Venkitesh is given more than enough moments to shine, some might even say bordering on excessive. A number of ‘mass’ scenes, where Jeevan lets out inspiring, yet inorganic, monologues turn out to be tiring, especially in moments where they were supposed to be spontaneous.
Last Updated: 01.27 PM, Mar 03, 2023
After a band is accused of plagiarising a poem for one of their songs, they set off in search of the poet and stumble upon Sree Veda, an alumni of Sree Varma College, where her poem had been written on the college walls. She tells them the story of a young man who came into her quiet life, and helped instil in her the spirit of revolution.
By the title, Lovefully Yours Veda has all the makings of a campus love story. Although it does try to stay true to its title in bits and pieces, the backdrop of heated campus politics and calls for revolution drown out everything else the film makes an effort to delve into. And standing tall amongst it all is Venkitesh’s Jeevan Lal, while the titular protagonist, Rajisha Vijayan’s Sree Veda, ends up being sidelined.
Jeevan Lal is the poster boy of the ideal student leader, charming, loyal and fiercely protective of those he believes he has a duty to watch out for. Jeevan’s character is a departure from the usual hot blooded student activist trope in that he is cool headed and does not go in search of a fight. A true leader, he is written as someone who does what is best for the college, in his capacity as college union chairman. But in trying to make the character someone to look up to, Jeevan Lal is turned into a one dimensional ‘hero’ with zero faults.
The film definitely serves as Venkitesh’s vehicle through and through, which the actor definitely makes the most of. Venkitesh is given more than enough moments to shine, some might even say bordering on excessive. A number of ‘mass’ scenes, where Jeevan lets out inspiring, yet inorganic, monologues turn out to be tiring, especially in moments where they were supposed to be spontaneous.
In comparison, Sreenadh Bhasi’s character of Ranja, a rival student activist who acts as the unnamed head of ‘Gestapo’, a students group inspired by Nazi ideals, is much more layered. Even though the character is not exactly a complicated one, he is more fleshed out than Jeevan’s. Ranja starts off as your typical campus drama villain, with an inexplicable hate for Jeevan and plans to throw him out of college. Ranja’s characterisation and growth arc add a bit of depth to his character, and almost makes you overlook the fact that the character is introduced as a nazi sympathiser. The inclusion of the nazi symbols and propaganda seem highly unnecessary, given that it makes no contribution to the story.
Then there’s the titular protagonist Veda. As far as characterisation is concerned, Rajisha Vijayan is given a fair amount to work with. The way Veda blossoms from a quiet girl, happy in her little world, to someone who is more bubbly, cheerful and concerned with the world outside of hers, is written in a way that comes across as authentic and organic. The change is even reflected in the way Veda carries herself, although the allusion that it is all because of Jeevan’s ascent into her life seems kind of forced. But despite her charming characterisation, Veda is mostly sidelined in the story, courtesy of Jeevan.
The film’s story is nothing to write home about, with viewers being treated to a predictable, politically charged campus drama, with a love story brewing in the middle of it. To its credit, the film does make sure to tell the story as authentically as possible, Jeevan’s banal monologues and mass fights aside. A number of scenes will bring viewers, who have had the opportunity to be a part of campus politics, back to their college days. The spontaneous strikes, the high stakes sports matches, the campus rivalries, are all written and executed as authentically as possible, to an extent. The cinematography too is done brilliantly. But Lovefully Yours Veda does not manage to move past that when it comes to story, which ends up becoming one big cliche.
Lovefully Yours Veda makes no attempt to hide that it is Venkitesh’s vehicle through and through, done in a way that becomes cliched and unoriginal, as far as the story is concerned. Although not given a lot to work with Rajisha Vijayan and Sreenadh Bhasi try to make the best of what they are given, and brilliantly so.