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Gaddhalakonda Ganesh Review

U/A Action, Comedy, Crime 2 hrs 51 mins Sep 20, 2019





Gaddhalakonda Ganesh Review & Rating


Gaddalakonda Ganesh Review: A Well-Made Remake That's good On Its Own

The premise

Gaddalakonda Ganesh or Valmiki! Whatever the way you want to call it or however it registers in your mind doesn' matter. The harish Shankar directorial is the official Telugu remake of the Tamil cult blockbuster Jigarthanda. Now, the film has a turbulent release which is not needed at all. And it's for the no mistake of the makers. 

Leaving aside the controversy regarding the title and the change of it that had happened at the 11th-hour 59th minute, let's see how this Varun tej starrer turned out on purely cinematic terms with Gaddalakonda Ganesh review. 

The story of a filmmaker's filmmaking travails

Quite contrary to the title of the film, the story of the film revolves around an aspiring filmmaker, not the eponymous Ganesh. Heis an aspiring filmmaker and works as an assistant for a popular director. He has to make several compromises at his work. But like any talented youngster like him, he knows that he could make a better film than those around him. 

But what could be a better story? After all, any film needs a proper base story and he wants to make it as realistic as possible. But fate has other plans. Our young filmmaker irons in on the subject. Gaddalakonda Ganesh the dreaded gangster who tortures and kills people for fun interests him. But Ganesh is no ordinary goon. He is a merchant of fear. he thrives on the fear he creates in the minds of his subjects. And he stands tall among the similar gangsters. After all the actor played his role is Varun Tej and he stands tall literally at 6'4". Right?

But how to approach a gangster? Our filmmaker hatches a plan (we are not mentioning the name of this character as a tribute to our aspiring filmmaker friends who could identify themselves rather than thinking about a character - it could be you). That involves faking love for Bujjamma, the daughter of the cook for Gaddalakonda Ganesh aka Gani (an obvious tribute to Pawan Kalyan's character from Balu - ABCDEFG. 

Gani is a gangster and any self-respecting gangster must have enemies who want to eliminate him. On one hand, our filmmaker wants to make his way towards Gani. On the other side, his enemies hatch plans to eliminate Gani. To make things complicated, our filmmaker's romance with Bujjamma also reaches its climax. But the biggest problem for the young filmmaker comes up from an expected angle but at a highly inopportune time. 

What happens next? Go and watch the film. That is... if you haven't watched the original, Jigarthanda. Should we watch Gaddalakonda Ganesg if we watched Jigarthanda already? Well... read on!

Writing and direction

Harish Shankar has this knack of making any subject his own when remaking a film. Take, for example, Gabbar Singh. It was a remake of an iconic actioner, Dabangg. But think of Gabbar Singh, you won't even remotely connect it with Dabangg. Of course, it has the same base story. Same rustic atmosphere. And a few sequences remade shot to shot. But he infused the native spirit into it and delivered one of the greatest mass films of all time. Even massier than anything that Pawan Kalyan had up to that point came up with. And even better than Dabangg. 

He has done the same with this film. Wile Jigarthanda is an avant-garde black comedy made with a particular aesthetic style in mind, Harish Shankar imported the base story and improvised the secondary character - that of the gangster - and cast Varun Tej against type. It is a masterstroke. 

Gaddalakonda Ganesh may not be a classic or cult film like Jigarthanda was but it is surely a mass entertainer with a few niche aesthetics injected into. He never messed with the spirit of the film. It's still a tribute to aspiring filmmakers and cinema in general. But the additions to the basic plot added their own value organically. A symbol of good writing. We are not saying every change worked wonders. But rest assured, those which worked damn well. 


Varun tej is stunningly good in the role. Though it may give a vibe of lacking in depth, he made up for that minute flaw with his terrific acting coupled with his gangly figure. His lanky physique and charmingly unconcealable good looks all added the required vulnerability to the character of Gaddalakonda Ganesh and it brought an emotional connection to the audience. And the dialogues written for him are excellent and he mouthed them properly.  A next-level role for him and he made most of it. 

Atharvaa Murali is superb as a young filmmaker who wants to make his mark. He looked the part but did extremely. he lacked the easygoing but tough as nails spirit of Siddharth from the original but managed with his acting chops. He is particularly good in the filmmaking sequences in the second half. and he shared cute chemistry with Mrinalini Ravi who played Bujjamma. It is awkward but cute. Mrinalini Ravi steals hearts with her innocent performance. 

Sathya who played Gani's right-hand man is neat. Senior character artist Tanikella Bharani shines in a few-minute character. One of his dialogues stands out and is memorable (find out for yourselves). Brahmaji played a routine role in a routinely good manner. We can expect what he brings in when he appears on the screen. Such wastage of a talented actor, unfortunately. Supriya Pathak makes her presence as Gani's mother. 

The crew

The music by Mickey J Meyer is excellent. it's a good mass album and the picturization is neat too. The background score has a quirkiness which went well with the mood of the film except for the climax. The cinematography is terrific. The lighting and color-scheme followed created a dreamy and atmosphere and added to the meta nature of the film. The shot-making is cool. 

The editing is decent. The film feels a bit lengthy towards the second half of the second half. A good 10 minutes could have been trimmed. But it's just nitpicking. The production design is outright great. The atmosphere pertaining to the spirit of the film is well created. the production values are outstanding. 

Velluvochchina Pooja

Ah! The thing many have been waiting for. The sequences involving Pooja Hegde (he has an extended cameo sort of role) have Harish Shankar's mark and they worked well for Gaddalakonda Ganesh. It might not please the lovers of the original. But as a standalone entity, it works wonders to the feel of this particular interpretation of the subject. The Elluvachchi Godaramma song is aesthetically pleasing and is sensually picturized. It can be treated a good tribute to the original song. 


So, what to make of Gaddalakonda Ganesh? Those who have not watched Jigarthanda - go and watch this fun-filled entertainer with a difference. Those who watched it - you can give it a chance to convince you that it's not bad at all. It may click better than the original for you. Or at least works as a bearable timepass fo this weekend. Whatever! Gaddalakonda Ganesh is here to stay. And Varun Tej announces himself once again as a future superstar material. 


  • Varun Tej
  • Varun Tej
  • Varun Tej
  • Subject of the film
  • Atharvaa Murali and Mrinalini Ravi
  • Pooja Hegde as Sridevi


  • The latter half of the second half could have been handled well. 

Pycker rating: 3.25 out of 5

Reviewed by: GitacharYa

Gaddhalakonda Ganesh Critic Reviews

Gaddhalakonda Ganesh User Reviews

  • E.prashanth

    24 Sep 19 @ 4:25 PM

    Excellent Movie, Terrible acting by Varun Tej. And very good screen play. Congratulations to the whole team of Gaddhalakonda Ganesh. Wish you all good luck and  success for your future projects.

  • Bharath

    20 Sep 19 @ 1:16 PM

    Excellent Movie.... Great Director and Great Actors.... Enjoyed the movie... Congratulations to the whole team of Gadhala konda Ganesh. 

  • Kaspa

    13 Oct 19 @ 5:53 PM

Gaddhalakonda Ganesh Live Updates & Public Talk

Gaddalakonda Ganesh it is! Now it's not the time to think about creative freedom (a sudden change in title due to hurting of sentiments). Seems the change in the title didn't destroy the enthusiasm for this Varun Tej starrer. Harish Shankar who proved himself to have a knack to properly nativize a remake has taken the cult classic of Tamil Cinema, Jigarthanda, and came up with Valmiki or officially Gaddalakonda Ganesh. Talented Tamil actor Atharvaa Murali makes his Tollywood debut and the initial talk for this movie is generally positive. 

The first half of the film is said to be good with enough doses of entertainment while the interval block takes it to the next level. The second half is a complete fun ride with several mass moments. Career best performance from Varun and Great comeback by Harish. BGM by Mickey is terrific. Only negatives were some unnecessary scenes in the 2nd half and the runtime which is nearly 3 hours long. But overall, a pure feast for Mass Movie lovers.

Keep watching for more Gaddalakonda Ganesh public talk and live updates. 

Gaddhalakonda Ganesh Preview

What's the Story Behind Valmiki?

Remakes are not new to Telugu audience and as recently as a few weeks ago, they have watched Rakshasudu based on a Tamil film and made it a success. All one needs is to translate the essence of the original and loading nativity into it. Director Harish Shankar who scored one of the biggest hits of all time, Gabbar Singh and it's a remake. The Bollywood Dabangg became Tollywood's, Gabbar Singh. 

Now, he has taken up another cult blockbuster, this time the 2014 Tamil film, Jigarthanda. Now, he is in the process of reinventing Varun tej as a mass hero or rather mass antihero. With Pooja Hegde playing a village belle and the dubsmash sensation Mrinalini Ravi making her Tollywood debut, the film is shaping up to be an interesting choice this weekend. And talented Kollywood actor Atharvaa Murali reprises the role played by Siddharth in the original. The protagonist. 

What's Valmiki About?

Valmiki tells the story of a struggling aspiring filmmaker, Balamurali Rama, who wants to make a film based on the life of a gangster, named Gaddalakonda Ganesh, and the troubles he goes through to complete his mission. All this with a touch of black humor. Harish Shankar said that he hasn't changed anything from the original but added a bit of glitz and glamor, like the song Elluvachchi Godaramma remix, to the mix. 

Why Should We Watch Valmiki?

Right question! We watch films for entertaining ourselves is the obvious answer. But Valmiki is a film with an innovative story albeit once seen by the target audience probably, that of the urban youth who generally watch a film from any language if it's good. It's good too. For, Valmiki has a strong core subject. And a highly talented young star playing a defining role of his career. 

Watch out for

Varun Tej in a defining role of his career

He might have played a rocket scientist. And a warrior in World War II. And even underplayed his role so that the heroine could take the limelight.  But the role of Gaddalakonda Ganesh is the most challenging role for Varun Tej and it seems that he has nailed it and took the opportunity to expand his graph in the positive direction with both hands. 

Pooja Hegde in Elluvachchi Godaramma song

The yesteryear super hit song is a classic Raghavendra Rao creation. With Sobhan babu and the diva Sridevi both of whom are at the peak of their respective careers. Now, Pooja Hegde is doing the unenviable job of reprising Sridevi's part from the song. And also watch out for several props Raghavendra Rao style. 

Atharvaa Murali

Atharvaa Murali may be new to Tollywood audience but he is no stranger altogether. He is the son of yesteryear hero Hrudayam Murali. He has carved a niche for himself in Tamil Cinema and Balamurali Rama is his first major role. The name of his character could be a reference to his father's?

The team

Led by Harish Shankar who knows the pulse of the mass audience, Mickey J. Meyer composes the musical score and Ayananka Bose handles the cinematography. The original Jigarthanda is known for a particular aesthetic. And it will be interesting to see if Bose captured a similar aesthetic in Valmiki. Ram and Gopichand Achanta bankroll this film on 14 Reels Plus.