It was no secret, that Gopala Gopala was a remake of the hit Hindi movie, Oh My God, starring Paresh Rawal and Akshay Kumar, the latter playing none other than a suave, stylish, sophisticated Krishna. Venkatesh donned Paresh Rawal's role as the atheistic man, who files a case on god. As per the insurance policy, needed to file claim for his business loss caused by lightning, he had to deal with the Act of Go. He had to claim the compensation from god or the representatives of god. So starts an interesting court case that drags more and more people and alienates Gopala Rao(Venkatesh) from his family, his wife(Shriya Saran) and son.
Enters Pawan Kalyan, crisply dressed and riding a Harley. Someone needed to tell his fans, those were special effects, because they were going gaga over the scene where Pawan as Devudu(and obviously a million other names) saves Gopala Rao from goons. Krishna would reside in Gopala Rao's house, giving him advice from time to time, shaking a leg or two during songs and in general, looking supremely happy and impressed with himself.
In a movie where Pawan was the biggest star, it is Venkatesh who actually steals the show. Venkatesh who has as much stake in the movie as Pawan(Sharath Marar and Suresh Babu being the producers) is redefining the career path of heroes. Venkatesh, one of the most versatile actors in Tollywood has moved on from action thrillers, rom-coms and family entertainer to play solid characters, first in SVSC, followed by Drushyam and now Gopala Gopala. He plays the part of the frustrated common man fighting his own case perfectly. He is a tremendous and probably underrated actor, stealing the show in every scene of his. He was matched from time to time by Mithun Chakravarthy, but the dubbed voice really didn't do justice to Mithun's presence, undoing stunning body language as the conniving, effeminate religious leader.
While Venkatesh tries his best to keep the movie intense, dramatic and witty and Shriya does her best, supporting the main characters, the movie loses a lot of gusto in the second half, dragging itself at times. In spite of a good performance by Pawan, you'll feel betrayed by the lack of good dialogue or good music. Pawan too, looks puffy in most scenes, delivering dialogues without their usual crisp charm. Posani has plenty of screen time, but he is really not funny one bit. Yet, it is a miracle, Brahmanandam didn't figure in this movie. All in all, Gopala Gopala is not a must watch, for anyone other than true-blue Pawan devotees, who wouldn't obviously wait for a review before booking their tickets. The movie is not a bad remake. It has kept almost 90% of the content untouched. You would only wish though that the lighthearted moments were funnier and the intense moments had better dialogues, a la Trivikram, an area which director Kishore seemed to have ignored. Stars are good, stars delivering good dialogues, even better!