Envoy score: 3.5/5
Gods of Dharmapuri (G.O.D) is a rustic Telugu web series, on the lines of “Gangs of Wasseypur” and “Mirzapur”, now streaming on Zee5. The story is based on true events in a fictitious village called Dharmapuri in Rayalseema of Andhra Pradesh, which is ruled by tyrant Sarpanch D.N. Reddy, who calls all the shots.
Pratap Reddy enters this village along with his wife Saroja and children and joins the mine owned by D.N. Reddy as a labourer aka KGF. He raises his voice against exploitation and wins hearts of masses after a bloody confrontation with henchmen of D.N. Reddy.
Influenced by the political situation and support garnered by the leftist entity, Pratap Reddy goes on to become Sarpanch of Dharmapuri, dethroning D.N. Reddy and thus inviting the wrath of top echelons.
The feud continues and the story gets shifted to two sons of Pratap Reddy, Venu Reddy and Ravi Reddy who are poles apart. Venu Reddy, the more realistic and mature sibling, takes on farming after returning from Delhi University.
On the other hand, Ravi Reddy is a spoilt brat since childhood indulging in overdose of material pleasures but is good at heart. His love affair with a village belle Usha is the turning point in story which compels Venu Reddy to take up cudgels and eliminate the tyranny.
The locales, the people, the dialect, the attire and characters look so rustic, which is quite apt for the story which takes place in 1960s. The selection of artists, especially Raj Deepak Shetty as Pratap Reddy, Satya Dev as Venu Reddy, Karthik Rathnam as Ravi Reddy and Sruthi Jayan as Saroja (wife of Pratap Reddy), is very justifiable as their performances take the whole story to the next level.
Satya Dev Kancharana as Venu Reddy has cakewalked through his character with his towering performance. This one is going to be a memorable one for him. C/o Kancharapalem fame Karthik Rathnam, as Ravi Reddy, has excelled in his role with some heart touching histrionics and plays a pivotal role in ensuring a powerful pre-climax episode.
Sruthi Jayan, as Saroja, does an admirable job with different shades of character from a poverty-ridden housewife who makes compromises for the safety of his husband to a wife of a leader who rose to lead the masses and as a doting mother.
Chandini Chowdary, as an innocent village girl Swapna who woos Venu Reddy and marries him, puts up a brilliant performance in a de-glamourised short but sweetest role. L.B. Sriram as D.N. Reddy has portrayed yet another different character and he does this with great dignity and subtlety.
In the supporting roles, noteworthy performances come from John Kottoly as Ranga Rao who plays the influential leftist and Samyukta Hornard as Divya Mathews is another crucial character in the role of an upright journalist. Jagadeesh Prathap as Chalapathi and Vijay Adhi Raj as Vengal Reddy are others who pass the test with good marks.
It’s Anish Kuruvilla who, as captain of the ship, handles the script very well. His narration is flawless and his slick taking helps a lot in sustaining the story together without getting fizzled out. He is suitably supported by cinematographer Naveen Yadav who has effectively captured the rustic locales and made everything look realistic and top-notch. Editing by Abhinav is slick and clean.
Another noteworthy contribution is by Music Director Shakthi Kanth (of “Fida” fame), who does a spectacular job with soul-touching BGM, which added much-needed pace to the narration. The theme song “Rakaasi Loya” sung brilliantly by Ramya Behara is an added attraction.
Overall, Gods of Dharmapuri (G.O.D) is a must-see web series in Telugu to enjoy some binge-worthy moments which appeal a lot. The look, the characters and the storytelling are going to inspire many makers of web series in future. You can’t miss it if you want to feel that unsophisticated raw action on a bigger canvas.
Here’s the trailer: