“Godha”… A joyous compendium of sporting-movie (and love-story) clichés

Posted on June 7, 2017

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Spoilers ahead…

Read the full review on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/article/godha-movie-review

After a spate of red-themed political films, we’re now being inundated with sports dramas. Georgettan’s Pooram. Rakshadhikari Baiju Oppu. And now, Basil Joseph’s immensely heart-warming Godha (Wrestling Arena), a sturdy example of how the well-timed, well-tuned collision of clichés can become something… maybe not great, but certainly fun and interesting and consistently entertaining. As the film opens, we see Aditi Singh (Wamiqa Gabbi) in a stadium in Chandigarh. She wants to wrestle. (She’s already in a singlet.) But her brother, who wants to marry her off, storms into the women’s locker room and says there are two paths before her. One leads to the stadium. The other, home. It’s an either-or.

To this narrative, add the one about a son (Aanjaneya Das, played by Tovino Thomas) slowly beginning to understand his distant father (Renji Panicker’s Captain). Throw in a subplot about a traditional sport like wrestling versus a money-spinner like cricket. Oh, let’s not forget the never-before-seen angle of a boy becoming a man. (Aanjaneya Das is directionless after completing his engineering. Captain is a wrestling coach. You do the math.) These clichés are suffused with the sheer joy of filmmaking we see only in mainstream Malayalam cinema, whose young directors speak another language just as fluently: the language of cinema.

Continued at the link above.

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