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Okka Magadu June 3, 2008

Posted by Sai in Movies, Reviews, Telugu.
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There were a lot of expectations from this film due to the teaming of director YVS Chowdhary (Devadasu, Lahiri Lahiri Lahirilo) with Balakrishna. YVS has delivered a lot of hit films despite critics ripping them apart on the first day and Balakrishna has needed a hit for a long while. I expected a semi-bad film that would work at the box office. But what followed was a major disaster that, apparently, even hardcore Balakrishna fans couldn’t come to terms with.

The writer-director’s decision to rehash Shankar’s Bharateeyudu (Indian) along with various bits from other films is highly appalling. Shankar’s formula has been used successfully in many films but those films weren’t such shameless ripoffs. If you neglect the fact that this is a ripoff, this is just a bad mass flick that is not particularly dreadful (I am sure many Balakrishna fans would have enjoyed certain parts of the film atleast). YVS has definitely tried and this is clearly visible at times (most noticeably, Balakrishna seems to look much better in this film). But his gimmicks just don’t work this time and the bloated expectations wouldn’t have helped either.

For me, the most irritating aspect of this film is the make-up. Yes, it is possible that old people look like that but it is hard to recognize both Balakrishna and Simran and it affects their performances. And neither of them adjust their body language to suit the role (though you could forgive Balakrishna because he is supposed to be some sort of superheroic old man). Mani Sarma’s soundtrack isn’t a chartbuster. A couple of numbers are passable with the title track being the best.

A lot could be written about the defects of this film but I don’t want to. This film isn’t worth watching and I watched it only because I wanted to see what was so bad about it. In the end, I did feel that this was just as bad as other bad films in the genre but not as spectacularly dismal as it was made out to be.

Narasimha Naidu September 3, 2006

Posted by Sai in Movies, Reviews, Telugu.
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This was the third film starring Balakrishna that I saw in the theatre (after Aditya 369 and Bhairava Dweepam). Though I may not be a Balakrishna fan in general, I have no prejudice against him (and I liked him in Aditya 369, especially as Krishna Deva Raya). So I watched this movie after it started breaking all records. This was the first movie based on faction wars that I saw and I’d rate it as the best of the lot.

This was complete masala fare as usual from B. Gopal but was better than a lot of his other movies. The primary credit for that should go to Chinni Krishna who provided the story and screenplay for the movie. The basic idea of one warrior from every house brought freshness to the film.

The film has the flashback formula (made famous in movies appealing to the masses like Rajnikanth’s Basha) that has now become the standard format for faction movies and even others. The formula goes thus – hero is in hiding at the start of the movie and has a love interest and fights some villains establishing his power – towards the interval you find out that he has a flashback – the second half consists mainly of the flashback where he generally has another love interest or two even and of course a conflict with the main villains – after the flashback ends the climax of the movie starts. The love track between Preeti Jhangiani and Balakrishna was passable (and definitely of a higher quality than the one with Balakrishna and Simran in Samarasimha Reddy). What really worked in the movie were the two chase sequences apart from the punch in the dialogues (Parachuri Brothers). The first chase is the one with all the Sumos and the second chase is the one where he tries to save his brothers. Also the sentiment in the second half works for the female and family audiences. This was also an improvement over most masala movies.

Mani Sarma’s background score is the best one so far for mass movies that I’ve seen. The theme piece for Balakrishna was superb. It gave me incomparable josh (the theme from Chatrapathi scored by Keeravani gave me a similar feeling). The background score definitely elevated the events unfolding on screen. Mani Sarma is probably one of the best composers for mass songs and he undoubtedly provided one of his best mass soundtracks here. The movie also had some well choreographed dance sequences. Of course, no one can forget the unbearable classical dance by Balakrishna. There was no reason to include this in the movie and it definitely made Balakrishna look terribly bad.

This is masala movie with all the spices and nobody should expect it to be logical. It is made to cater mostly to the masses and fans and above all to make money. I still can’t figure out how some people feel that Balakrishna looks stupid while delivering those earth-shattering dialogues while they find it believable when Chiranjeevi does it in Indra. Chiranjeevi can bring rain in Indra but Balakrishna shouldn’t make a train go in reverse in Palanati Brahma Naidu. Both are implausible if not impossible. However, fans seem to throw logic to the winds if it is their favorite star while focusing only on logic when it is someone else. Double Standards! This movie is for those who can enjoy masala fare without taxing their brains (the obvious prerequisite being no prejudice against Balakrishna). Those who despise mass movies and those who want sensible fare should keep away from this movie.