jump to navigation

King December 29, 2008

Posted by Shujath in Movies, Reviews, Telugu.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
2 comments

The last time there was a major dent in Sreenu Vaitla’s then moderately successful career was when he made Andarivadu with Chiranjeevi. I haven’t seen that film and so cannot comment on what probably went wrong there. His latest flick King coming after three successive hits (and obviously with a lot of expectations) almost proves that a big star can be jinxed for him. I said jinxed because everything seems right here but hardly anything works.

He has a nice plot (various inspirations/lifts notwithstanding) with umpteen situations promising potential guffaws but the end result is more like a Sreenu Vaitla jokes-falling-flat carnival. It’s a twist filled mistaken identity plot so I won’t bother writing about it. Most of the plot/scene/character inspirations come from Anil Kapoor flicks like Race, Khel and Welcome. The director seems to have done his homework in creating quite an amusing screenplay but you wish he had rather spent his time in creating some real humor. The funny moments are forced mostly while the cast also doesn’t quite pull it off a considerable number of times.

Vaitla seems to have been overawed by the presence of Nagarjuna – who is made to act as if every scene was his introduction sequence. He is constantly involved in stupid fight sequences and mouthing seemingly “punch(less) dialogues” –  which I feel is not quite his forte. It’s sad because Nagarjuna has his own unique and subtle comic timing which could have worked wonders for a movie like this but seems to have been sacrificed in favor of “appealing to the masses”. He’s looking great though (especially after Don). Also Vaitla’s star vehicle Brahmanandam gets a bland role which as everything else in the movie seems promising but doesn’t quite work. Srihari is the only one who manages to get a better written role. Trisha does the same old stuff. Devisri Prasad’s music is average and most importantly unwanted.

The director seemed to have loved his film so much that he disposed off with the editor; otherwise a film like this would not have a runtime of over three hours. King is a huge disappointment primarily because a majority of people who’d venture into it are likely to have Dhee, Dubai Seenu and Ready still fresh in their minds – if you are someone who hasn’t seen any of these then maybe you won’t feel too bad but I cannot really say if you’d like it. The director’s next one on the cards is with Venkatesh…so I am in two minds whether to be excited about it. Let’s hope Vaitla spends more time on his script than about figuring out how to present his “big hero”.

Chintakayala Ravi October 6, 2008

Posted by Shujath in Movies, Reviews, Telugu.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
1 comment so far

The catchy title itself lets you know what to expect from this one. Moreover with Venkatesh in the lead things look all set for a great fun-filled entertainer. Does Chintakayala Ravi deliver? Well it does in parts. On the whole it is a decent entertainer but doesn’t fall in the league of Venky’s previous blockbusters.

Chintakayala Ravi (Venkatesh) works as a bartender in the US. Initially supposed to study for being a Software Engineer, he lets go of his money in unforseen circumstances due to which he ends up in his current profession. However, everyone back home (especially her mom) is still made to believe he really is working as a Software Engineer. Based on this notion they find a girl Lavanya (Mamata Mohandas) for him. Now Lavanya has a friend in the US – Sunita (Anushka) whose help she uses to verify Ravi’s credentials. What happens of him and his marriage when Ravi’s true identity is disclosed is for you to see.

The story though not new is nevertheless much welcome but director Yogesh hasn’t capitalized on that fully. the humor works only in parts relying more on Kona Venkat’s one-liners than genuinely funny situations. I felt this one actually worked more as a love story (which begins quite late into the movie) than a comedy. Venkatesh is completely at home doing his usual stuff and he effectively holds the entire film. Despite the presence of the usual gang of comedians, he ends up stealing the show mostly. Anushka for a change gets a nice role to play while Mamata doesn’t have much to do. There are a few cameos too – Nikita was quite funny and NTR does a jig in one of the songs.

Vishal-Shekhar’s music has nothing great to write home about except for the first song. They shouldn’t have used their “Jag Soona” number from OSO in this film as it resulted in some unprovoked comments and laughter during some of the heavy duty moments. Better humor and probably doing a bit more justice to the romantic track would have worked wonders for Chintakayala Ravi but still it manages to be an above average Venky entertainer.

Baladhoor August 19, 2008

Posted by Shujath in Movies, Reviews, Telugu.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
3 comments

Somehow pushing in a “family” in between doesn’t make a “clean family entertainer”. Udayasankar – best known for his blockbuster “Kalisundam Raa” few years ago tries his hand again with a feel-good family flick but cheated is the only thing you’ll feel after watching this.

For starters, you know a film isn’t going anywhere when Ravi Teja is talking less and fighting more. He plays this regular good-for-nothing guy who under certain circumstances gets thrown out of his family and has to win back their love and trust – especially of his uncle (Krishna). Successful films with this storyline have mostly relied of fun moments to sail through but the director decides to do something different here and his definition of fun just seems to be those flying-people-fights. Ravi Teja does most of those while Krishna is also brought in towards the end to throw a couple of punches. Whatever little laughs are there are brought in by our hero and Sunil but even that won’t make you smile too much. Brahmanandam is also given a lame routine to perform. Anushka gets to do her trademark slutty act once again. In one of the scenes, she makes multiple references to something shocking “she did when she was 13 years old”. Unfortunately, the censor board muted it out and kept everyone guessing.

In the first place you are subjected to a flick which starts being average, then turns boring and finally becomes almost unbearable….and on that you have these songs which don’t seem to run out. The collective groans of the audience when they realized that the song which they thought was the last in the film actually wasn’t is noteworthy.

Baladhoor is the most disappointing Telugu flick I’ve seen in the last few months and even if you are a die-hard Ravi Teja fan you might want to have second thoughts about watching this.

Ullasanga Utsahanga July 29, 2008

Posted by Shujath in Movies, Reviews, Telugu.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

If it weren’t for the very alluring hoardings, I wouldn’t have thought of checking this one out. Ullasanga Utsahanga comes nowhere near to justifying its title but still makes a decent watch. Karunakaran, who hasn’t really had much success after his blockbuster Toli Prema has a go at the beaten-to-death Tollywood love story – where a boy falls for a girl while the girl loves another guy and wants to unite with him. Now our hero selflessly helps her to her destination when finally the girl realizes that our hero is the right guy for her. The only difference being that in other flicks the other guy is depicted as a seedy character while here the girl’s “childhood love” is rubbished away as a passing fad…well anything goes to justify our hero getting the girl.

Before saying what works in this movie I must mention what stands out like a sore thumb simply because it is present throughout – and that distinction goes to debutant Yasho Sagar who is an absolute embarrassment. The fact that during many scenes members of the audience were commenting on his acting skills tells a lot about the impact he made. One might actually get a feeling that he’s deliberately botching it up. Sneha Ullal makes it work purely because of her cute-overload and there are hardly any lines for her character which also helps . The humor here is a mixed bag. There are a few genuine laugh-out-loud moments while the rest is passable – especially the comedy track of Sunil and Venu Madhav falls flat.

G.V Prakash Kumar delivers a nice score (this is actually his first straight Telugu Film) and like in all of Karunakaran’s movies the songs are very well shot. I’ll only wish that film is a hit if this doesn’t mean we’ll be treated to more Yasho Sagar in the future. Watch this one without any expectations and you’ll like it.