A young Indian fighting for the British against the Germans on a suicidal mission to rescue a bunch of POWS.
A German who marries a Jew and fathers a child and is on the run as the Germans want to kill the child as Himmler believes the German tainted their race.
A Young Indian woman who breaks all barriers and falls in love with a lower caste youth and is suddenly hurled into a battle between her brother and her lover .
A commander who comes face to face with his arch rival from back home and is witness to the ultimate sacrifice. A bunch of British and Indian soldiers who decide to take a group of Jews to a safer land away from the Germans.
An Italian farm girl who sheds her modesty to protect a group of soldiers who she believes might get her people the freedom they crave for.
KAANCHE (Fence) brings all these interesting characters and weaves a superb connection between all of them and spins a fantastic tale of love, sacrifice and hope.
The tragic love story is set in the pre-independence era and meanders till the aftermath of Mussolini's death during the second world war.
Doopati Hari Babu (Varun Tej) is a solidier in the British army fighting the Germans in Italy soon after Mussolini's death. His story unfolds through his letters to his wife Seethamma Devi (Pragya Jaiswal) who we are led to believe is back home waiting for him. Hari comes face to face with his new commanding officer Colonel Eshwar Prasad (Nikitin Dheer) who also happens to be Seetha's brother. We soon realize that there is no love lost between both the guys.
We are taken on a time ride back to 1934, where seetha meets Hari for the first time in a restaurant where he is working part time as a waiter. She is bowled by his poetic talent and nicknames him Shakespeare, only to realize that they both are from the same village and also study at the same college.
Love blossoms between them even though she is the daughter of a zamindar and he from the lowly tribe of barbers. Seetha is confident that her brother Eshwar would approve the match, but she is in for a shock as Eshwar disapproves it and both the lovers get married defying everyone.
Back to 1944, where the British troops are ambushed by the Germans and Eshwar along with a bunch of officers are taken as POWS. Hari and his friend Dasu (Avasarala Sreenivas) manage to stay hidden and plan a rescue mission.
The rescuers are saddled with a group of Jews who seek their help in getting to the border.
Kaanche offers this and much more to the hungry tollywood audience, a movie of this canvas and period setting is totally unheard of here, but Krish manages to tell a fine tragic love story set in the period of world war II with lot of care to the costumes, the trains of the era, the armored cars, planes and even the pathways.
There were instances when cinematic liberty took over, but all in all, it could be forgiven on the strength of the rest of the film. Poignant scenes such as the Italian girl getting undressed to show the Germans that she is all alone in the washroom and Das's lines immediately are an ode to womanhood.
The German officer mercilessly shooting all the unarmed British soldiers and also civilians paints a horrifying picture of the war.
The lines between Radha and Hari are romantic and it is a pity that the love story was not given enough screen space to grow.
Varun Tej as Hari is impressive especially in the pre climax scenes and also scenes where he opposes the caste system.
Avasarala Srinivas manages to evoke laughter and at the same time is equally good in the emotional scenes.
Nikitin Dheer as Eshwar does justice to the role.
Pragya Jaiswal is the only loose end in the movie, bad acting reduces her character to a caricature as most of her emotional lines turn into unintentional funny lines. A woman with that figure is unheard of in 1930's in this side of the world, Krissh should have cast someone from the south as it would have made a good impact.
Sowcar Janaki, and Gollapudi Maruti Rao excel in the climax scenes, proves that given the right roles veterans can still steal thunder from under their younger counterparts.
Dialogues by Sai Madhavi Burra are what drove the movie forward, the difference between love and like, the role of a woman in the Indian household, the common factor between all the women in the world are explained quite beautifully in the form of simple dialogues.
Cinematography by Gnanasekhar is excellent and gives the movie a Hollywood feel, especially the battle scenes.
Direction by Krish is top notch, though there were instances where the movie lagged, but the subject and the period setting he chose made the movie a winner. A special mention for the beautifully staged battle scenes, actually give you the impression of watching Hollywood War Classics, proves the fact that given the right budget and proper screenplay and good actors, Tollywood could come up with world class movies
.only if they could just try.
I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a different fare from tollywood