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Eega (2012)
Telugu cinema to the next level
7 July 2012
How often have you seen a director telling you the story of his to-be directed film on the day of muhurat? How often have you laughed on hearing a silly storyline? How often have you seen a film which sounds silly but makes you wonder over it? Well you need not answer any of the questions above but what matters for everyone is that SS Rajamouli has created a film which stands way above the normality and entertains its patrons too. The story of Eega can be told in a simple manner. A boy falls in love with a girl. The girl is wanted by another sinister and powerful man. Sensing that the lover boy would be a threat to his dubious designs, the powerful man kills him off. The lover boy is born again as a housefly and is out to take a revenge over his killer. But rather than the story it is the process of experience the journey of revenge and the process of how a housefly creates havoc for such a dangerous person and makes him pay for his mistakes. The process itself is so good and hilarious that every time the fly makes its appearance before the villain there are fireworks and the proceedings are just logical and very believable. The performances of the lead cast are very laudable. Sudeep steals the show with his antics. His minute expressions coupled with anger, irritation and humor are to be experienced. His is a complex role portraying various emotions and Sudeep just excels. He is one actor who is actually a superstar in Kannada and yet accepted a negative role in his debut Telugu film. Kudos to him. Samantha looks beautiful as girl next door and the object of villain's desire. She tugs at hearts and also acts vengeful. Nani should be lauded for taking up this film in-spite of very well knowing that his role would be very limited one more like a guest appearance. He made an impact with his presence and his pairing with Samantha is fresh and youthful. Coming to the direction part, SS Rajamouli takes a leap into the next league of directors. He now can claim part in that elite group of film makers who have changed the trends of cinema. He is the only director who has not tasted a failure and Eega would continue the trend. He broke many a conventions with this film. His greatest trick in this film is to keep the story and screenplay very simple not taxing the minds of the audience. Though he employs high VFX in creating the fly and its adventures, he makes the eega look lovable and likable. His other biggest victory lies in utilizing every department properly. The other heroes other than Rajamouli for the film behind the camera were KK Senthil Kumar (Cinematography), MM Keeravani (Music) and Makuta (VFx). These departments have helped Rajamouli to visualize his dream of telling a bedtime story effectively onto the screen. Makuta have done a wonderful job of creating this creature and making it lovable without making it look grotesque. The VFx utilized in the film are of top quality and set new standards in Indian cinema after Robot. Keervani's music deserves a special mention as the maestro proves that given an exciting story, he would create wonders with his own talent. If the eega which appears on screen communicates with the audience, it is due to the background score of Keeravani only. KK Senthil Kumar once again proves that he is the best when dealing with high budgeted technical extravaganzas as he understands the directors vision and his camera just catches the proper nuances of the minute creature. Rajamouli has proved that no big star is needed to entertain audience but a little bit of imagination and compelling screenplay is enough to keep one glued to the screen. Eega is a compelling film which can be enjoyed by a 6 year old as well as an 80 year old too. Just go ahead and watch this amazing film.
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Daruvu (2012)
Loud, Louder, Loudest
26 May 2012
Lord Yama (Satyanarayana) wants to retire from his job and appoints his son, Yuva Yama (Prabhu) as the heir to his job. Chitragupta (MS Narayana) too wants to retire but is forced to occupy his post on the insistence of Yuva Yama. Peeved at this, Chitragupta searches for one Telugu man who can teach a lesson to the Yuva Yama and finds Bullet Raja (Raviteja), a ruffian from Chennai to be that man and changes his lifespan.

Bullet Raja is in love with Shweta (Tapsee) who is the fiancée of a dreaded don, Babu (Sushanth). As Chitragupta changed his lifespan, Raja dies in a fight with Babu and reaches Yamalokam. There he finds that his life has been shortened and creates lot of trouble. Unable to bear the burden of Raja, Yama offers him 3 bodies of which Raja has to choose one. Raja chooses the body of Andhra Pradesh's Home Minister, Ravinder (Raviteja) who is a man of loose morals and is about to be killed by his own friends in politics.

Bullet Raja has to now go into the body of Ravinder and bring a reform to his personality and also fulfil his own wishes of previous birth. How he achieves these forms the remaining part of the story.

As always, this is a Raviteja movie which essentially means that there would not be neither logic nor reasoning for the proceedings on screen. All we would be served is the dosage of Raviteja's histronics. "Daruvu" is exactly that. It is high on energy quotient but low on entertainment quotient. Though there are some moments which make you chuckle, the film is a drag.

Director Siva cooked up a story which had its inspirations from various films like, Yamagola, Yamudiki Mogudu, Yamadonga, Indrudu Chandrudu, Sivaji and Vikramarkudu. But the final mix was not to the satisfaction of the viewing audience. There are lot of loopholes in the construction of the story itself which even common audience would find it difficult to comprehend. The story itself starts from Yamalokam where Chitragupta conspires to bring the hero to Yamalokam to create trouble which is the central theme of the film. But the director forgets that central theme and plays with the several sub-plots by making them more important to the progression of the film. In other words, the director forgot the main story and told a different story.

Even if we discount the glaring loopholes like these, the story which is presented does not find any takers as the opposition to the hero in the form of villainy is very feeble. The villains do nothing in the story other than fall victim to the antics of the hero. When the hero has no opposition to vanquish, how can his heroism be established? That single factor keeps Daruvu several notches below the films like, Vikramarkudu which were almost in the similar genre.

Coming to the performances of the lead cast, Raviteja was his usual self which is loud, louder and loudest. There is nothing to describe his performance as he shouts in his high decibel voice rather than deliver the dialogues in an effective way. Oflate Raviteja seems to have forgotten that he is an actor first because whichever the character he is given, he is playing them the same way which is loud, louder, loudest. Though this kind of performance is expected of him, he is becoming very much routine with his expressions, shouts and shrieks. He is a much talented performer than what he is doing presently.

Tapsee looks very beautiful and has been ordered by the director to look shocked in each and every sequence which she diligently follows. The rest of the cast did their job for their pay packets. Raghubabu manages to get some chuckles with his "Dhinka chika" and Brahmanandam could not make the audience laugh this time around. The villainous trio of Sayaji, Sushant do their best to look menacing. Prabhu looked heavy as Yuva Yamaraja and it was refreshing to see Satyanarayana back on screen as Yama. MS Narayana did his best to suit the role of Chitragupta.

The technical departments were okay. The music by Vijay Antony is a major minus with the background score and the songs proving to be an earsore. The cinematography lacked clarity inspite of the fact that the director himself is a noted cinematographer. The look and feel of the film is plain average and the audience have seen better graphical work in the films like Yamadonga and Magadheera. Editor Gowtam Raju should have trimmed the film by at least 30 minutes to cut the boredom from creeping in.

The screen time for the movie is almost 3 hours and to keep the audience rooted to their seats without looking at the watches is a herculean task in which the director, Siva failed. The audience got up to leave at a certain point in the pre-climax expecting the film to be over, but the film still had good 15 minutes of run and the audience reaction at the dragging proceedings is an indicator of how disconnected the audience were.

Daruvu is a film which might still entertain, if one leaves his brains at home, but if you favor those heavy dramas then Daruvu is definitely not for you.
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Dhammu (2012)
Dammu: To kill or not to kill
28 April 2012
Warning: Spoilers
After much churning and deliberations the Telugu film industry seems to have hit on a success template for its young heroes. It is a tried and tested formula which every young hero with a family is diligently adhering to. What is that formula and what is the secret of that elusive success?

That formula is to hail from a clan (on reel and also in real). Later praising the clan name mouth by every positive character and tune the audience that the actor, who in reality is acting on screen, is their saviour for real. In a nutshell, the audience of today are seen as a rudderless and bereft of proper leadership by the directors who are dishing out movies like these with amazing regularity. Well, we shall now commence the story of "Dammu."

Some 70 years ago, a cluster of villages led by two clans get divided due to some clashes. The village and their heads are dead against each other that they think of blood rather than food. After thousands of deaths, an MP (Ranaganath) proposes to existing village heads Suman and Nasser that they need to put a stop to these killings to exist in peace. But to let the bad blood flow concedes 2 days per year during Sankranti for the clans to go at each other. Whichever clan wins, it shall retain the supremacy over the villages for an year.

Suman emerges victor almost all the time fighting with Nasser but his family suffers most of the losses as almost all of the men become handicapped or die fighting their enemies. Amidst this scenario, Suman's wife, Bhanupriya gives birth to a male child. But to the shock of Suman, he finds that his son is a still born. Still he shows the dead baby to the aspiring villagers and tells them that his son would be sent away for special training and would be brought 25 years later. After that he fights with Nasser and dies. Nasser then announces that he shall wait for the arrival of the successor of Raja Vasireddy family and till then he will not allow any male child to be born to the families which support his rival.

Fast forward to 25 years later, there is a young orphan of 25 years, N Ramachandra (NTR) who has a bank balance of Rs.63 lakhs. He earned this money through his adventurous deeds of saving people and accepting donations from them. Though he saves people from dangerous situations and fights amazingly well, he abhors killings. He just wants to let people know that LIFE IS GIVEN TO LIVE. All he wants now is a girlfriend to marry. He sees Satya (Trisha) who is a heiress for 6000 crore empire. He falls for her but she puts a condition that he should hail from a royal family to claim her hand. In the meanwhile, Ali the side-kick of NTR reveals that there is a Raja (Kota Srinivasa rao) who is secretly trying to adopt someone as successor to his throne. NTR falls for the offer and immediately accepts the proposal.

After the adoption ceremony is done, he is renamed as Vijayadhwaja Sri Simha and taken to the ancestral village where the villagers are waiting for the arrival of the successor to liberate them from the villainy of Nasser. What shall Sri Simha do now? As popularly demanded by all who surround him, just change his mind and take up the sword and kill all the enemies? Or will he abhor the challenge and just run away from the task? Will the violence which has engulfed the village will ever subside? To know all the answers just see "Dammu."

NTR carries the film on his shoulders. He is the sole positive point of the film and it is because of his performance that the film stands on two firm feet. He showed enough meat in his acting and some scenes in which he contemplates about quitting the place really showcase his talent. Though these kind of characters are not new to NTR, he brings in enough thrust to the proceedings. The female leads, Trisha and Karthika disappoint a lot. They share no chemistry with NTR and look taller than him in most of the scenes.

Coming to the direction, Boyapati Srinivas clearly had his target audience in mind. It has to be said that he had catered to the expectations of fans of NTR and of Nandamuri family. The opening episode in which the main story of the village rivalry is established remains the most riveting part of the film as the emotions are effectively portrayed. But the rest of the film does not match up to those expectations though at few points, the director gives a rousing touch like in the scene where NTR takes the reins of the horses and also the scene where NTR takes up the sword reluctantly and starts killing. But had that zest remained throughout and some unnecessary scenes were cut, the overall impact would have been much higher.

The music of MM Keeravani is better to be heard rather than seen as the songs were not effectively shot nor properly placed. The placement of "Ruler" song was a major disappointment. Re-recording is always MM Keeravani's high point and he did not disappoint.

On the whole, Dammu is a film which fits into the mass template and the mass formula. It might make some good collections and be called as a hit, but actually it does not take telugu cinema any forward. Its just as routine as the previous telugu film.
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Ra Cha (2012)
Mediocrity at its Best
10 April 2012
Warning: Spoilers
There seems to be a new template for any Telugu film, that is the hero should have a deceased savior-like father and a village waiting to be a rescued, and few uniformed thugs waiting to get killed by the custom-designed weapon of the hero, a girl who waits to be wooed by the hero in spite of the threats posed by her father. And not to forget few girls (if there are some mature women who can mouth some silly dialogues much the better) singing paeans of the physique of the hero and a gang of silly comedians waiting to be thrashed (mind you not killed) by the villain. Rachcha is no different. Rachha starts with Cherry, a 5-year old boy being witness to a mass deaths of his village along with his parents and dearest friend Ammu. The same boy grows into Betting Raj (Ram Charan Teja) who just loves betting. He places bets and wins money. His adopted father (MS Narayana) falls ill and needs around 20 lakhs for the medical treatment. A competitor of him in his bets, James (Ajmal) throws him a bet for 20 lakhs in which he has to make, Chaitra (Tamanna), the daughter of a most-feared contractor, Bellary (Mukesh Rishi) fall in love with him. From then on, Raj focuses on winning the love of Chaitra. But little does he know that Chaitra has a past which has links to his own past and the deaths of his parents and villagers. What is the common past which they both share? Who are Raj and Chaitra? To find the answers for these questions, catch Rachha on screen. As we said earlier, Rachha is not a enjoyable ride. It does not have an engaging screenplay though the story is decent, though routine. It just rests its weight on the shoulders of its hero, Ram Charan and nothing more. The young star does manage to hold on his own and the present collections and success is just due to him. Other than the presence of Ram Charan, the movie is just a nightmare. There is no proper transition from scene to scene which is imperative for any movie. The director Sampath Nandi has clearly set his audience, which are set in the B&C centers and catered to their tastes only. If he could have polished his screenplay a bit and ensured that the flow from one scene to the other scene to be smooth without being out-of-place, the things would have been different. For instance, the audience expect its the most popular "Vana Vana Velluvaaye" song to come with proper build-up but it just pops on to the screen without any hungama, which is a dampener of sorts. Also the danger posed by the villainous trio is not established properly. All the villainy showed was a bunch of uniformed jokers parading as security for Chaitra. For that purpose, the director had to bring in another villain in the form of Dev Gill, though he added nothing other than to repeat the Magadheera sentiment. The director had no clue on how to elevate the characterisation of his hero and hence had to make the heroine reveal all his characteristics in one scene. Also the flashback episode in which Partibhan plays the father of Ram Charan, is surprisingly lackadaisical. In fact, the most powerful father character was reduced to be a victim rather than a savior. If the director and his bunch of experienced writers in the form of Paruchuri Brothers, ironed out some flaws in the characterisation of the hero and villains, "Rachha" would have been a true commercial entertainer for all the classes rather than limiting itself for the B & C centers. Coming to the performances, Ram Charan is the one who carried the film on his shoulders. His diction improved a lot compared to "Orange" and he seems to be evolving as an actor. But he tried to imitate his father, Chiranjeevi, a lot and the deliberate attempt was seen in many scenes. If Charan concentrates on developing his own brand of acting than imitating, then he sure would be a powerhouse of a performer. He needs to develop that story and screenplay sense. The bravura he showed in selecting the director should have echoed in the story and screenplay too. Tamanna, as usual looked milky-white than beautiful. She was mechanical in the role, unlike the spunk she showed in her last release, Oosaravelli. May be she was disinterested in the proceedings and so looked forlorn. Mukesh Rishi, Dev Gill, Kota Srinivasa Rao, Paruchuri Venkateswara Rao, Nasser, Partibhan were all routine. Comedy gang in the form to Brahmanandam, Ali, Venumadhav, Srinivasa Reddy, Tagubothu Ramesh, Jhansi were all too routine. For a change MS Narayana became a character actor than a comedian. Ajmal, the actor who thrilled with his villainy in Rangam, shines in his short role. The technical departments, Camera (Sameer Reddy), Music (Mani Sharma) and Art (Anand Sai), Editing (Gowtam Raju) were just passable. Few of the songs had good choreography and they would please their target audience. The Re-recording by Mani Sharma given did not add much to the film and just remained as a routine fare. Rachha is a ride in mediocrity though it could have been much better. After seeing this film, one would feel that "Bunny" which had a similar storyline was a classic in this genre. Well, that is Rachha for you folks.
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A societal statement
21 March 2012
Some movies during the 1980s have really showcased the society of the times. It was a period when India was into a generational shift and the older generation which was active from the before independence era has handed over its baton to the next generation which was settling after the emergency days. And it was the time when the younger generation was having its ideological battles with its elder generation. The very structure of Indian society was changing. To cut a long story short the composition of India was changing and the joint families were breaking up. Few movies have showcased this reality in a very practical and engaging manner and among those, "Samsaram Oka Chadarangam" happens to be etched in memories forever.

The story written by Visu who specialized in weaving stories around the middle-class people has so much in common with the families of the day. Appala Narasaiah (Gollapudi Maruthi Rao) is a patriarch presiding over a joint family. He works as a supervisor in factory. His family consists of wife Godavari (Annapurna), elder son, Prakash (Sarath Babu) and daughter-in-law Uma (Suhasini), second son Raghava (Rajendra Prasad) and 2nd daughter-in-law Vasanta (Aruna), third son Kalidasu and daughter, Saroja (Kalpana). They have a loyal maid-servant in the form of Chilakamma (Sowcar Janaki) who is their servant and adviser.

The story which centers around these characters really showcases the trials and tribulations of middle-class India. The way the elder son shirks his responsibilities for the fear of incurring additional expenditure is well-known. In the same way the loyal son in the form of Raghava who puts family in front of his own familial pressures is also well-known. The third son who cannot study properly is also common and the rebellious daughter who prefers an inter-caste marriage was also quite common. Above all of these characters, the ever suffering wives who struggle hard to keep the family glued together are also quite true to the life. The frictions between the family members over the issues which center around money and propriety are the issues which the society fought over.

Samsaram Oka Chadarangam happens to be a great chronicle over the reasons of why the joint family system which once was the pride of India is becoming extinct. It showcases to us that with growing differences, it is better to be away and be together rather than staying together and fighting all the time. The film is a poignant reminder to the largely nuclear society of today of why it is evolving like this.

The performances of Gollapudi Maruthi Rao and Sarath Babu are really praise-worthy and the interval episode in which the frictions develop in the family are very well captured. Also the performance of Suhasini as the suffering daughter-in-law should be the best in her prime. Rajendra Prasad as the loyal son too lives his part whereas Kalpana as the fiery daughter just behaves the part. Nutan Prasad just shines in his guest appearance.

The music by Chakravarthy is apt whereas the direction of SP Muthuraman just showcases the times very effectively. The production values of AVM which produced the original Samsaram Adhu Minasaram are just apt.

The film was remade into Hindi as "Sansar" with Anupam Kher, Raj Babbar and Rekha in the main roles. The movie was a smashing success in all the languages.

The success of the film in all the languages it was made could be attributed to its universal story and earthy characters which are just found everywhere and every household. May be the film has so many lesson which today's film makers and story writers should focus on.

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Kahaani (2012)
Story of a wife
11 March 2012
There would be very few times in Indian cinema when some film-maker truly amazes and surprises his audience when he makes a thriller. The thin balance on which a end-suspense thriller lies is crucial any when that balance is achieved reviewers and critics become audience and what happens on screen is truly cinema magic at its best. "Kahaani" is one such effort which truly amazes its audience and when they leave the auditorium, they just talk about what they witnessed and recollect the entire experience and may be venture out once again to truly experience the magic again, albeit differently.

Vidya Bagchi (Vidya Balan), a 7-month pregnant lady, comes from London to Kolkata in search of her missing husband, Arnab Bagchi. She starts her search of her husband by lodging a complaint at the Kalighat police station and then starts her own personal journey in which she gets across various elements who just tell her that they do not know her husband and do not even have any trace of him. It is as if entire Kolkata has erased Vidya's husband from its memory. Will Vidya find her husband? Will there be any elements in Kolkata who can help a helpless pregnant lady who is in search of her missing husband? To know these answers, just rush to a theater playing "Kahaani." More of this review at
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Ishq (2012)
Action overshadowed the romance
25 February 2012
Picture this! You are about to eat a most delicious sweet which looks alluring, dressed up in picture perfect package, only when you taste it, you know that it has been peppered with and has some sour in it. Well that just sums up, Nitin's latest film, "ISHQ". This entertainer has been packaged well and marketed well too, but somewhere something happened and the end result is not up to the expectations. So what went wrong with Ishq? Let's see.

Rahul (Nitin) is a happy-go-lucky youngster studying in New Delhi. He has an ability to turn his enemies into friends with his wit and intelligence. While he is moving back to Hyderabad, he meets Priya (Nitya Menen) at the airport. Their flight gets diverted to Goa due to rainfall in Hyderabad and in the meanwhile, Rahul and Priya attend a marriage and fall in love.

Before Rahul expresses his love, he gets a shock of his life when he finds that Priya's brother is Shiva (Ajay) with whom he had a violent history. He knows that Shiva will not allow their marriage. Can Rahul play with his wit and charm and convince Shiva to get them married forms the rest of the story.

As said earlier, "ISHQ" gets spoiled and the end taste is sour than sweet. The first half of the film sets things up quite nicely and we believe that we are going to see a breezy entertainer in the mould of "Ala Modalaindi" and the more recent "Love Failure," but the second half more focuses on the one-oneupmanship and mind games between Rahul and Shiva and loses the real romance between the hero and the heroine.

The drama which ought to have developed between Rahul and Priya is put aside and their track becomes very one-sided without any friction as there are no conflicts between them. There is only one conflict for the hero and that is Shiva. Compared to Rahul, Shiva's role gets more scope and appears more varied and evolved. The director Vikram should have etched some conflict in the love story rather than playing to the gallery by making the villain look cornered. Had the focus been on the drama between the hero-heroine then the end result should have been an icing on the cake in this Valentine month.

Other than this, the technical departments, especially Cinematography and re-recording created a great impact. When someone like PC Sreeram is handling the camera that is the output you get and this film is a revelation for Aup Reubens with regards to the background score. He almost made scenes compelling with his score. Check for his score in the Airport scene. Stunt choreography was alright and there are places where Sreekar Prasad would have used his scissors to edit the length without losing the essence and those are in the second half. Ramesh Samala did a fine job with dialogues.

The director, Vikram Kumar is a bright prospect and had he spent more time on his story developing the lovers thread more, then everyone would have been raving about him. On the whole, Vikram will get talked about as the youth are taking to this film nicely.

Coming to the performances of the cast, this is a welcome break for Nitin who was struggling with his career. He looked more rounded as an actor but his stiff legs still need some loosening while dancing. Overall, its a breather for Nitin.

Nitya Menen brings in all that believability into her character. She is one actress who talks with eyes and before she speaks, her thoughts are already understood. She looked ravishing and remains the best part of the movie. ISHQ would be another break for her.

Another important cog in ISHQ is Ajay who has the most complex role in the movie and performs it with élan. He is apt as a violent man and looks convincing as a reformed man too. He almost carries the weight of entire second half on his shoulders and manages fairly well. The supporting cast of Rohini, Kasi Viswanath, Ravi Prakash, Nagineedu and Sudha do their routine and just vanish. But what was Sindhu Tolani doing in this film? She plays sister to Nitin and looked very old. Sad to see talented actresses being underutilized.

Overall, ISHQ is an OK sort of a movie which would not bore you and does entertain you in bits. But it could have been a memorable had the director spent..... Well, I have said enough.
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A heartwarming tale
25 February 2012
We might have seen many films in which children play some part or the other. Also we have seen some supposedly children's film which actually are made for adults to understand though they center around children. But have we seen any movie recently which actually depicts how children think of adults? To fill that gap correctly and perfectly comes Amole Gupte's "Stanley Ka Dabba." A poignant tale of a under-privileged child, Stanley Ka Dabba discusses some points of school life which are never touched in a very heartwarming way without being preachy. Also it talks about the role of the teachers in the present day society in the brought-up of the children and does not just lay the onus on the parents for their brought-up.

Every school teacher has a lot of responsibility in guiding a child to learn and become the best. But if a teacher has misplaced priorities and treats his students with contempt rather than love, then there is every chance for the children to be misguided and become burden for the society in the future. In the social context, the message delivered by Stanley Ka Dabba to the teaching community as well as the society is to handle children with care and love and do not hurt their tender feelings and that wish of being WANTED.

Stanley Ka Dabba is about two individuals, a teacher and his student who have one thing in common, they do not bring their lunch boxes to the school. While the student, Stanley has a lot of self-respect and fills his stomach by drinking water during lunchtime, the teacher Varma pries on the lunch boxes of his colleagues and also students, yet he despises Stanley for not bringing his lunch box.

Why Stanley does not bring any lunch box? Why does he always drink water and fill his stomach? It doesn't even occur to the teachers and also the Principal to inquire about Stanley and his condition? Stanley Ka Dabba poses a lot of questions to the schooling system of the country in general. While the Government run schools offer mid-day meals program and generally take care of the children and their hunger, what about the private schools? Do they have similar program at hand? If not, why not they start a similar program? How does the teaching community deal with the creative thoughts of its students? Is it right to dismiss the creative thoughts in a jiffy saying that it does not pertain to the curriculum? Is it right for the teachers to discriminate on the writing hand? Amole Gupte, the writer-actor-director-producer of this amazing, "Stanley Ka Dabba" seems to know the issues faced by children in and out. He was the person responsible for "Taare Zameen par" and he is the one who gave this wonderful film. He played all of his parts of a writer, director, producer with aplomb, and without doubt he did full justice to the character of Khadoos, a teacher who is forever lechering after food.

Playing the title role, Stanley, is Partho who did a wonderful job. He offers a delightful performance. He understates his role well and his dialogues in the climax really break your heart. An amazing act. Divya dutta is the other notable performer in the role of Rosy Miss and she does well.

Stanley Ka Dabba was released last year and did generate some positive talk at the box-office. But it did not sustain a long run and film lovers like me could only catch it on a DVD. I bought one, and am bringing it out to you just to tell you not to miss this one. Its an important collector's item.
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When Love is in the air, Failure is around the corner
25 February 2012
Are you in Love? Do you want to fall in love? Or else you just don't want to fall in love but want to know about love? Before seeking knowledge about LOVE, understand one ground rule, BOYS CAN NEVER UNDERSTAND GIRLS. When this rule is underlined and understood completely, then there is no need to explain what love (especially for boys). Love is all about understanding girls and what they want. And that is the USP of Siddharth's latest film which hit the screens. "LOVE FAILURE" which has been produced by Siddharth himself on his Etaki Entertainments banner and is directed by, Balaji Mohan who earlier made some short films on similar theme.

One peep into the film, you will know why is everyone (almost, if I am right) are talking about this one. Love Failure is all about Arun (Siddharth) talking about his breakup with Parvati (Amala Paul) and the reasons for their break up and subsequent patch up. In between we are served with break up of several other couples, some young, some about to get married and some in the middle-age of their lives.

Rather than the story, it is the screenplay which makes all the difference for this film. The Director just makes the hero talk to the audience and present his case of understandings and misunderstandings. Through the journey of Arun, in which he touches the lives of Cathy and John, Parvati's parents (Suresh and Surekha Vani) and his own friend Vignesh, he makes us relate to our own stories and our own failures.

Each and every moment of love-life relies on a thin balance and if that balance tilts, failure is just around the corner. Perhaps, there is no other relation in the world which is as brittle as a glass other than the relation of loving each other. Gaining the trust of the partner and maintaining that trust and understanding the emotional needs of the other is the basis on which the foundation of love rests. The more you experience Failure in Love, the more you learn about life and evolve as an individual. That is the essence and message of "Love Failure".

Balaji Mohan gave such a wonderful treat with such guts, that one doesn't feel the need for any songs and there are none in the second half till the climax happens. That is the beauty of Love Failure, it is conventionally unconventional. A refreshing change in cinema, considering the recent films which ask you to leave your brains and heart at home. Balaji Mohan's debut is noteworthy as more can be expected of him in way of story telling techniques which would be new to Indian cinema.

Siddharth has certain boyish quality about him which makes us believe him to be that college going boy. He has by now should have mastered the way of walking through these roles but Sid just manages to impresses us time and again with his dialogue delivery and confused expressions, thanks to the freshness in the screenplay and the scenes.

Amala Paul is going to be the talked about girl after this film. Finally there is an actress who can act than just remain beautiful. Amala essayed the role of Parvati with such conviction that she may be rechristened as Parvati in real life. It was the most commendable performance by an actress in recent times on Telugu screen. She makes a good pair for Siddharth and she has some depth in her characterization with her family life in shambles with her parents going for a divorce. She brings out those subtle variations admirably which augur well for her future.

The supporting cast of Suresh, Surekha Vani did well. One should say that Suresh really emoted well in some scenes which do not have a precedent (in my knowledge) in Southern cinema. The guys who have acted as friends for Siddharth did good job of evoking laughter through their acts.

The technical departments are great with Nirav P Shah claiming credit for the cinematography whereas TS Suresh with his scissors. But was this really SS Thaman who gave music for the film? He sounded so different and it is refreshing to note that this music director has so much of variation. Thaman proved to all his critics that he can give refreshing musical score. His background score really manages the movie nicely. The onus now is on the directors of Tollywood to get the best of this guy.

And finally, a word of appreciation to Siddharth as a producer and his production team. You did a great job of sticking to your judgment despite facing lots and lots of criticism and negative vibes which were spread in the market. You gave a great film, might be urbane but very identifiable to anyone and everyone. Whatever might be the box-office fate of the film, I shall just say 'thank you' for well spent 2 hours in the film and this thanks comes from me as a viewer than a reviewer.

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Nippu (2012)
Good story hacked to routine
25 February 2012
Each and every Telugu film hero has an amazing quality of appearing the same in each and every film. Likewise, self-styled Mass Maharaja, Raviteja, also has certain image to play with, that is to entertain the masses with his energetic and loud performances. With that image of his to protect, Raviteja has come with "Nippu" in the direction of Gunasekhar and with YVS Chowdary producing it. Will "Nippu" set the screens on fire with entertainment? Let's see.

Surya (Raviteja), runs a fitness center in Hyderabad and helps out businessmen who are in distress with the atrocities of rowdy elements. His involvement in the settlement issues is not taken lightly by Raja Gowd (Pradeep Rawat) who is a the biggest don. On the other hand, Surya loves Meghana (Deeksha Seth) who is an athlete and the sister of his best friend Sri Ram (Sri Ram) who works in Saudi Arabia.

Surya visits Saudi to wish Sri Ram on his birthday but gets to know that his friend is wanted by the Saudi police for killing his girlfriend Vaishnavi (Bhavana). Sri Ram tells Surya that Vaishnavi's death was an accident. Saudi Government awards capital punishment to Sri Ram and there's only one way through which Surya can save Sri Ram which is through the mercy petition signed by Vaishnavi's parents.

Surya has to trace Vaishnavi's parents and has to obtain their signatures before Sri Ram gets hanged. He has to maintain secrecy of not revealing anything to Sri Ram's father (Rajendra Prasad) who's a heart patient. Who are Vaishnavi's parents are they ready to forgive and forget their daughter's killer? The answers for these questions are the remainder of the story.

After reading the part of the story if you get a notion that "Nippu" is a different film, then you are thoroughly mistaken. Director Gunasekhar (did he really direct this film) and Producer YVS Chowdary have created a mess of a story and brought forward a film which is neither entertaining nor different. The basic premise of the film has been borrowed from Nagesh Kukunoor's "Dor" and twisted and churned with using the garish Tollywood narrative.

The story is such that there are lot many plots involved but the director does not let any one plot to take its natural course. For example, the friendship angle between Surya and Sri Ram. It is never shown of why there is so much of trust and bond between them. One more plot which is never explored is bond between Sri Ram's father and Surya. They seem to be very superficial though there was some scope to bring some emotional satisfaction. Also the thread involving Vaishnavi's mother and Surya, the most misplaced one in screenplay and which makes audience restless, should have had more depth to it.

Instead the director takes useless directions such as Meghana winning the athletic race, which by the way appears more like show off of Deeksha Seth's navel than a race. Also the oneupmanship games between Raja Gowd and Surya do not gel into the film once the main story is established.

There is so much to write about Nippu in the form of analysis but it would take as much screen time and it is an exercise in futility as the audience seem to want the same things over and over again.

Coming to the performances, there is not even one performance worth mentioning. As usual, Raviteja is careless and Deeksha is expressionless. As usual, Pradeep Rawat bites his teeth and Brahmanandam makes faces. And as usual, Sri Ram is the brother of the heroine and the friend of the hero. Bhavana comes in the darkness and vanishes in the darkness. The comic department tries hard to make you laugh but you don't.

The technical departments do not cover themselves in glory as SS Thaman gave his routine mix in the name of music and Sarvesh Murari just went through motions with his camera and the editor of the film had forgotten that there lies some sequential order to films and he can make proceeding quicken if he had applied his scissors in a better way. There are so many things to be edited out, such as the entire interval fight episode and the entire Jeeva portion. The climax could have come 20 minutes earlier and the culmination much more better.

But what was an actor like Rajendra Prasad doing in this film? Sir, do not degrade yourself by accepting these kind of roles. It hurts your fans. One sincere appeal to Gunasekhar, Sir! You have missed your stamp in the movie. Please gives us your conviction and do not compromise. On the hindsight, an appeal to Raviteja would not be out of place, Sir! You have entertained us critics and masses alike with your films and we wait for your films, but show some difference in every other flick as we are getting confused about your films and mistaking one film with the other. In one word all your films are appearing to be the same. And finally one tongue-in-cheek comment for YVS Chowdary, Sir! You have an unbelievable knack of delivering greatest duds for Tollywood heroes. Who's next on your list?

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