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Gajanana and Gang review: This college bromance is outdated, unimaginative, and feels like a daily soap

Shri Mahadev stars as the lead in the film along with Aditi Prabhudeva and an ensemble cast. Abhishek Shetty of Nam Gani BCom Pass fame directs this one.

1.5rating
  • Swaroop Kodur

Last Updated: 11.02 AM, Jun 03, 2022

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Gajanana and Gang review: This college bromance is outdated, unimaginative, and feels like a daily soap
First look of the cast of Gajanana and Gang

Story:

Gajanana, an enterprising first-year B. Com student, leads a "gang" of friends to counter his seniors' bullying in college. Following an intense fight between the two gangs that gets cops involved, Gajanana and his friends decide to turn their lives around. However, despite their sincerity, their lives aren't devoid of highs and lows, grief, and disloyalty - will Gajanana and his friends sustain this tough phase of life and come out as credible individuals? 

Review:

Gajanana and Gang, quite suggestively, is the story of Gajanana and his gang of friends. Not unlike many other films about college life - Happy Days, Kirik Party, and the kind, Gajanana and Gang too brims with youthful energy, fierce friendships, and heartbreaks. For director Abhishek Shetty, this is a pure nostalgia exercise, so much so that he is willing to forego the opportunity to make a compelling film and trade it to simply spend time in a college-like setting. And unlike the aforementioned films of the same kind, this one comes with an unimaginative treatment that is likely to remind the viewer of a daily soap. From the over-the-toppedness to the drawling "true love" and "loyalty" angles in the story, Gajanana and Gang is a colossal mishit that's also bland and dull in every aspect. 

The main issue stems from Abhishek Shetty's complete lack of clarity regarding the film he wants to make. For those who are willing to dig far deep into this attempt, they might find that he was going for a nostalgia tale that is true to real-life experiences, one that comprises relatable setbacks and consequences. The film ending on a somber note is a testament to this but Abhishek's take on friendship, loyalty, and young love is outdated and unoriginal and sadly, the narrative never shows even a hint of a promise of being worthwhile. 

While the first half is essentially about the coming together of the friends, the classroom buzz, and the unjustified friction between the two gangs (seniors and juniors), the second half becomes more concentrated on Gajanana, his gang, and their early trysts with adulthood. Things like passion, career, and love are discussed but never without any substance and even the misunderstandings between the "lovers" (strangely, South Indian films still remain reluctant to use terms like "dating" instead of love) are unreal and silly. Abhishek Shetty, the writer, tries to infuse an interesting subnarrative that involves a marginalized character of the gang instigating disputes among the couples for his own evil pleasure, but the writing and tonality are unbearably melodramatic. There's also a passing reference to the concepts of borderline personality disorder and how schools and colleges can be alienating to certain people, but it's a futile attempt after all. 

Shri Mahadev plays Gajanana in the film and although he looks presentable with an impressive physique and a long mane, his character remains unexciting throughout, just as the rest. Aditi Prabhudeva, easily the most popular actors of the lot, has such an expendable role in the film that one wonders in surprise about what she saw in the script. There are a few appalling and shocking moments of abuse towards women in the film and the filmmaker uses the "real love and trust" to justify his choices - another glowing example of the outdated perspective. The rest of the cast too is underwhelming. 

Verdict:

Gajanana and Gang throws away an interesting premise and opportunity to in turn become a boring watch that lacks nuance and perspective towards modern romance and relationships. At no point does filmmaker Abhishek Shetty show any spark of being authentic, and his narrative reeks of silliness and confusion all along. One might feel generous and try enjoying some of the early college bits but the film is a tough one to endure without wanting to walk out midway. However, Puneeth Rajkumar's fans will be treated to the actor's inimitable voice in the Naan Ollayavne song and that could well be the only highlight of this film! 

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