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The redeeming character
Yes, I watch Telugu films too
Let's start with the bad stuff first. Cinematography was not good. There were some shots that were actually out of focus, some that had obstacles blocking the actors and some which were just not framed well. Same goes for the editing, it was not good. They wasted so much time on Trivial things. There was one particular shot in a hospital which was four minutes long when it only needed to be thirty seconds. And one important scene which needed to be longer but was cut much too early without the information being registered completely. The hero and the sister of the heroine were baaaaad. It was strained and it was showing. Lastly, the ending was rushed and all the time that they probably should've saved in the movie should've been used for it instead. It was just very abrupt. More of a conclusion would've been great.
Now for the good things. The story he told was told pretty well. The pacing was great, save for the ending. The direction was good enough and the screenplay was pretty good too. The story had no gaping plot holes and the characters were well written. Speaking of which, the heroine is definitely the highlight of the entire film. She was effortless in her acting and a natural. She was so lively and her screen presence was better than probably almost all of the heroines working here right now. She brought the character to life and did it without a single setback. I had no problem in believing anything she said. She was wonderful. I would really love to see more of her. Special mention to her father in the movie who also gave a pretty good performance.
So, a pretty good Telugu film with a pretty good story and one redeeming character/actor for whom you can actually watch the entire film.
So, Valerian and the city of a thousand planets.
So, firstly, top notch direction. There was almost nothing wrong with it. I think I only noticed one mistake in the entire movie with the direction and even that was too minor to even care about. The art direction and the production design are amazing. So were the visual effects and the costumes. Amazing enough to maybe even be nominated for an Oscar. All the locations and shots were well thought out and well made. Not at any point in the movie did I feel like the location didn't seem real or lacking. The city of a thousand planets seemed as real as Hyderabad or Mumbai.
Now, for the issues. Mediocre to bad performances from the leads and Rihanna. I also felt like her character could've been so much more. The screenplay was very very very disconnected and the writing wasn't great either. Just sitcom jokes in between jargon that I didn't really understand cause it was never established. It felt like there were just a lot of beautiful scenes that were connected by almost nothing. That had no relation to each other. The scenes, individually, are all amazing. But they didn't seem to serve a bigger plot. also, I didn't appreciate the song and dance.
I honestly think it would've been a much more amazing experience as a TV show cause there was probably more than could've been put faithfully into film. Props to Luc Besson for the direction. Don't know if anyone could've done it better.
Watch it for the direction and the production design and the art direction. Especially if you want a space adventure and have time and love beautiful direction and locations. Wouldn't be a crime if you passed on it though.
So, like my summary suggests. It's beautiful, but it's limited by bad storytelling.