'World Famous Lover': A Valentine's Day Downer from Deverakonda
A still from <i>World's Famous Lover</i>
A still from World's Famous Lover(Photo Courtesy: YouTube Screengrab)

'World Famous Lover': A Valentine's Day Downer from Deverakonda

The ghost of Arjun Reddy refuses to get off Vijay Deverakonda’s back, as he returns with yet another love-breakup-breakdown-sunshine saga.

World Famous Lover, directed by Kranthi Madhav and starring Vijay Deverakonda, Raashi Khanna, Aishwarya Rajesh, Catherine Tresa and Izabelle Leite, is Vijay’s ‘let me explain’ letter for Arjun Reddy. Just like 2019’s Dear Comrade.

But the film is undeniably beautiful and cinematic in scale.

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Love Is Complicated

World Famous Lover flits between three separate story arcs, with Vijay as a constant. Subtly, and occasionally quite cheesily, the narrative and dialogue explore sexuality, caste divide, attraction, filial loyalties and more.

Where the plot thickens a bit too much, the knots are untied using very convenient twists that you can see from a mile away. But where the film wins is in the performances of the leads. Raashi finally has a role that’s more than an item number. Her emotions are genuine and make up for her hard to decipher dialogues.

But Aishwarya Rajesh is pure, understated brilliance. She acts as though every scene in the film is her last. It is hard to see as separate from her character. And it is heart-wrenching.

...And This Story Turns Out to be a Disaster

The film's plot is thinly written.
The film's plot is thinly written.
(Photo Courtesy: YouTube Screengrab)

The pre-interval cliffhanger was a perfect way to end the film, but unfortunately, the story rapidly plummets from here. From an almost decent Valentine's Day flick, it meanders into a preteen love story. As in, a love story written by a preteen. And then it gets worse.

Isabelle Leite’s portions are disastrously half-baked. And Vijay’s character soon becomes tiresome. Whether he's ruining his own life or saving another’s, he does so by posturing.There’s this sequence where he gambles on all of his life’s savings, just to experience that "feeling".
Neither Vijay nor Aishwarya Rajesh's performances can save the film.
Neither Vijay nor Aishwarya Rajesh's performances can save the film.
(Photo Courtesy: YouTube Screengrab)

To spread love and cheer on a festival day, even if it’s a festival that is fed and fuelled by the greeting card and gift industry, is natural. But World Famous Lover makes it hard. Really hard.

World Famous Lover may have been helmed by a director (Kranthi Madhav) who won the award for ‘Best Film to Watch at Home’, but despite Aishwarya's Rajesh's brilliance and Vijay Deverakonda’s charisma on screen (which is quickly wearing thin), it most certainly isn't.

Vijay should stop trying to apologise for Arjun Reddy. And stop taking up romantic films that attempt a moral high ground. They tend to fail miserably, especially because they’re rarely true to themselves.

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