Guna 369 Movie Review ( Times Of India)
Critic’s Rating: 2.0/5
Story: Guna (Karthikeya) is a happy-go-lucky guy who believes the solution to solving issues is not through violence but through compromise. But what happens when he’s forced to the extremes by someone close to him?
Review: While RX 100 was a sure-fire hit and Hippi a disaster, one can still make out why Karthikeya chose these scripts. With every story of his different from his last, Guna 369 is one such attempt where he tries to pick a script and character that he hasn’t done before. But unfortunately for him, these films also depend on the director’s narrative, which is where his latest offering falters.
Guna (Karthikeya) is a pampered man who works at a granite factory with his best friend Battu (Mahesh). Everyone in his colony seems to have a soft spot for him, including the neighbourhood goonda Radha (Adithya Menon) whom he knows since childhood. Also in the tale is the love of his life Geeta (Anagha) who initially seems to exist in this tale just to sing duets with him, but soon shows her claws when the time comes. Guna 369 also has a group of criminals who look and live like your average everyday man but shoot videos of themselves raping unsuspecting women in their downtime. A series of events bring all these storylines together thanks to one character (no it’s refreshingly not the lead pair). But the journey to there is tedious, long-drawn and filled with unnecessary duets.
There’s a scene in the film where Guna picks up a Bhagavata Gita and one would imagine he would maybe read it to help him navigate out of the situation he’s in. But instead, he imagines a duet with his girlfriend, despite the dire situation he’s in because, Geeta – get it? The film is filled with many such ridiculous moments where the narrative meanders from the tale at hand, that if paid attention to, shows how Guna’s character keeps getting pushed deeper into the rabbit hole. What could’ve been an interesting character study of a man forced to solve issues in the way he does in the gory climax (that completely plays to the gallery) turns into a film which tries too hard to deliver a conclusion.
Karthikeya does his best to pour life into the titular character but sometimes goes over-the-top. He is plain okay till the second half when he comes to form. In case you’re wondering, yes, filmmakers are still obsessed with his ripped body. Anagha on the other hand shines even in parts that don’t offer her much. She particular delivers well in scenes that show grit despite her character’s love story with Guna seeming flat. The rest of the cast too does well with what they’re offered.
Had Arjun Jandhyala woven a tighter narrative minus the commercial distractions, the confused and numerous messages he’s trying to deliver might have had a chance to come through. But with a film as dense as this one with subpar dialogues, nothing in the film stands a chance!
Guna 369 Review – Raw And Heavy Mass Fare (mirchi9)
What Is the Film About?
Guna (Karthikeya) is that guy in the street who avoids fights. If there is a fight, he tries to solve the issues of the aggrieved parties and let them come to a truce. He has a family who is proud of him and the people around are fond of him. Guna (Karthikeya) has a friend Bhattu (Rangasthalam Mahesh) and lover Geetha (Anagha). It all looks happy until he is involved in a random unrelated incident related to the kingpin of the locality Gaddhalakunta Radha (Adithya Menon). How a compromise situation changes his life forever is what the movie is all about?
How Is Karthikeya’s Performance?
Karthikeya in his super energetic self like the previous outing, only here he is back to a setting that looks more comfortable for his antics. The six-packs show, the romance which is supposed to be cute, and dances are all there, and Karthikeya does them with supreme confidence. In the second half, there is a serious turn concerning the character. Karthikeya gets back into the RX100 action mode and improves on it. There is no question of effort; it is visible. Within the overactive, body exposing repertoire, Karthiekya is trying to be versatile, which is commendable, but the subject needs to be good.
Direction by Arjun Jandyala?
Arjun Jandyala making his debut with Guna 369 has taken a routine subject and straightforward narration. The story is wafer-thin and non-existent after a point. However, he has worked on the screenplay and scenes carefully to hold the attention, a bit. The real story of the movie begins around interval and ends twenty minutes after the intermission when he is given a chance of redemption. The scenes before, show the happy side. What happens after is, how happiness is affected as a result of the core story in the middle. The treatment is where the movie scores for what it’s worth. It follows a Tamil style narrative as in the romance and characters and some shock factors remind us of those films. Remember Naa Peru Surya or the slew of action entertainers that Vishal kept doing a few years back that was rooted in nature. Guna 369 follows the same. The first half of the movie is plain until the interval block. We feel that there is an overdose of romance and songs, and nothing else is happening. For a moment, one shudders at the thought of the second half taking the same routine when the hero breaks into an imaginary song with six-packs and shirtless body. Luckily, the narrative gets back on track as soon as the song is over. Despite a predictable story, the director manages to hold attention via small, but shocking twists in narrative from time to time. They are not unpredictable, just that we don’t expect that to happen in a commercial Telugu cinema. At every turn, there is one such unpredictable moment with a mix of action in between. The director goes a little overboard to justify the action, though. The pre-climax and climax are sure to make people uncomfortable. The issue it touches is alright, but the way Arjun Jandyala goes about it comes across as crude. There needs to be a refinement that is missing. The climax is very heavy and also takes a message route where is the ‘message’ is hammered. Overall, Guna 369 is what can be properly said as a – b, c centres fare. It is made in that fashion and done with all sincerity. There are some unexpected moments within the predictable terrain. There is raw emotion. If you are a mass movie lover who doesn’t mind the crudeness and highly clichéd first half, give Guna 369, a try. Otherwise, skip it.
Anagha LK and Others?
Anagha is fine playing a girl next door kind of character. There is no particular depth in it, and she breezes through the proceedings with ease. Naresh is reliable as usual. Hema is wasted. Shivaji Raja has a small part but is vital and useful. Adithya Menon is adequate in a part that he has done very recently in Rajdooth. There it was a comedy, and here it is a serious subject. The creepy gang of seven are decently cast. They do what is necessary as a group.
Music and Other Departments?
Chaitan Bharadwaj has come up with peppy numbers again. They are decent, a couple is engaging on multiple listens, but overall lack the punch of RX100. The cinematography is decent. There is no particular texture, but the whole things look brightly lit up. The editing is crisp over even though it is jarring at times. The writing is superficial at best.
Guna 369 Review: Good Plot, Bad Execution (Greatandhra)
Movie: Guna 369
Banner: SG Movie Makers
Cast: Kartikeya, Anagha, Aditya Menon, Naresh, Hema, Manju Bhargavi, Rangasthalam Mahesh and others
Music: Chaitan Bharadwaj
Cinematography: Ram Reddy
Art: GM Sekhar
Producers: A. Tirumal Reddy, Anil Kadiyala
Written and Direction: Arjun Jandyala
Release Date: August 2, 2019
“RX100” fame Kartikeya has teamed up with a new director who is a disciple of Boyapati Srinu. The film’s trailer gave the impression that Kartikeya is attempting to get noticed in a mass action drama.
Let’s find out how Kartikeya has fitted in this genre.
The film is set in Ongole. Guna (Kartikeya) is a middle-class youngster who leads a simple and happy life. He gets attracted to Geetha (Anagha).
While they are deep in love, an incident happens due to his friend. He involves in a murder case related to a local rowdy Radha (Aditya Menon).
How did he land in this case and what twists are in store for him and for his girlfriend?
Kartikeya who impressed in ‘RX100’ has done a typical mass hero role. While he played a simple middle-class hero, he has indulged in more action and fights later. He is okay.
Anagha lacks acting skills. Aditya Menon, Manju Bhargavi and Rangasthalam Mahesh get meaty roles and they have done justice to them. Naresh is okay. Hema is not fit for this role.
The film has music by Chaitan Bharadwaj of ‘RX100’ fame. However, except ‘Bujji Bangaram’ nothing makes much impact.
Action stunts are good but they are over the top. Production values are decent.
Twist and turns
Final moments and interval bang
New director Arjun Jandhyala weaved the story based on real incidents. The director has reserved the main plot for the last 20 minutes, which is engaging and interesting.
Despite the shocking twists and turns, the film runs mostly in a predictable manner with dull love sequences, with formulaic episodes.
The final twist in the movie is shocking. The director seems to have been inspired by realistic situations but his packaging of the movie should have been better.
At a time when new-age directors are giving more importance to the gripping screenplay and different narration, the director has followed the template of his guru Boyapati Sreenu.
Like his guru he has presented the film and hero in a family setup and then has taken the movie to action and revenge route.
The first half of the movie mostly runs on love and family moments which are quite boring. The romantic episodes shot on Kartikeya and Anaga are not only boring they have killed the interest in proceedings on the screen. He has tried to tell a relevant social message in a commercial format but the director should have taken care of other aspects as well.
However, the film’s last 20 minutes and the twists come as a saving grace. These penultimate scenes have made a difference. The twists and the main theme also remind us of Karthi’s “Naa Peru Siva”.
On the whole, “Guna 369” is another attempt to make an upcoming actor an action star with formulaic action blocks. This makes a routine mass movie even though its final moments are realistic, and has dealt a topical issue.
Bottom-line: Action Kartikeya
Guna 369 Review: Narrative Flaws Spoiled The effect Of The Story (pycker)
Karthikeya who shot to fame with the cult blockbuster RX 100 last year has been an interesting case study. The young actor hasn’t played the same character twice till now in his young career. He played surprisingly different roles in his past three films (including Guna 369) and pulled his characters off well. But a different story itself doesn’t guarantee a commercial or critical success as even a star actor like Chiyaan Vikram found out.
Now, coming to Guna 369, it is the maiden directorial of Arjun Jandhyala, a protégé of Boyapati Srinu. The movie is said to be based on real-life incidents in Ongole. Obviously, it’s gonna be an intense film. Of course, there is the mandatory love story but the premise and setting are quite different. Guna is a youngster who works in a granite quarry in Ongole. He leads a happy life without worry. And he has a great working and social relationship with those around him.
Guna is lucky enough to find his soulmate or, shall we say, lady love? She is Geetha. His parents dote on him. And then there is a local goon, Radha who nurtures a soft corner on Guna. With everything going on smoothly, Guna’s life experiences a sudden jolt. He is arrested for the crimes he has not committed. Why is fell prey to such an unfortunate fate? Who implicated him? And how and if he comes out of it form the rest of the story.
Writing and direction
The story may give the vibes of a regular setting but it is the real-life events that drive the narration adds depth to the proceedings. But the main story starts only after so long after the film starts. Even when the first major twist arrives, the director kept the audience uninformed of the core theme of the film.
The narration is sluggish in the first half but the proceedings get thicker in the second half. But the guy, hero, who preaches non-violence saying problems could be solved with words not swords resorts to violence and the gory climax is a bummer. As is, the movie is not an outright failure. It has its moments and the direction is competent.
Karthikeya once again shows why he is a talent to watch out for. He’s good in romantic scenes all right, he nailed the emotional sequences. Action scenes are good too but not exactly necessary if we have to take into account the basic character of the hero. The director failed to handle the character dynamics. Anyway, coming back to Karthikeya, though he appeared subdued in the first half, he owned the screen in the second half.
Heroine Anagha is a new find. She received a meaty role and did well. She has a great screen presence and coupled with her acting talent, she makes an impact. Mahesh has a decent outing and senior actors Hema and Naresh did well. The actors who played the antagonists are raw and are good in their roles.
The music of the film is good basically. But songs placement is pathetically bad. The mood of the second half is spoiled by speed-breakers of the songs. The background score is neat. The cinematography has a vibrant feel in the romantic thread and has a gritty feel in the main story. It helped the film well. The editing is okayish. Could have reduced the length of the film a bit. The production design is good. So are the production values.
Guna 369 gives you a mixed feeling. It has a great premise, excellent twists, emotional content. But narrative flaws spoiled it to an extent. You can give it a try if you have the patience to sit through the dull moments. Not a bad film. But not good either.
- Excellent lead pair
- Narrative flaws
- Too much of gore in the action sequences (towards the end)
Pycker Rating: 2.5 out of 5