Agnyaathavaasi movie review

Back in the day, around the release of Khushi, when functions were being organised for the movie, the producer AM Rathnam, talking in one of those functions had compared Pawan Kalyan to Rajinikanth: actors with their fingers on the pulse of the audience. In hindsight, it can seem to be a foolish statement or a profound one, considering the boat you sail on.

Pawan Kalyan is riding on two disasters (in terms Box-office returns and the content in them). Who better than his friend and the director, Trivikram Srinivas, who gave his biggest hit till date to pull him out of the rut?

An actor-director combo is expected to repeat the magic of their previous hit when they collaborate again, but here they take it too far as the character sketch of the protagonist is similar to that of the previous movie. It seems as if Trivikram Srinivas grew too lazy and wanted you to assume that you are watching the extended version of Attarintiki Daredhi (it’s the season of sequels, you know.)

All the tropes of a Trivikram movie, bar few, are there in this movie too: dumb heroines, rich protagonist, a family figure to look up to and a villain who doesn’t seem menacing enough.

*****

Agnyaathavaasi is the story of a man hidden away from the rest of the world as a Plan B. When we go to a movie we should allow for some suspension of disbelief, but this movie stretches the limit. Did Trivikram not have the time to write it or wasn’t he allowed to write what he wanted? Forget the main theme being borrowed from a French movie, some scenes too seemed to be a rehash of previous movies.

The office comedy scenes had ‘Rowdy Alludu’ written all over them. Hate me as much as you want but Pawan Kalyan is no Chiranjeevi when it comes to comic timing. He simply doesn’t have the ability to raise the level of the movie with his acting.

The kidnapping of a few people and keeping them locked away at the same place seemed pretty similar to that of Khaleja. In that movie, Trivikram managed to weave comedy and philosophy around the situation, but here the attempts fell through.

Though he talks of a Plan B in the movie, every such attempt in taking the Plan B is rebuffed by Trivikram. Imagine the scope of the movie if the movie took the direction of Sampath Raj hounding Pawan Kalyan. That doesn’t seem the point of the movie. The point of the entire movie seemed to be playing sycophant to Pawan Kalyan.

*****

Pawan Kalyan doesn’t seem to have his mind and heart in acting anymore. Not that this is his worst effort, but the effort isn’t visible, which is a sad thing. That he didn’t bother trying is a fact that his die-hard fans should acknowledge as much as Trivikram’s laziness in trying to develop a coherent script. The eulogical dialogues just don’t seem to work as his character graph isn’t properly developed. It is as if they forgot to draw the line by mixing reel with real; the fans are supposed to imagine Pawan Kalyan in real life and bring that imagination to the restraint the character shows before its unleashed on the world. The introduction scene had all the eccentricities associated with Pawan Kalyan and it’s tough to imagine that Trivikram would’ve conceptualized it without Pawan Kalyan’s interference. Takes us back to the Jalsa days, doesn’t it?

Trivikram is one of those rare directors who have a presence in the script without being a part of it. A Trivikram movie does draw you to the turnstiles, but here he allows the very few good dialogues he writes to be lost in the mediocrity of Pawan Kalyan’s character. It is a pity that he allows himself to be carried away by his/the fans love for Pawan Kalyan. This is a throwback to Jalsa, where the entire movie doesn’t seek attention, but a few scenes do. There too, he wants us to imagine the character depth rather than showing it on screen.

Keerthi Suresh, Anu Emmanuel, Khushboo and Boman Irani, who?

Rao Ramesh is the only actor who comes away unscathed from the mess that Agnyaathavaasi is. He shines with the way he utters dialogues. He shines with the way he expresses the dialogues meaning. One of the best things to look forward to in a Trivikram movie, in the recent past, is Rao Ramesh and they don’t disappoint.

*****

Verdict: Walking into the sunset might actually be metaphorical in this movie

Attharintiki Daredhi movie review

wp-24atharintikidaaredi1366

The brief for a superstar is always simple- use his/her aura to the fullest. Pawan Kalyan is a superstar and his aura has been used to make, what looks like a superhit movie. What has been a heartening development in this year, is the fact that the reigning superstars of the Telugu Film Industry have both acted in family oriented movies. It helps that the superstars come out of the comfort zone to act in movies in genres that are fast disappearing.

Have you ever noticed that a certain director gets the best out of certain actors. Trivikram, certainly has that effect on Pawan Kalyan. There is a certain joie de vivre to the characters that Pawan Kalyan plays in Trivikram’s movies. Be it Jalsa or this movie, there is a certain fluidity to Pawan Kalyan that’s seldom seen in other movies. Is it because he trusts the director or is it the fact that most of his previous blockbusters have been remakes and hence the scope for improvising becomes minimal?

A welcome change in Pawan Kalyan has been his brilliant dialogue modulation from his previous movie, Cameraman Ganga tho Rambabu. If you notice him closely, the body language in a few scenes takes us back to the days of Chiranjeevi, especially in the scenes and dances where feminine actions are involved.

His dialogue delivery is crucial to leave the desired impact on the audience. He excels in delivering the brilliant lines penned by Trivikram. He is equally at ease while delivering the dialogues laced with emotion in the climax as he is while delivering lines like “Floodlights lo dagudumuthallu adinattu undhi”

Samantha doesn’t have the conventional heroine role in the movie. There are very few scenes between the lead pair that contain the romance that we have gotten used to over the years. Be it the way she expresses her love to him or be it the apprehension in marrying him, she comes across as a loveable girl. Her appearance in the entire Chitoor trip episode is one of the best that a heroine has ever looked in the recent past.

Praneetha doesn’t have a role that she can remember in a few months’ time from now. Her appearance in the song ‘Bapu gaari bommo’ is the only thing she might remember with fondness over time.

Brahmanandam is another person who has that impeccable timing in comedy with Pawan Kalyan and that comes to the fore in the scenes that he has with him. The Ahalya Amayakurallu drama and the entire ‘fake baba’ drama bring the house down. It won’t be overstatement to say that his chemistry with Pawan Kalyan is on par with his chemistry with Ravi Teja and Nagarjuna.

Boman Irani, Nadia, Kota Srinivasa Rao and Mukesh Rishi do what is expected of them- perform well in the scenes given to them.

A special word for Rao Ramesh as he seems to be blessed with a voice that can do wonders to the dialogues given to him, maybe an inheritance from his father. He impresses everyone with his performance in the first half.

Finally to Trivikram then. He handles the subject on hand with ease. The dialogues flow freely from him and people complaining that his dialogues, off late, have been lacking the punch of yore would do well to concentrate a little bit more on the dialogues. His handling of the script and the superstar on hand tell us that he is going to be around for a long, long while to come. He gets to Pawan Kalyan to dance, deliver dialogues with aplomb, display the intensity in his eyes and emote brilliantly. He also knows what the fans want as he gets Pawan to perform his characteristic swipe of his right hand on the neck many times in the opening song

PS: The song sequence ‘Ninu Choodagane’ has to be one of the best song sequences shot in the recent past. The crowd, where I saw the movie, came alive at the point where Pawan say ‘Let’s dance, ya!’

Verdict: It has blockbuster written all over it and rightly so

 

Pic courtesy: idlebrain.com