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The Story of a Beautiful Girl review: Nihal Kodhaty, Drishika Chander’s deceptive thriller works despite its limitations

Director Ravi Prakash Bodapati’s film isn’t without its flaws but leaves you with a good aftertaste

The Story of a Beautiful Girl review: Nihal Kodhaty, Drishika Chander’s deceptive thriller works despite its limitations
The Story of a Beautiful Girl

Last Updated: 09.41 PM, May 13, 2023



Charitra, a popular mimicry artiste in the city, goes missing under mysterious circumstances. Her friend Ravi is dejected beyond imagination while a rich businessman Vikram is believed to be a key link behind her disappearance. When a group of cops piece together clues, they sense Ravi is guarding a secret from them. Is Charitra alive? What could be the culprit’s motive?


There’s a fine advantage for a filmmaker when he casts newcomers in a thriller - it gives him the license to tell the story as engagingly as possible, cut the flab and stay ahead of the viewer in terms of the guessing game. A Beautiful Girl, with a compact bunch of characters, is more a whydunit than a whodunit. While it initially lacks the bite of a thriller, a vital ingredient of the genre, it toys around with your imagination and springs a surprise despite its flaws.


When you initially notice the story revolving around an ordinary boy and his fascination for a blue-eyed girl who climbs the success ladder quickly, you’re instantly reminded of the ‘Rangeela’ universe. When you reimagine the story of two such protagonists as a wild thriller and connect it to a burning social issue, you’ll get something on the lines of A Beautiful Girl.

The director Ravi Prakash Bodapati (the writer of Mantra) uses a non-linear narrative smartly to put together various pieces of the puzzle. The major grouse with the early portions of A Beautiful Girl is the characterisation. The journey of the protagonists towards their ambitions, and their interpersonal relationships are devoid of an emotional connect. The procedural drama around the cops lacks authenticity. The setup feels too casual to be a thriller at times.

It takes you a while to be drawn into its world. In instances where the detailing/writing falls short, the performances come to the rescue. Over time, you sense that the incompleteness in its first hour is to lay a strong foundation for the post-intermission segments. The director is in reasonable control over his craft later. The modus operandi of the ‘conflict’ has several loose ends, but you invest in the story because of the emotional hook.

Through Ravi, you understand the trauma of loveless childhood and how companionship is so integral to his life. A Beautiful Girl strikes a chord whenever it sticks to the personal stories of the protagonists and establishes their motives. When the focus shifts towards the media trial and investigation, the film loses the plot. A couple of interesting twists towards the end help its cause. The film wins more than it loses and its attempt to address a social problem is sincere.

Nihal Kodhaty and Drishika Chander display terrific screen presence and bring their characters alive with confidence. If Nihal’s strength is his expression of the character’s vulnerabilities, Drishika showcases a child-like innocence in her portrayal with an undeniable charm. Bhargava Poludasu’s role has a Gatham connection and saying anything more would be a spoiler. Samarth Yug displays the right flamboyance for his part that needed better writing. Bhavana Durgam, Meher Sriram, Madhu Nandan are passable in their brief roles.

Beyond the performances, the film scores with how it integrates a bunch of songs into the narrative seamlessly. Arviz’s music is catchy and has a raw appeal - most of the unconventionally styled numbers work and enhance the impact of the situations. Despite the limitations in terms of locations, Amardeep Guttula’s aesthetic sense, and innovative frames capture your attention.

If only the screenplay was racier and the director placed more emphasis on the finer details, A Beautiful Girl would’ve been more impactful. Yet, looking at the budget and the limitations under which it’s made, the effort merits praise and makes for a decent one-time watch.


A Beautiful Girl is a deceptive thriller that’s slow to take off but surprises you with a handful of twists and its emotional depth in the latter half. The performances of the lead actors - Nihal and Drishika - the music and the earnest attempt to discuss a social issue help you look past its follies.

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