Krishna and His Leela: So a lot of commotion around this particular film caught my attention. Honestly, I missed reviewing it, and dare you call this a cover-up. So coming back, the controversy that surrounded this Rana Dagubatti presented film gave it a lot of mileage. Was it worth it? Did it justify? Is the film “Hinduphobic” (the highly used word on the internet)? Or is it just another rom-com that actually earned profit with the buzz around? Let’s dissect this unapologetic yet highly stereotypical film called Krishna and His Leela. Come along!
Director: Ravikanth Perepu
Available On: Netflix
Language: Telugu (with subtitles)
Krishna and His Leela, is about a guy who falls in love with two ladies (Satya- Shraddha Srinath and Radha- Shalini Vadnikatti) at the same time. No points guessing, his name is Krishna (Sidhu Jonnalagadda). As also guessed, things don’t go so smoothly in this unconventional love triangle and the palace of lies is built to be broken one fine day.
So first things first, if you are here thinking I am only going to talk about controversy and ignore the pluses, that ain’t me! Because though I have my share of problems with Krishna and His Leela, the aforementioned Hinduphobia and playing with the mythology are not the ones. Let’s rather protest against the dialogue writer who decided to stereotype women in a very lame way.
So, the new wave Telugu cinema is parting ways from the set pattern, a change for good. The subtlety and modern culture adapting gest can be seen in the Ravikanth Perepu directorial. Krishna and His Leela begins with a breakup, escalates to one more relationship and leads to, guess, guess, guess, ONE MORE BREAKUP. Post this eventually both women comeback and Krishna is confused.
Now there is no problem in that. Krishna played by Sidhu is a man-child and he accepts that which is good. Even the way the women are written is epic. Satya and Radha played by Shraddha Srinath and Shalini Vadnikatti respectively are strong. Just like I would want Preeti in Kabir Singh to be. (Did I call for debate?). They are blunt to voice their opinion and school a man-child that being one isn’t his privilege.
What Krishna and His Leela do falter is in describing the women through its dialogues. When a girl is irritated and Krishna says, “Maybe it’s that time of the month,” no Krishna, You are being an idiot. Or when Satya gives Krishna a spare key to her apartment, he says, “Now that I have the key to your womanhood…” who is even writing these lines? Well, that isn’t the end, there are a few more.
So maybe it is this that needs to be changed, not the title. Yes the three names Krishna, Radha and Satya are taken from the epic mythological tale. But it’s just that, this film never tells you that it’s a depiction of that tale. Well, whether it’s Hinduphobic? people are bound to make their opinions. But what I would suggest is, watch it to form one. Also if you skip, rather not talk about it.
On another note, what lacked is also the depth of the two love stories. None had me invested so as to root for it. Rather what hit me hard is when Krishna realises he is no different from his father, from whom he has been running throughout.
Coming to the character in Krishna and His Leela that I loved the most. Ruksaar played by Seerat Kapoor is the soul of this film. She pretty much embodies the message that the film tries to convey. The best part is that the script never judges her, even when she confesses having had s*x with many. Writer Ravikanth Perepu and Sidhu Jonnalagadda (yes he co-wrote it) write this story with Ruksaar’s gaze and that very much doesn’t let us hate Krishna.
All in all, Krishna and His Leela is a harmless rom-com that gets a predictable yet justified climax. The controversy has done wonders and the film as I write this is trending in the top 5 on Netflix India.