in the second half.
The story revolves around four thieves (Prabhu Deva, Hansika, Revathy, and Munishkanth) who embark on a journey to the mysterious temple city called Gulaebaghavali in search of a treasure trove.
Veteran actress Revathy’s superb characterization (it will be a sweet surprise) and her terrific performance hold the film for quite some time. But once the surprise behind her character gets revealed, the build-up sequences to the mystery associated with her part turns out to be a futile attempt.
Until the momentum-cursing second track on Hansika and Prabhu Deva makes its way in the first half, the film paces towards an amusing stretch. The sequences that come after the song completely fall flat with monotonous dialogues and some predictable writing.
The second half has some bits and pieces of comedy thanks to Motta Rajendran’s mother sentiments scenes, which are the best moments in the film. The selection of famous mother-sentiment songs also nicely elevates those sequences, apart from Motta Rajendran’s witty antics.
Despite getting a significant screen time than her other films, Hansika struggles once again to prove her mettle as a performer. Prabhu Deva shines in the song sequences with his scorching moves, especially the superbly-shot title track Guleba, where he leaves everyone spellbound in the lengthy one-minute-long opening take.
Overall, Gulaebaghavali is a partly good, partly run-of-the-mill dark comedy from director Kalyan.