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Kick May 13, 2009

Posted by Shujath in Movies, Reviews, Telugu.
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Not quite sure if many folks are being too generous to this film or quite likely my tolerance levels have hit rock bottom. Well, I absolutely hated this film but more importantly I dread hearing that word “Kick” which seemed more painful to me than being at the receiving end of a real one.

Ravi Teja plays a character whose every action (and I mean every single action) in life is solely determined by whether he “gets a kick out of doing it”. So that you do not mistake him for just an adventurous person who likes to takes risks, he takes the pains to remind you in every other scene that whatever he did in the previous scene was only because he “got a kick out of doing it”. Technically, that means atleast for half of the film’s runtime Ravi Teja or someone else is constanly telling you this profound truth in our hero’s life lest you forget. The humor and action constantly compete with each other to disappoint you the most – the former wins for most part until the latter delivers a final blow towards the climax where a seemingly impossible heist is pulled off casually just to remind you that bad action sequences aren’t going away from Tollywood anytime soon.

Ravi Teja, Ileana and director Surender Reddy may have finally have a hit (going by the intial reviews and collections). BTW, this film also marks the Telugu film debut of Shaam who is just about the only likeable thing in this movie. Though I didn’t feel too upbeat about last week’s Veedokkade; in hindsight that seems like a masterpiece now, so rather check that one out if you want to see a flick in a similar genre.

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Neninthe December 29, 2008

Posted by Sai in Movies, Reviews, Telugu.
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After two dumbed-down attempts at entertaining the audience in Bujjigadu and Chirutha, writer-director Puri Jagannath comes out with a better product. While those films lacked interesting plots, abounded in unnecessary characters and the latter was, more or less, a bunch of random events strung together by a wafer-thin storyline, this film overcomes most of those problems. Puri has admirably woven the screenplay, incorporating numerous issues faced by the various players in the Telugu film industry and that is the USP of this film.

While the film focuses mainly on the struggle of an assistant director (Ravi Teja), his love story with a film dancer (Siya) and his confrontation with a goon (Supreet), these did not really hold my interest. Instead, the minor interludes – the story of a fan, the adulation for his favorite star and the havoc it wreaks on his life, the fans’ dual response to a star’s flop film, the audiences’ dishonest responses for television, the problems faced by producers in an industry with a low success rate and so on – are much more engrossing.

Where the film fails is in its presentation as a commercial film. The songs never seem like a part of the film and some of the action could have been avoided. They don’t really gel with the interesting and very believable issues being tackled. This could have been a better film but Puri needs to applauded for even going this far with a big star.

While Ravi Teja does well as the main protagonist, the film gives a chance for some of the supporting players to get noticed. Younger actors like Sairam Shankar (Danger, 143) and Subbaraju (Shock) get good parts as the fan and the star respectively. Debutant Siya is alright for her part and Supreet looks menacing. Seasoned players like Sayaji Shinde and Brahmanandam (as director Idli Viswanath) chip in and Mumaith Khan gets a cameo.

Chakri’s score has a couple of hummable tunes but nothing particularly noteworthy (and his singing is as irritating as ever).

If you are looking for entertainment, you can safely skip this one. If you are in the mood for a relatively sensible commercial Telugu film (considering that the oxymoron were possible), this wouldn’t be a bad choice.

Baladhoor August 19, 2008

Posted by Shujath in Movies, Reviews, Telugu.
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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.

Krishna February 11, 2008

Posted by Sai in Movies, Reviews, Telugu.
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You might be forgiven for thinking that V V Vinayak and Srinu Vaitla directed this film together because, while the action and mind games are typical Vinayak stuff, the comedic elements (especially the oppressed turning oppressor aspect that includes a drunken thrashing) seem straight out of Vaitla’s book. This is quite a prototypical big-hero action film that is saved by the humor, which I believe is the primary reason for its box-office success (helped further by the weak competition during the favorable Sankranthi season).

Writer-director Vinayak isn’t new to gimmicks but he repeats some of his tricks this time. Flying vehicles aren’t as interesting now even if he replaces the Sumo with another SUV or even a lorry. One has to say, though, that some of the vehicles fly quite beautifully. Nevertheless, this isn’t the best thing in the film.

Brahmanandam is.

He isn’t the star of the film but he is the one that makes you laugh most and it is hard to not remember him first. Ravi Teja is obviously one of the more entertaining stars around and he does his job without really standing out this time. Trisha gets precious little to do but she looks good and her hard-to-miss-or-forget tattoo placement is something that I expect will feature in a lot of discussion among the audience. And then there is Mukul Dev as the main antagonist. He seems to be imitating his brother but his work here is better than what I’ve seen him do in Bollywood.

The songs in the film break the momentum every single time and are a bit of a pain to endure as the tunes aren’t special and neither are the visuals. The audience let out a collective sigh when the final song commenced. Ironically, it was the best of the lot, the typical pumped-up prelude-to-the-climax number lifted shamelessly (composer Chakri could have probably been forced to so) from Vidyasagar’s Gilli number Appadi Podu (and watching Ravi Teja dance isn’t quite the same as watching Vijay dance). The lyrics are especially lame. “Taratha ettukupotha” filled with gibberish and the mixed language “Tu mera dilbar O priyathama” are cringeworthy instead of being hip or something. Lyricist Chandrabose might have written the songs keeping the masses in mind but I think he is capable of much better.

This film entertains for a considerable amount of its length, thanks to writer-director Vinayak’s adept handling of the comedy and the performances of the actors in those scenes. Watch it if you must, but only for the humor.