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Govinda Naam Mera: A Vicky Kaushal show all the way

Vicky Kaushal is the glue that binds the movie, subtly segueing from mild-mannered and simple-minded to conniving and governing

The film hits its stride in the latter half

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A property dispute is the pivot for the chaos that surrounds Govinda ‘Govya’ Waghmare (Vicky Kaushal), a backing dancer with ambitions to become an independent choreographer. He’s in a loveless marriage, living in an expansive bungalow that is crumbling and contested. As blasé as Gauri (Bhumi Pednekar) is about her romantic dalliances with an insurance agent, Govinda is just as open about his affair with fellow dancer Suku (Kiara Advani). It’s chaotic at casa Waghmare, with the caustic Gauri baying for divorce, and monetary compensation.

Govinda and his wheelchair bound mother (Renuka Shahane) are doing the rounds of the courts, fighting off a claim that the house in fact belongs to Govinda’s deceased father’s first wife and her son Vishnu, and has wrongfully been occupied by the Waghmares. The battle is being fought both legally and illegally, because owning property in Mumbai city is akin to sitting on a goldmine.

Burdened by debt, blackmail and mounting legal bills, Govinda and Suku decide to choreograph a music video for an aspiring singer. Since everything Govinda touches turns to dust, what could have been a quick earner declines into a nightmare project. Not only is a corrupt cop (Dayanand Shetty), his divorce-seeking wife and the half-brother on his tail, Govinda now has to contend with a gangster (Sayaji Shinde) and his intoxicated and spoilt son. Bad decisions follow bad luck and just then things get really, really sticky when Govinda becomes the prime suspect in a murder investigation. Fortunately, his friend and lawyer Kaustubh (Amey Wagh), has his back.

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As the bossy wife who revels in emasculating her husband, Bhumi Pednekar is good fun. It’s a mischievous role for her and she relishes it. Kiara Advani sheds her urban finesse to play the small-town girl with big ambitions and questionable integrity, but doesn’t entirely seem at ease doing so. 

Vicky Kaushal is the glue that binds the movie, subtly segueing from mild-mannered and simple-minded to conniving and governing. When he dances to the song ‘Bijli’, he perfectly channels Ranbir Kapoor, who makes a cameo appearance.

In writer-director Shashank Khaitan’s comic drama, the power balance keeps shifting as each character’s motivation becomes clear. Khaitan knows how to turn up the tackiness, which is on full display during ‘Pappi Jhappi’, the music video choreographed by Govinda and Suku.

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Overstated in the first hour, Govinda Naam Mera (Disney+ Hotstar) hits its stride in the latter half, to become an amusing and wicked jape, which is a Kaushal show all the way. 

 

 

 

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