jump to navigation

Maska January 26, 2009

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

It was touted to be the biggie in this year’s Sankranti race but anybody aware of the recent track record of filmmakers M.S Raju and B Gopal would have decided to give it a miss or watch it with rather lowered expectations. I wasn’t too keen to check this out either – the same old promos didn’t do much to help. Still I took the risk and thankfully for once I wasn’t too wrong.

Maska is still the same old Tollywood action fare interlaced with some humor. Whether one ends up liking such films or not depends purely on how well the humor works and mercifully in this case it succeeds to cross the threshold. It looks like most of the film was directed by M.S Raju while only the parts involving the factionist baddies was given to B. Gopal; only late until the second half does one get to see both threads coming together. Raju seems to have learnt from his previous failures and this time he succeeds in putting in quite a few entertaining episodes without really losing track at any point of time. The leading man Ram together with Sunil (in his meatiest sidekick role till date) are really the reason why this film works.

Ram wasn’t noticed much in his most recent hit Ready but Maska gives him the perfect platform to showcase his abilities. He is very impressive in all departments and irrespective of the ultimate fate of this film this should be his ticket into the top league. As always in South Indian Cinema (read Telugu and Tamil), what starts out as a one-time novelty slowly turns into an irritating adjunct in almost every film. I am referring to the trend of every “youth” hero performing some unbelievable dance movies in a song. It was nice when atleast those steps were part of a song and weren’t given any special attention. Later we saw special music pieces being created within a song to accommodate those steps. This movie goes one step further and before showing off its hero’s skills we are shown a “Don’t try this at home” warning. I guess one has to get used to it like we’ve already done for those stupid actions sequences.

Sunil is also very good after a long time. At certain points in the movie it seemed that he would be paried off with the other girl (once Ram finally settles on who he wants to go ahead with). She might have done similar roles before but Jhansi is still hilarious with her Nellore accent. Coming to the leading ladies, Hansika seems a lot better than in her previous outing – now she can actually boast of getting her lip sync right atleast 20 percent of the time. Sheela is also ok (obviously far better than Hansika). Chakri’s songs are fast paced and don’t pop up without notice; also thanks mostly to the vibrant choreography you don’t really complain about them for once.

Maska, on the whole is a time pass entertainer which quite frankly surpassed my expectations purely because I didn’t hope much out of it. M.S Raju may finally have a reason to smile even if not a big one.

Ashta Chamma October 12, 2008

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

Ashta Chamma is a comedy of lies and confusion. Lavanya is a young girl besotted with Mahesh Babu. When he gets married to Namrata and Lavanya realises that she can’t have him, she decides to do the next best thing – marry a guy named Mahesh. Her neighbor Anand decides to help her to get rid of her so that he doesn’t have to listen to the songs of Pokiri blaring from her speakers. He finds a guy named Mahesh and introduces her to Lavanya. They hit if off before a problem arises. While Mahesh tries to solve the problem, Anand complicates it as he is besotted with Mahesh’s sister who thinks … well let me not tell you everything. The rest of the film is about the fun events that occur while the conflict is resolved.

Writer-director Mohana Krishna Indraganti (Grahanam), who last gave us the old-fashioned, often boring Maya Bazaar, comes up with a farcical comedy based on Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest. He sets an over-the-top tone for the film and all the actors oblige him and seem to be begging the audience to not take them seriously. Once you accept this, the film becomes easy to digest and enjoy.

Sekhar Kammula liked this film enough to buy the overseas distribution rights but this isn’t the sort of film that he would make. The film relies on unrealistic comic situations but Mohana Krishna does come up with good one-liners and they are the major strength of this film. Kalyani Malik delivers some interesting tunes that fit in well with the film. Whether it is the comedic Hello Antoo or a more mainstream Aadinchi Ashta Chamma, the songs seem to match the tone of the film.

‘Colors’ Swathi (Danger, Aaduvari Maatlaku Ardhaale Verule, Subramaniapuram), as Lavanya, is her usual bubbly self. Whether that is good or bad is upto your judgement. The main lead, Nani isn’t bad at all and is probably a better performer than some of the star kids that we get to see today. But the film really belongs to the other debutant, Srinivas Avasarala, who gets the best one liners and walks away with the audiences’ appreciation.

Krishna Vamsi’s Chandamama and now this. Telugu comedies these days seem to remind me of the time when Jandhyala made some comedic gems. While not anywhere near a great film, this is definitely an enjoyable light entertainer if you aren’t put off by the tone.