Krishna (Nani) and Mahalakshmi (Mehreen) have been in love since childhood. But he is a coward and she is the sister of a local factionist.
There's something about Hanu Raghavapudi and his daintily detailed stories. Like a lotus untouched by murky waters, it's probably his style to take you slowly into a world that's simple like the real world, totally away from movies. And Krishnagaadi Veera Prema Gaadha just does that!
The director takes us into the lives of childhood sweethearts Krishna (Nani) and Mahalakshmi (Mehreen) who want to be together for eternity. It is this bond that helps conjure a grand romance which comes across as an uplifting ballad of love, fear, longing and a myriad other emotions. Beneath that surface, tensions are simmering because their love has blossomed in the cliched land of faction - Rayalaseema.
Well, now one might expect gore and blood as the backdrop but it's surprising how we are instead taken into the charming by lanes of a town they tell us is Hindupur. The lovers are romancing in the gullies always wary of danger lurking in every turn. They fight, they giggle and are always uttering niceties to each other and then, when the moment of decision comes, Krishna has to fight over his fear (ironic considering he is from the land of the "brave men"!) for Mahalakshmi, he does - just for her.
But this could have been a completely ordinary tale of a coward hero finding his inner bravery but making his story run parallel to that of a terrorist David Bhai (Murli Sharma), a dreaded ACP (Sampath Raj) and Rajanna, the girl's uncle, the director gives the viewer a reason to watch. And despite so much happening, the emotion of the love story is intact throughout, which is the most curious aspect of the narration.
But then, the film's biggest drawback is that it feels too dragged out for most part. In fact, there are times you'd just be diverted because you have been looking at the same thing for too long. And just within 35 minutes of the film's start, you are done with two songs. The second half sees pretty riveting plot twists and yet, you'd wish things progressed at a quicker pace.
Yet through all of this, there's a spark which remains because of some fun moments like Brahmaji's character, an unexpected twist at the interval and most importantly characterisations which are run-off-the-mill yet very compulsive. Be it the selfish yet sincere police officer that Sampath plays or the loving yet serious brother of the heroine, there's some interesting character graph to each role.
If you had to underline the major defining points of Krishnagaadi Veera Prema Gaadha, it would be the performances of the cast, especially Nani and Naini, the three-year-old kid. The duo just steals the show dominating every frame they are in. However, newbie Mehreen is truly a revelation and brings Mahalakshmi alive wonderfully.
And second to that would be camera work by newcomer Yuvaraj and how he captures locations of the film. He makes forests, forts and even a simple house look striking.
If you really want to know what this kadha is, let us remind you that it's a gaadha, and it's interesting, but really long, and at times slow.