‘Darshakudu’ charts the journey of an ambitious man. It seems like the story of every youngster blinded by passion, begging the question and underlining the fact of how important it is to draw a line between career and personal life.
For Mahesh (Ashok), nothing is above making films. Even as an overenthusiastic child, when the whole world tells him he’s mad with passion, only his father tells him it is exactly this madness that will help him reach new heights as a filmmaker. Namrata (Eesha Rebba) is a costume designer, who happens to bump into him, entangling her life with his forever. She is his reluctant muse, and her life is his canvas. Namrata stands up against everything that Mahesh stands for because her life has been scarred, both literally and figuratively, by his love for films.
But then, because this is a movie after all, everything turns out well in the end, unlike real life. Even when Mahesh constantly puts his career before her (even in the last scene) and justifies his actions with excuses that make no sense to sane people, Namrata seems to be an unwilling participant to this fate, simply because she has fallen in love with him. Mahesh loves her too, albeit in a manner that makes the viewer understand what kind of a sociopath he is. If one keeps aside the fact that the protagonists seem to be in a perfect sociopath-masochistic relationship, the movie manages to make its mark in a clever manner.
The film is shrewdly meta wherein the protagonist is also shooting for a film called ‘Darshakudu’, which is pretty much based on his life. Throughout the film, there’s ingenious commentary on how cliché Tollywood tropes are and yet, ‘Darshakudu’ employs almost all of them to run its story. The film also manages to question gender roles while comfortably settling into them without a second thought. None of these things are really noticeable though, until the viewer thinks about it after the film’s over.
Debutant Ashok does a good job at portraying his character, so does Eesha. Pujita seems to be in the movie just for the sake of it and Priyadarshi’s surprise cameo makes more of a mark than her role itself. On the whole, ‘Darshakudu’ seems like the soul of Namrata — a film that wants nothing to do with Tollywood, and yet does almost everything it can to fit in, simply because of its love for the industry.