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Geethanjali Malli Vachindi Review – Only for a few silly laughs

Geethanjali Malli Vachindi is largely cacophony even if the comedians make you feel otherwise briefly, writes Srivathsan Nadadhur


Budding filmmaker Srinivas Reddy and his screenwriter friends Arudra, Athreya are in need of an opportunity to prove their worth after consecutive debacles at the box office. They receive a surprise call from an Ooty-based producer Vishnu, who’s ready to produce a horror comedy with them. In a surprise coincidence, their old friend Anjali is cast as the film’s lead. What’s in store for the gang?


Silence is golden and it couldn’t be truer in the case of Geethanjali Malli Vachindi, the sequel to Anjali’s hit horror comedy Geethanjali which releases this week. The makers of the sequel are so insecure that they don’t offer much time to process what’s unfolding on the screen, overcrowding the narrative and its characters with their nonsensical verbal diarrhoea. It results in cacophony, even if it offers a few laughs. 

Meanwhile, the film’s universe is a logical extension of its first instalment, more or less dealing with the same bunch of characters – struggling film aspirants, their filmi humour, how they land an opportunity through their acquaintances and are forced to confront a supernatural spirit in a haunted house. There are newer additions to Geethanjali Malli Vachindi as well who invite newer conflicts into their lives. 

Like most horror comedy franchises, a major part of the first hour is dedicated to character establishment, offering us a glimpse into their world and the mess they’re about to land in. The ghost finds a new medium to torment the characters; she has more company this time with a family of spirits in a hill station. There are lemons, sorcerers, eerie sounds of anklets in the middle of the night. For those familiar with Geethanjali, the initial segments hold little value. 

As the makers free themselves from the burden of over-explaining their premise and be funny, Geethanjali Malli Vachindi gains its mojo gradually. Kona Venkat’s wacky writing takes centre stage as Srinivas Reddy is hellbent on completing his film, even as the ghosts threaten to drive the crew away. To salvage the situation, he convinces the team that the ghosts are ‘method actors’ who stay in their character day in and day out.

While Anjali watches Chiranjeevi’s hit songs with a middle-aged female ghost, Satya teaches a dead teenager on how to cry better for the screen. A cinematographer asks a ghost to join him for beer. Soon, the film becomes a spot-the-movie- reference contest – there are throwbacks to Family Star’s Irone Vanchala Enti line, a tribute to Arjun Reddy, the various Sreenus in Telugu cinema besides a parody on the popularity of Malayalam films.

The comedians do the heavylifting with ease. Satya and Sunil in particular are in ominous form with multiple sequences exploiting their comic timing to the hilt. If the film does strike a chord with its target audience, the duo deserves a lion’s share of the credit. There’s a good twist that turns the film on its head, though the ending is too hurried to make any sense of it. Despite its strengths, you heave a sigh of relief as the film ends; all you seek is a moment of calm.

Geethanjali Malli Vachindi only aims to be junk food. As a writer, Kona Venkat has far better work in the early 2010s and the sequel, helmed by Shiva Turlapati, relies on tried and tested tropes way past their expiry date. Anjali’s screechy voice is a patience tester while Srinivas Reddy, Satyam Rajesh, Shakalaka Shankar do their best to infuse new life into the horror-comedy genre. Malayalam actor Rahul Madhav in a staple villain role is strictly okay.

The experienced hands – Sunil, Ali, Ravi Shankar – pack a punch while they last. Shailaja Priya does justice to her brief role too. The hill station backdrop does provide some visual relief and there’s nothing noteworthy to write home about the music.


Geethanjali Malli Vachindi has its moments but is a vain attempt to breathe a new lease of life into horror comedies. Keep your expectations low and watch it only if you are in the mood for a few silly laughs to escape the heatwave. 

Rating: 2.5/5

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