Rarandoi Veduka Chudham: Needless length, dreary narrative
The near bankruptcy of ideas and stories at Tollywood is reflected in the fact that even the big money bags which have not just money but even linage at stake still fall back on formulae and tested tales. Spruced up by contemporaneity and star quotient this film too is so predictable and formulistic that you know for sure that the credit to Story Screenplay and Direction (Kalyan Krishna) is dubious if honest. Decades after dad (Nagarjuna who incidentally doubles up as producer) did something so substantially similar with Ninne Pendladta that the story offers nothing in terms of novelty and for those who are willing to see in the total lack of artistic innovation as a sterile state, the exercise is worrisome – given the time effort and wealth that has gone into its making.
The Bard said:
When we mean to build
We first survey the plot, then draw the model;
And when we see the figure of the house,
Then we must rate the cost of erection,
Which if we find outweighs ability,
What do we then draw the model
This then is the challenge and it must be said that Kalyan Krishna makes the best of the fare to offer. The story is the usual boy meet girl with the girl having a huge family in the backdrop. The prologue to the romance is that two old friends Krishna (Jagapathi Babu) and Adi (Sampath Raj) have parted ways though were great friends and were part of the threesome of which Prabhu plays the third angle. Time flies and the wards of the warring families Siva (Nag Chaitanya) and Brahmaramba (Rakul Preet) are friends. You do not need to be a film buff to know that the two will sooner than later fall in love and get the warring families to hit the road and kick up the dust and stain the screen with oozing blood. After long the predictable turns will take you to the predictable bloody finale where the good and bad lines stand differentiated with clarity and the lovers unite in the midst of high voltage shrieks and screams as members of the large family get ready for the large family pic.
Cast: Naga Chaitanya, Rakul Preet Singh, Jagapathi Babu, Sampath Raj, Vennela KishoreDirector: Kalyan Krishna
Told painstakingly you wonder why the film maker labours for hours on end to tell two happenings: one that the lead pair are in love – albeit the naïve Brahmaramba blissfully unaware of it and the charming Siva unwilling to state the obvious. Juxta positioned this would test your intelligence if not your patience. Yet the style and the scale ensure star value and the consequential interest.
The tale apart, the film’s main undoing is its needless length. Surely the script does not have enough for its dreary narrative. The lead pair do their best. Naga Chaitanya has progressed and is perhaps at a comparative career stage with Dad showing more promise. It is in the emotional scene at the beach that he fails. Ironically it is here that he gets the maximum whistles of approval – thanks to the dialogues – that is gender insensitive. Surprising that Chalapathi Rao got so much flak for his insensitive comment and the audience laps in the lyrics of the song on Break Up. Rakul Preet is just objectified and it is time heroines introspect in this area. This would garner social relevance and retrace some respectability. In contrast, we have Kausalya playing a woman of substance as the mother who not only brooks no nonsense and constantly warns the erring daughter but yet stands by her to walk her through her emotional challenge. As the warring parents Jagapathi Babu and more specially Sampath Raj give the film the punch and the credibility. In a crowded cast, it is interesting to see how the character artists put in their best.
It is a huge effort and it almost succeeds thanks largely to the fizz and the fun. This could be the diktat of the BO but the filmmaker may well tell himself the need to bid farewell to:
To grandeur with his wise grimace;
To upstart wealth’s averted eye:
To supple office…
To crowded halls…
To frozen hearts and hasting feet;
To those who go and those who come,
May be there lies good cinema, in the meanwhile it is at best Veduka chudam.