ABCD: American Born Confused Desi Review- A comedy devoid of novelty or humor
The film starts off smoothly, but soon becomes a redundant mess when the director fails to tap humour out of an interesting premise
Remakes are a risky business as they get inevitably compared to the original and rarely do they live up to the original. If a remake succeeds in meeting expectations, the director doesn't really get the credit, but when the film fails, he has to bear the brunt. So, it must take a special skill to remake a film which is available in digital platforms for the movie aficionados with subtitles. Case in point is director Sanjeev Reddy's ABCD: American Born Confused Desi, a remake of the 2013 Malayalam film of the same name, starring Dulquer Salmaan.
Aravind aka Avi (Allu Sirish) and his cousin Bala Shanmugam aka Basha (Bharath) are spendthrifts, who don't take life too seriously. Avi’s father (Naga Babu), who wants to teach them a lesson or two, sends them to India on the pretext of a month-long vacation. The duo are forced to make a living in a slum on a monthly budget of Rs 5000. They cross paths with Bhargav (Raja Chembolu), an aspiring politician and the son of the Finance Minister (Subhaleka Sudhakar). What follows next forms the crux of the film.
Cast: Allu Sirish, Rukshar Dhillon, Bharath
Direction: Sanjeev Reddy
ABCD starts off smoothly, but soon becomes a redundant mess when the director fails to tap humour out of an interesting premise. The film passes off lame conversations and stale NRI jokes as comedy. There’s also a sub-plot about a political rivalry that our protagonists get inadvertently involved in and manipulate a cause, which looks entirely formulaic and kills the very cause that the film claims to address.
The story, which unfolds at a leisurely pace, is fairly uninspiring for the most part, resorting to clichés, and cinematic liberties every time the narrative hits a rough spot. For instance, consider the way the protagonist and his cousin get along with the slum-dwellers, or the stereotypical portrayal of an NRI who makes fun of desis. Everything is handled in a juvenile manner. The film, which starts off as an adventure, becomes a moral science lesson halfway through, eventually derailing from its original track.
If there's another reason ABCD doesn't quite hit the mark, it's due to lack of emotional depth, and a conflict that never rings true. However, despite its outdated script and little scope for establishing the chemistry between its leads, the film’s foot-tapping music does work in its favour.
Sirish, in all fairness, done his best to play Avi. He comes out unscathed in the emotional scenes, but fails miserably in humour. Rukshar's role has little scope to perform, but she carries herself quite well. Vennela Kishore as a frustrated news presenter tries his best to repulse the audience. Kota Srinivasa Rao and Subhaleka Sudhakar, and Raja Chembolu are just adequate.
To sum it up, director Sanjeev Reddy seems to have meted out unfair treatment to an interesting story that had great scope to play on humour and emotions. Watch ABCD only if you have time to spare and nothing better to do.