Love Mouli Review (2024): An Eccentric Dud. 

Love Mouli (2024): An Eccentric Dud. 

Navdeep’s highly ambitious Love Mouli is an interesting movie from Tollywood that excites more– just before it leaves with disappointment. 

Navdeep ‘re-introduces’ as  2.0 with Love Mouli by playing the lonely orphaned eccentric asocial angry young artist. (Yes, that’s a very long description). The eccentricity was made clear to us by the teasers as well as the introduction scene. In fact, that has been the USP (Unique Selling Point) of the movie. So, the angry eccentric artist has been taken for granted. So, what’s next?

Exactly this is where the movie struggles to find its meaning, except Mouli’s seeking for “true love” and a “perfect woman”. Right at the moment when you may begin to feel that Mouli is resembling Sadhguru for riding his stylish bikes and long hair, the movie begins to reveal its magic realism on the screen. An Aghora pops up in the jungle and gives gyaan (Knowledge), and a gospel and yeah, a magical paint brush. 

There is a proverb in Telugu, Kothi ki kobbari chippa dorkinattu. It means, “As if the coconut’s exocarp has gotten into the hands of a monkey” suggesting the mischievousness like Aladdin with Genie’s lamp. Similarly, Mouli plays around with the magic paintbrush and invents women of his choice, from his imagination. As the new characters of women come out of the painting, we are supposed to understand Mouli and his idea of love better. I guess that should have been the idea behind the movie. But, what we realize, as the languish of the movie continues, is nothing but it is all just an imagination of an egoistic patriarchal man-child who wants order in his chaotic life.

Avaneendra’s attempt to knit the philosophy of love and the contemporary (mis)understanding of love is very genuine. That genuineness can be seen on the screen. But, the writing could have been much better, especially the design of the character. We still don’t get to understand why dont-give-a-fuck-about-anything guy can’t control his rage on his ex-girlfriend. We still don’t understand why he is always on angry mode. Of course, we may find justifications through the backstory narrated through the voiceovers which gives us a meaning that he has ‘too many repressed emotions’. The same thing will be reiterated by his Ex-girlfriend Swetha too. But, we don’t see it to feel it. And, I can’t buy the climax. I felt that the climax was for the sake of Mouli’s but not for the sake of the audience. You just have to accept it. You don’t have the choice either. The element of magic realism performs the logic here, albeit unconvincingly. 

What we often see on paper might not translate to the screen. We can never see the paper– the paper where all the ideas are written just to translate them onto the big screen. So, we need not to judge a film on the basis of what it could potentially be. We shall judge it purely on what is shown to us, and that is bad. Otherwise, I can only imagine how impressive Love Mouli might have been on paper. 

Avandeendra is the one man show of Love Mouli. He is the writer, editor, cinematographer and director. The biggest asset of the movie is Avaneendra’s soul-exhilarating cinematography of Meghalaya and Govind Vasantha’s music too doesn’t quite register in your ears as it probably should. 

I see Rana Daggubati’s name in both Title Cards and End Cards. But, I didn’t see him in the movie. Maybe he has been edited out. Probably there will be a director’s cut in the future releasing on OTT platforms, or never. We don’t know it yet. 

Love Mouli is a very interesting movie from Tollywood that excites more– just before it leaves with disappointment. 

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