Dear Comrade is a romantic action-drama musical film from Tollywood. The movie was theatrically released on July 26, 2019, in the Telugu language along with dubbed versions in Tamil, Malayalam, and Kannada languages.
The film was dubbed in Hindi and was uploaded on YouTube in 2020 on Goldmines Telefilms Youtube Channel. The English subtitles were activated on one point which is how I watched the movie on the platform. The movie is also available on Amazon Prime Video.
Before discussing the movie I should probably share some information about Tollywood and Indian Cinema. A few years back when I was looking into alternative entertainment I first looked into Bollywood. Later I learned that Indian Cinema is not just Bollywood. There is so much more.
I started watching Bollywood flicks around 2008 but it’s just recently that I started watching more regional Cinema. These days I don’t really pay attention to where they came from. As long as they have subtitles, I’m good.
Telugu cinema, also known as Tollywood, is the segment of Indian cinema dedicated to the production of motion pictures in the Telugu language, widely spoken in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Telugu cinema is based in Film Nagar, a neighborhood of Hyderabad, India. There are many other regional film industries within the Indian cinema but the most popular internationally are the Hindi movies of Bollywood (musicals) and some from the Independent Hindi cinema.
There are interesting films in Tamil and Telegu cinema that are musicals and non-musicals that get overshadowed by Bollywood internationally. Films such as Bahubali: The Beginning and Bahubali: The Conclusion, were the exception because they got support from creators in Bollywood to be distributed to international audiences.
In addition to the fact that there is a very common stereotype of Indian Movies in the West. Look no further than the “Eternals” (2021). Indian Cinema is more than just Bollywood. Music is an important factor in Indian storytelling but not everything is a traditional musical.
DEAR COMRADE: THE FILM
Dear Comrade was produced by Mythri Movie Makers and, Big Ben Cinemas. It is promoted as an intense love story between Bobby, a student union leader, and Lilly, a state-level cricketer. Bobby has anger management issues, which he needs to overcome and fight for his love. This short description undersells the film in my opinion.
A very casual camaraderie between Bobby, played by Vijay Deverakonda, and Lilly, played by Rashmika Mandanna, slowly blossoms into love, and then their journey unfolds. The film shows mostly the ups and downs of their relationship but something tragic happens to Lilly while she is on her quest to become a professional cricketer. She is sexually abused by the Chairman of her Cricket Association.
The film looks like the usual romantic movie except it also highlights the following issues:
- Corruption in politics and students’ unions;
- Harassment of biological women in cricket sport (and in general);
- The mental health issues associated with physical abuse;
- The difficult road of raising awareness of physical abuse in a judgmental society and;
- The empowerment and safety of biological women.
It also has a motivating message to not surrender and keep fighting for your rights. You have the right to live without any fears. Pretty often we are intimated by people we don’t even know to keep quiet about the physical and mental abuse. Dear comrade is all about fighting for what you deserve: the right to feel safe in your environment. In the end, Bobby turns into a lifelong “Comrade” not just for his love, but for all the girls he knows.
“A man standing by his girl, fighting for, and supporting her to achieve her dreams, being proud of her success are traits we don’t normally get to see in movies these days.”
Though the story was a little confusing in the first half-hour, there are a few fight scenes that can irritate you with the unstable camera movements where the hero is fighting off his rivals over trivial issues displaying his anger management issues. However, the film has beautiful songs and soothing melodies. They have incorporated music into the storytelling. The music sequences are not the traditional dancing sequences we see in most Indian films.
The movie could have had a better impact as it had good themes but suffered a poor execution of the story and its structure. However, it is still a refreshing attempt. The movie can be watched for its performances, cinematography, and soundtrack, and for admiration of its beautiful locations.
My Rating: 6.5/10
DEAR COMRADE: THE INSPIRATION
There’s a social message that the film tries to giveaway at the end which inspired me to write this piece in the first place: Every biological woman should have a comrade who supports her in her journey and instills courage in her to fight for her rights.
A comrade can be a Father, Brother, Husband, Partner, Boyfriend, Son, Godson, Son-in-law, Male-Cousin, Male-Friend, or Colleague that defends, supports, motivates, encourages, and respect you as a female.
To ask for help when needed, and to help others when they need it back is the true spirit of comradeship. A true comrade is there with you even if the whole world is against you and is able to tell you what you don’t want to hear. Sometimes you are not able to see your own true potential. Sometimes you need to go over the edge and pass over your limitations. When you do that, your comrade should be there to support you. It is so inspiring that the comrade in the film, Bobby, supports his girlfriend, Lilly, against the social and societal pressures to take a legal stand and achieve her dreams. If she went along with her environment she would have never been able to stand up for herself.
I found this to be an important message in this current climate where biological women’s rights are challenged. In scenarios where adult females and kids are confronted with a threat or are going into dangerous territory, they need a comrade, or a defender to help them out of that situation. Despite what is portrayed in modern western movies and shows adult females are not naturally skilled fighters. It takes some self-defense training, a subject that should be taught to young children in schools in my opinion. Females and children are among the most vulnerable in society and should be protected. Dismissing that is a mistake.
Many men feel ignored in their role as defenders in today’s climate, but they should know that quietly supporting their families and being ready to defend the weak are admirable traits that should be much appreciated.
THANK YOU for being a comrade to your Mother, Sister, Wife, Daughter, Goddaughter, Daughter-in-Law, Female-Cousin, Adult-Female Friend, and Colleague.
THANK YOU for being DEFENDERS ready to fight the PREDATORS.
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