World Famous Lover Review: Every second, million of stories unfold on this planet, each different from the other, says the lead character of World Famous Lover, right at the start of the film. This love story, however, seems to be doomed right from the outset and is ridden with angst, sorrow and frustration. If the story doesn’t have a happy ending, director Kranthi Madhav introduces us to more fictional stories and tries to tie it all together to the main plot. But when the crux of the story is a sullen, bitter and resentful, the film is often headed towards a disaster. World Famous Lover comes across as a caustic rant of a disgruntled writer and subjects the audience to two hours and 36 minutes of his tears and frustration.
As soon as the film begins, we are introduced to the story of Gautham (Vijay Deverakonda) and Yamini (Raashi Khanna), a young couple in a live-in relationship. But things are far from rosy. Yamini is suffocated in a loveless relationship. She goes to work, while Gautham, a struggling, writer lazes at home, sleeps in and watches cartoons on televison. Gautham is messy, unkempt and lacks focus and Yamini sobs her way through her life, while eating, lovemaking and bathing — until she can’t take it anymore. When Yamini decides to leave Gautham, he decides to start writing again to prove a point to her, and he introduces us to the world of Seenayya (Vijay Deverakonda), Suvarna (Aishwarya Rajesh) and Smitha (Catherine Tresa). Gautham uses these fictional characters to feel better about himself and to convince Yamini to take him back, but when the bubble bursts, will he be able to save his relationship?
Perhaps the only saving grace of this film is Vijay Deverakonda’s outstanding execution of the Telangana dialect as the coal mine worker Seenayya. There’s a gem of a scene when Seenayya shoots back at his dad when he asks him where he’s off to. It’s perhaps the only scene which makes you smile a bit and gives you a breather from the film’s morose theme.
A small-town mine worker’s romance with an upmarket, sophisticated lady, although fictional, seems unrealistic. But Seenayya’s story is the only thing that stands out in World Famous Lover. If Gautham and Yamini’s story is shockingly dour, Gautham’s love story with Iza (Izabelle Leite) is farcical. When Gautham lands in Paris and says ‘Hola’, you know things can will get problematic. He soon gets a French girlfriend, who, get this, speaks Telugu and will only have sex after marriage. It’s less of a love story and more of 20 minutes of bizarre cinema. Although, as a viewer, you’d wish it had gone on for longer because the moment it ends, we’re brought back to Gautham’s never-ending sobfest.
Vijay Deverakonda yells, cries, punches mirrors, bangs his head against rocks, speaks Telangana dialect and jumps off planes, but he still remains a helpless spectator as Kranthi Madhav tires the audience with his gloomy love story. Aishwarya Rajesh stands out among the women with a powerful performance. Raashi Khanna is wasted in a poorly written character, where all she does is sob. Both Catherine and Izabelle are reduced to inconsequential roles.
For a film that’s supposed to be an ode to love, World Famous Lover has very little love and a whole lot of bitterness. And for all the sadness on show, not once do you empathise with any of the character’s plight. When Yamini leaves Gautham, you think she should’ve done it sooner. When Gautham punches things around and makes a scene, you cringe. And when he beats himself up and wails “I don’t have anybody”, you want the film to end. This is a love story where you don’t root for the two protagonists to end up together. The film starts and ends with tears and that’s the only thing you relate to — but for all the wrong reasons.