Tuesday Telugu: Fidaa, Makes the Hero Wait on the Heroine

Well, I watched it!  Because, weeks and weeks after it’s release, it is STILL playing one show a week at my local theater!  Which means I had the opportunity to see it, and also the curiosity, what is it about this movie that makes it keep playing and playing and playing?  Besides what must be an extremely favorable per play contract with the theater?

I cannot believe how good Sai Pallavi was!  I have now seen “all” of her movies (meaning all 3 of them), and I had no idea she had this in her.  Sure, she was the standout heroine of Premam, but that was mostly the character and an unusual calmness and centeredness onscreen.  And she was great in Kali, but again that was making use of her natural calm, and really that movie was like 70% Dulquer and all the other actors had to split the remaining 30%.  But now, this movie, this is a true lead role.  Not even a co-lead role, an actual lead!

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(See how she is in front on the poster?)

That’s kind of what makes the film so great overall, our heroine really is the “hero” start to finish.  She makes the decisions, she causes the changes, she does everything while Varun Tej just stands there and looks pretty (and he is very pretty).  And in the end, she is the one who “wins” and gets everything she wants while the rest of the world has to adjust to her desires.

That’s the main thing that is wonderful, but there are other things too.  I really like this vision of American life, for instance, it feels very real.  A nice house, not a huge house but a nice house.  Indian restaurants in strip malls, white and desi friends mixing at parties, and so on and so forth.  Oh, and America isn’t a “terrible” place.  It’s not for everybody, some people will like it and some won’t, but it’s not vilified or turned into some land of rapists and muggers.

This isn’t my home pride being offended, it’s my need for good narrative that minds it when America is made into such a transparent “bad guy”.  To have these big sudden bursts of evil, instead of a slow and steady build of “I just don’t like this place” doesn’t make any sense.  And this movie does a great job of showing America as a beautiful country where you can have a nice life, but that still doesn’t mean it is the nicest possible life.

Beyond that what really stood out for me was the style of the film.  It felt very, how can I say this, grounded?  It wasn’t just America that had the “nice house but not a mansion” kind of visual, India was like that too.  A nice house in a village, a small field, a tractor.  Lots of mud, lots of rain, not much singing and dancing in the fields, more working in them.

Beyond that, the relationships in this film felt so real while at the same time not just imitations of Western relationships.  This isn’t a boy and girl shyly exchanging glances across the room and falling in love at first sight.  They really talk, spend time together, get to know each other.  And they handle their relationship themselves, parents and heads of family are not brought in to it.  This is between them.

But that doesn’t mean that they leap into bed together, or even kiss.  It doesn’t mean that marriage isn’t the natural next step after falling in love.  You can be grounded and real with each other, and still “traditional” in your own way, still believable as what a “good boy” raised in America and a village girl in India would be comfortable with.  Oh, and all of this without throwing away female desire.  Our heroine is explicitly looking for a man she wants to touch and who she enjoys when he touches her.

Let’s see, what else?  The songs were good.  The stand out was the wedding song, but the rest of it was okay.  Interesting, there was no big fantasy song of any kind.  Another way in which the film was grounded.  As I said before, there’s been all this buzz over Arjun Reddy being a “different” kind of Telugu film, but it’s really not.  Arjun Reddy, this movie, Ninnu Kori, they all felt the same to me.  Love stories, songs, costumes, dialogue, all of it like you would see in the “real” world.  Arjun Reddy just pushed the envelope a bit on the sex and drugs part of it, but the rest of it, the style of it, that’s been there all along.

If anything, this film is MORE progressive than Arjun Reddy!  A hero who reacts to heartbreak with addiction and self-destruction, blah blah, seen it!  A heroine who refuses to alter her life plans just because she falls in love, radical!








I missed the first 5 minutes.  Gosh darn it.  But from what I have been told, it sets up the slight gender flip right from the start.  Our hero is the one who goes to his big brother and tells him it is time to get married.  The reverse of the usual concern with the daughter needing to be convinced and being shy and reluctant and so on.  And of course the daughter is also usually convinced by another woman of the household, and this time it is the man of the house who talks with him.

By the time I came in, the brother had arrived in India to see our heroine’s older sister.  The couple liked each other, but he asked if they could wait until his little brother came from America to confirm he liked her too.  Well, I guess his middle brother.  It’s a household of 3 boys, the oldest who is responsible and grown up with a job that supports them all, the middle one who is in med school, and the youngest who is still a little kid.

Okay, I have to pause her and jump around wildly in order to make my point!  See, the two households are flipped!  Our heroine and her sister are the only support of their father.  Our heroine runs the farm, her sister runs the house.  Meanwhile, overseas, our hero is the warm supportive parent to his little brother, while the oldest is the provider for the household and head of the household.  Our heroine is the “son” while our hero is the “daughter”.

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This is not to say that they aren’t still male and female.  There is a difference between their gender roles and their family roles.  Our hero is tall and handsome and a doctor, and even gets into a fight.  Our heroine wears saris and dances at weddings and is teased by boys.

The romance, at least the early romance, is delightful for how it jumps back and forth across gender lines.  There are a few moments when our hero asserts physical authority over our heroine in a very male way, and she responds with feminine delight (lifting her up, towering over her, etc.).  But there is also a very direct moment in which our heroine takes the male role in those cell phone scandals.  She tricks our hero into wearing a wet dhoti in the courtyard and takes photos of him and later threatens him with them.

It finally turns, for both of them, in a very conscious way in the middle of the wedding celebrations.  Our heroine does a dance in full sari at the Sangeet, a very feminine act.  Later, the gender line is crossed again when our hero offers to help her study, and makes her chai, explaining that since his parents died young, he and his brother naturally learned how to cook and care for themselves.  But the next day, once and for all, the line is drawn by the heroine.

She declares that he is tall and handsome and kind and everything perfect.  But he must have a flaw because she needs him to be flawed in order for her to forget him and maintain her promise to her father to stay and run the family farm.  And his flaw appears to be that he is not willing to fight for her.  Some boys at her college are excited by seeing the mole on her back, and Sai consciously taunts them, trying to force a reaction from Varun.  And when it doesn’t come, she admits to her friend that she is disappointed in him, but this is the best thing possible, now she has a flaw to latch on to in order to get over him.  Only, of course, it was all a fake out on the audience.  They go outside to discover that Varun is in a massive fight, beating up everyone who dishonored her, he only appeared cowardly when he was with them because he didn’t want them to be a part of it.

And that is the end, for a while, of Sai as the “man”.  Which, again, is underlined for the audience, she and her friend talk and she decides to just enjoy this time and pretend to be something she isn’t while she has it.  And for the rest of the love song, Sai “tries on” the persona of a girly girl, enjoying being frivolous and in love.

Until, at the end, she returns to her natural state of boy dom.  Not by falling out of love or anything like that, but by reacting to her love in the way a boy would.  Planning to propose, to ask him to come live with her.  Not planning to change her life, but to ask him to join her and change his so they can be together.

All of this is fascinating!  And this alone would be a good movie.  But, of course, there has to be an interval point so it all has to change.

And so before Sai can propose, she overhears Varun talking with his cousin (his sophisticated city cousin) seemingly about being in love with her, the cousin.  And Sai turns away from him.  He returns to America, she rejects his calls.  He finally texts her that he is in love with her, weeks later, and she responds with a photo of her slipper (which is a wonderful immediately iconic idea).

This part is a little hard to take.  I mean, WHY???  Such a stupid misunderstanding!  But if we relate it back to the first half of the film, it all makes sense and resonates.  First, it is always the “hero”s role to misunderstand the heroine and hold her imagined sins against her while the heroine silently endures.  In this case, the genders are just flipped.  Second, and much more importantly, remember that Sai was looking for a fault.  She told her friend she would find that one flaw and focus on that until she ripped him out of her heart.  Because she cannot be a “wife”, she has to be a “son”.  Her hardness here is not because Varun hurt her feelings, or her heart is broken, or anything like that.  It is because she is trying to harden herself to the task she has set, to be her father’s strength for the rest of his life.  She had a brief moment of weakness, but now that is over.  Again, very “hero”, think of Amitabh on a quest for vengeance giving up the woman he loves kind of thing.

Heck, Sai even picks out her next groom herself!  Goes to the richest most educated young man in the area and asks for a “selfie” in order to make Varun jealous.  And it turns into a proposal.  Which is accepted at first in a petty game with Varun, but then rejected later not because of Varun but because of Sai, she just doesn’t like the guy “like that”.  And in her mind, it is up to her to pick her husband, not the other way round.

And then the shift to America for the last 3rd of the film, this is not a shift in geography but in gender.  Sai is sent because her sister is on bedrest during pregnancy and there is no other woman available, she is told to do what her mother would have done had she been alive.  To go take care of the household, take care of her sister, be very “feminine” in a way she never has been before.

It changes the power dynamic further that this is in America, Varun’s home where Sai is the stranger.  Not as much the stranger, she can easily navigate most areas, but still needs help with some others.  She is still the stronger one, Varun’s heart is broken and life is in shambles while Sai is powering through with her own destiny in mind, but they are more equal here.  There is a great moment that shows that, after an emotional blow up (when Sai wore a short western style dress, and Varun had an obvious reaction, and felt that she was taunting him with it), Varun is told he has to drive Sai to visit her friend.  He is too upset to think about being on a car trip with her and so leaves her at a bus station instead.  Then feels guilty and returns for her.  See, emotionally, Varun is the weak one.  But physically (especially in this unknown place), Sai is still the weaker one.  The gender dynamics are different, but still related to what they would be in a regular film.

The actual car trip is where all the “boy” “girl” stuff sort of sorts itself out.  There are two moments that stick out for me.   First, at one point, Varun tries to teach Sai to drive in America (obviously she can drive in India).  He doesn’t want her to stay weak, he wants her to learn and get stronger and all of that.  He wants her to be an equal to him, as she was in India.

But later, when Sai wakes up and sees snow on the ground (while they are visiting Varun’s cousin, resolving that last little bit of doubt as he explains that the cousin was in love with and married someone else), she runs outside to touch it.  And then loses her balance and almost falls until suddenly Varun grabs her waist and pulls her up.  It’s super romantic.  But also a nice line of power.  He is both the stronger one, and the one more aware of the dangers in this place, and he will protect her.  For now.  While she learns to drive and so on.

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It’s not surprising that, after this trip, Sai changes her mind and agrees to marry Varun.  The underlying concern was never his possible romance with his cousin, that was just the excuse she used to justify and support her other concerns.  The main problem was her doubt as to her ability to ever live as a “wife”, to give up her dreams and independence and responsibilities, everything that came with her position as “son”.  And that is what Varun proves is possible.  She can make herself happy with him, he can adjust himself a little to her.  It’s not that she was “resisting” until now, as I see it, it’s that she honestly was not sure this was something she could do until she tried it out and saw that it could work.  And, of course, until her father insisted and released her from her greatest responsibility, himself.

I like the big ideas of the ending, but the execution felt a little rushed to me.  Although maybe that is because I am still getting in the rhythm of Telugu non-action films?  I had the same issue with Ninnu Kori, and even a little bit with Arjun Reddy.  And, now that I think about it, Santosham and Manam too!

The Big Idea is twofold.  First, the whole issue of Sai making her peace with giving up her place.  And second, the question of who will offer to leave, and who will ask.  Sai admits to her sister that now she cannot bring herself to ask Varun to stay in India with her, as she planned to in the first flush of love, because love should not have conditions.  She should be willing to marry him, if it is to be a true marriage, no matter what.  And that is what she is, finally, able to do.  To agree to the unspoken deal that if they marry, she will leave her home and her father and live in his world.

It is only after the wedding that Varun reveals he is planning to stay in her world.  Because he believed in that love without conditions too.  He wanted her to marry him without the promise, and he wanted to be able to give the promise knowing it was his choice, that he could have her and his future if he wanted it.

I just wish it weren’t all so rushed!  I feel like Sai’s character, as a whole, may have turned out to be ill-served by that ending, by the way it appears that she changed her mind for no reason (rather than finally seeing that she is capable of letting go of her duty thanks to a whole series of events), and then Varun agreed to stay in the village for no reason (rather than it being the other half of the unspoken love without conditions problem).

However, setting aside the last few minutes, what a wonderful movie!  A heroine who takes the hero’s part without losing her femininity, and a hero who takes the female role without losing his masculinity.

45 thoughts on “Tuesday Telugu: Fidaa, Makes the Hero Wait on the Heroine

    • I can see why it is running so long, definitely a good movie to come back to again and again, especially on a weekend matinee with the family.


  1. One of my favorite aspects of Fidaa was the American life. That house was literally just like my house and the houses that I grew up around. Especially that railing and kitchen. And the basketball hoop outside!

    I agree about the house in India as well! I’ve never been to a village in Telangana but the environment shown was really similar to the villages I’ve been to in Andhra.

    I loved the songs in this! Before I saw the movie I liked Vachinde and Hey Pillagaada, but now I can’t decide which song is my favorite.

    If you missed the first five minutes then you basically just missed this song:

    I thought that scene where Sai Pallavi sees snow for the first time to be kinda funny because you will never see that kinda snow in Texas. But it was a nice scene.

    By the way, Sai Pallavi’s next movie is Middle Class Abbayi (“Middle Class Guy”) co-starring Nani. I’m expecting it to be good since the director’s debut, Oh My Friend, was a pretty good movie.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Nani is awesome! Have you seen Ala Modalaindi yet? Its a really fun rom-com with Nani and Nithya Menen.

        Try to find Gentleman because that was pretty fun and kind of a different side of Nani. You should also try to find Yevade Subramanyam. It’s one of my favorite Nani movies and it has Vijay Deverakonda in an important supporting role. Here’s the trailer to Yevade Subramanyam:

        Liked by 1 person

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  3. “A heroine who takes the hero’s part without losing her femininity, and a hero who takes the female role without losing his masculinity”.

    Yes, that sums up the movie. A true heroine is the one who either carries family’s responsibility on shoulders or faces challanges. Its not about whether she wears sarees or pants. I like that kind of heroines.

    Margaret, I am glad you watched it. You might also like another movie Sekhar Kammula directed 12 years ago – Anand.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I think you missed an important detail in the train conversation. Apart from the whole confusion over who’s marrying the cousin, hero was also strongly advising her (who is also a doctor) to move to the US for better opportunities. It’s not just that he might be into this other girl (which wasn’t the issue since he himself proposed to Pallavi later), it’s that he had planned out his career in US and might not be keen to move to India.


    • Yes, I too noticed that important detail (hero talking somewhat negatively about lack of opportunities in India) that also makes heroine angry at him. I failed to mention it in my earlier comment.


    • Thank you! I got that they were talking about her moving to the US, but I only saw that as Sai thinking he was committed to her and planning their life. Totally missed the other part, that makes so much sense! Thank you!

      On Wed, Sep 13, 2017 at 2:21 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  5. A heroine who takes the hero’s part without losing her femininity, and a hero who takes the female role without losing his masculinity.

    Never thought of the film this way. It is still running in theatres in our place, so I think I can pay a revisit. Especially because my family is not really keen on watching Arjun Reddy. The review was great. It made me appreciate this simple film even more.


    • I’m glad you liked it! and it’s definitely more of a family film than Arjun Reddy.

      On Sat, Sep 16, 2017 at 6:32 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



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  10. I’ve been waiting to see Fidaa for months . I think it was the most awaited 2017 movie for me. But now, when I finally saw it, I didn’t like it!

    How it’s even possible – I adore love stories, I love Sai Pallavi, I watched and loved the music and still I don’t get why this movie was so popular. First half was very good, but the second was a mess, especially the ending. I was waiting to know how they will solve their problems just to know in the end that they didn’t solve them, just skipped to “happily ever after”. So why we didn’t end the movie before the interval, when it was still interesting?
    And , oh man, Varun Tej was soooo bad. In some scenes I imaginated that Sai was romancing a rock, and I missed Nani so much. Middle Class Abayi was not good , but at least Sai had better partner.


    • I also had a problem with the second half! But not as big a problem as you. I think probably because I saw it on the big screen, where things always seem to drag less than when you are watching them at home.

      The first half was so wonderful, the idea of this heroine who chooses to have (essentially) a fling, and then discovers she is in love after all and tries to figure out what to do. But the misunderstanding was kind of ridiculous, especially after he proposed. It just made her look kind of stupid. I wish they had come up with a real conflict to get to the point of him being in love and her not trusting him/not thinking he loves her. Because the essential structure, her being in love with him in India, and him in love with her in America, that was a great idea.

      Varun Tej, we diverge there. He didn’t blow me away, but I didn’t mind him at all.

      On Mon, Feb 26, 2018 at 1:02 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



      • If it would be my film, I would remove all this cousin drama. Sai should talk with Varun about her feelings on the train, but he would answer, that yes, he like her too but can’t live in India because he wants to be big in America. Then they part ways. He tries to forget, goes out with the white girl (oh I’m so happy the white girl wasn’t the usuall “I’m so busy sleeping with men that I don’t even own clothes beside sexy lingerie”) Sai gets to know about it and is disappointed. She comes to America, where both realize they can’t live separated and are ready to make compromises. The end.


        • That works much better than the whole “hero is clearly pining for and sincerely in love with the heroine and for unknown reasons she just can’t see it” option they went with.

          On Mon, Feb 26, 2018 at 2:06 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:



          • It’s my third telugu film in a row which can described as: beautiful first half, and misguided second.

            But Sai was adorable. I still like her more in MCA but here she was wonderful too.


  11. Just watched this because some of the songs people posted made me curious about Sai. I’m with Angie, I really liked the first half but the second half kind of bored me. I think it’s because of how wonderful and charming and free Sai is in her home in the first half, compared with an unhappy fish out of water in the second half. A lot of light goes out of the film when you take away her joy and playfulness and the fun push-and-pull of Sai and Varun learning to get along. (Also possible the setting is just less interesting to me. And that road trip. Did they cover Texas-Colorado-Utah-California in a week? Brain got stuck trying to figure out a route that would cover desert, snowy mountain town, and coast in one breezy drive.)

    I did like the gender role flip a lot, and I respect the movie for not throwing in some drama in the second half to up the stakes. I was fully expecting the father to have a health crisis, or for one of them to do something truly unforgivable. Instead they kept it at misunderstanding + strong personalities, which is admirable on some level but also not as interesting to watch, and kind if annoying as we wait around for them to just talk it out.

    The resolution felt rushed to me too, though I liked the moment in the field where she kisses him – nice writing in that scene, nice staging.

    I liked most of the actors, especially Sai’s family. And I get Sai’s appeal, she really does have a special kind of spark. Glad I watched it, totally worth it for the first half alone.


    • I’ve now seen two other movies by the same director, it seems like he specializes in strong heroines and kind of small stakes family plots. But the other two movies I watched (Anand and Godaveri) there was no strong first-second half structure, it was just one long continuation of the same story. Maybe that’s what through him with this one, trying to make his film into a two-parter instead of just one long thing like he usually does?

      On Sun, Jan 20, 2019 at 9:53 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



      • I mean it’s hard to hang a whole long movie on one love story. I don’t know what it would take to juice up the second half without injecting melodrama. Maybe if more time elapsed during or right after the interval – if they each went off to their respective studies and only saw each other for a couple of holidays, and then the second half was the coming together of two people who had grown and changed, mostly apart, over four years, each more committed to the path they had chosen, but also more aware with the passage of time that if neither compromised they would never be together. That could give you enough to chew on for an hour but still stay faithful to real life.


        • With the other movies I’ve seen by this director, he went the route of having lots and lots of stories. One is on a river trip with the hero and heroine plus an assortment of other characters with their own issues, the other is set in a neighborhood with everyone in the neighborhood having their own stories. The love story is the through line, but everything else kind of happens around it. I guess in this movie it would have been if they made Sai’s best friend be worried about paying off a mortgage and Varun helping, and a lot of minor conflicts around putting the marriage together for their siblings, maybe the little brother is getting bullied in school and they have to solve that, and so on. Now that I write it out, I don’t know if I would even want that, I kind of like that the film is so focused on the two of them instead of mixing in other stories too.

          I like your idea!!!! Maybe make Varun’s proposal and her rejection less dramatic, he just sends a note saying “I’d like to write you” and her replying “I don’t think that is a good idea”. And then they both focus on school and so on and try to forget each other until they are thrown together again years later with all of these emotions just buried but not resolved.

          On Sun, Jan 20, 2019 at 7:45 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



          • There should be more Harshavardhan Rane in the plot. We see him only at the wedding and when she comes to take a selfie. Why not add more scenes with Sai and him together? He can do the longing gazes like nobody. We should wonder: what if Sai will chose this guy? Maybe she’ll fall for him etc


          • Oh, yes! That would make more sense. Give them some scenes were he is nice and understanding and perfect so there is a real conflict between him and Varun Tej as potential partners.


          • Harshvardhan is extremely good looking. I liked the part where he touched her waist and she shied away, and that convinced her they had no chemistry because she wasn’t attracted to him. Maybe something like that, but with a longer build. Like instead of jumping straight from selfie to marriage proposal, she stays back to study and they slowly get better acquainted. Sai has declared she is staying with her father and the farm and not interested in getting married, but Harshvardhan is always around in the background, gazing soulfully out of his beautiful eyes, and their families start encouraging them to consider a match. Sai spends some time considering this as a practical alternative, one that would allow her to keep her promise and live the life she set out to lead. But then a holiday visit to her sister brings her back in contact with Varun and the impractical reality that they are just right for each other comes back. When Sai goes back home, same scene with the photo and the touching and her unhappiness, finally convinced she cannot possibly go through with marrying Harshvardhan. Varun, having made the same realization about needing to be with Sai, comes to India on an impulsive trip and they have a tense encounter about how being together is impractical and impossible because it means one of them giving up their plans for the future – but then Varun reveals he’s ready to do it anyway, walk away from his pretigious residency and move to India to be with her. Shades of Swades, but more realistic once he already has his medical degree.


          • In Anand, which I just happened to have rewatched and is by the same director, they keep building tension with the heroine’s ex. They break up, but he comes back, leaves, comes back, and the whole time the hero is waiting around for her to finally be done with this so she can open her eyes and see him waiting. They could do something like that with Harsh, there is a proposal, she asks to think about it, they spend time together, she says “maybe”, goes away, comes back, says “yes”, then says “no”, then says “yes” again, and the whole time Varun is waiting to see what will happen.

            Also, poor Harsh!!!! Why doesn’t he get a happy romance? It’s not fair! He did nothing wrong!

            On Mon, Jan 21, 2019 at 9:50 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



  12. I just saw this movie on YouTube because there’s a dubbed hindi version with English subtitles, and like you i just got frustrated at the misunderstanding. The movie was really good but at that point it seemed like they were mad at each other for way bigger reasons than what was actually happening. Actually i can see why he was mad, she rejected him with a picture of her slippers i mean it doesn’t get harsher than that lol
    But from her side, it seemed silly. I get that she thought that he is going to marry his cousin (how even??) And just got angry, but i can imagine being angry for some days but then so angry to the point that an “I love you” message is completely ignored? It’s basically what she wanted from him so even if she was mad until that point, i would have expected that anger to fade a bit after receiving that message. I guess they wanted to make things more tense and less perfect, and if it had just been that he wants to be in the US and she wants to be in India, then there would have been no mystery. You would know that it’s just a matter of time before they resolve that. But I guess the writer wanted to highlight their personalities as much as their living situations. Kind of like in Pride and Prejudice where they have a big misunderstanding and she thinks that Darcy ruined her sister’s life and he’s too proud to hide it. I think they wanted to show that the fact that she showed him around her village and spent a lot of time with him, showed she liked him. And she felt hurt that he was leaving without any big gesture or words and that he was supposedly flirting with his cousin. And also dissing her village. I guess they wanted to create these two flawed characters. Flawed but realistic. And it does feel balanced because while she is more fiery and rude perhaps in the first half of the film, he definitely is the one that creates more conflict in the second half. Because of her rejecting him. his anger overrides any bit of gentleman-ness in him.

    Its also probably why he asks her “you never say sorry or thank you to anyone?”
    I think they wanted to create this flawed female character, not the typical kind who is super excited about the NRI doctor and the foreign world and all that and just willing to give up every bit of her life for love. And be unapologetic about it. I think the idea of a girl from a village just being so excited about moving to the US, I think that’s all just stereotypical. If you actually visit villages and smaller towns I’m sure there are a lot of people like Sai Pallavi’s character who have no thirst for going abroad. It’s mostly city people who have that ambition because they’ve already got a taste of urban life but it’s not as urban or developed as they like.

    Anyway, nice realistic film but i think the dialogues and communication in the 2nd bit could have given it a deeper feel. Like you said, more about an unwillingness to compromise than the cousin stuff.

    This is also the first south film that I’ve seen, definitely less filmy than bollywood films. Much less.


    • Yaaaaay! More people watching Fidaa!

      Exactly, what fight can survive him saying “I love you”!

      Since this is your first southern movie ever, I am thinking it’s possible you don’t know about the cousin thing? It’s traditional for cousins in southern culture to marry each other, so Sai had a reason to be nervous about the other girl.

      On Sat, Dec 14, 2019 at 2:56 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:



      • It needs to be clarified that the kinship system in South India is different from the West and also from Northern India. There is a distinction between parallel cousins and cross cousins. Parallel cousins are VERY VERY strictly considered siblings. This generally extends to even your fourth or fifth parallel-cousin. The terms for parallel cousins are the same as those for siblings. No distinction at all is made here in this respect.

        Also, Gotra exogamy is strictly maintained. People sharing the same gotra are said to be descended from the same paternal ancestor (generally a Vedic sage) going back HUNDREDS of generations!! That is, marriage is forbidden with your 100th parallel cousin!! That’s how strict south Indians are when determining the suitability of marriage.

        OTOH, cross-cousins are not considered siblings. Because of patrilocality, you don’t grow up with your cross-cousins. While your paternal parallel-cousins would live in the same house as yours in a joint-family setting and so would be considered your siblings. There is also an evolutionary psychological explanation for this in case you are interested.



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