Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo Movie Review: Allu Arjun-Trivikram Srinivas return with a bang
There's comedy, a little bit of romance, and heaps of emotional drama powered by the inventive use of music
It's always exciting to see a successful actor-director combination coming together for another film. Eight years ago, the stupendous success of Julayi gave birth to one such combination — actor Allu Arjun and director Trivikram Srinivas. Their subsequent film S/O Sathyamurthy too made an explosive impact at the box-office. The industry and audience were equally enthusiastic to watch their third film, Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo, which was released today amidst tremendous hype. And the film largely lives up to the expectations.
Cast: Allu Arjun, Pooja Hegde, Murli Sharma, Sachin Khedekar
Director: Trivikram Srinivas
Written and directed by Trivikram Srinivas, the film focuses on three father-son relationships — Bantu (Allu Arjun) and Valmiki (Murali Sharma); Ramachandra (Jayaram) and Raj Manohar (Sushanth); and Appala Naidu (Samuthirakani) and Paidithalli (Govind Padmasoorya). Valmiki always tries to suppress Bantu and thinks that the family you are born into determines your fate. Ramachandra wants his son to be successful and doesn't like to see him being unambitious. Appala Naidu likes to give his son whatever he wishes for and doesn't hesitate to kill if someone prevents him from doing so. These characters and their attitudes converge at a point.
Trivikram's hold on the script is evident from the first frame as he moves from one sequence to another swiftly. There is opulence and poetry in every frame, and he applies the same lavish approach to present it interestingly. The sequence where Bantu-Amulya and Raj deal with their business opponents has been conceived well. This episode clearly communicates the thought process of Ramachandra also.
Like Trivikram's previous outings, the hallmark of this film is an undercurrent of emotions and tue director skillfully depicts the conflict and bonding in an urban setting. His prose, brimming with exuberance, is given impressive expression by Allu Arjun. The scene where he discovers the truth behind his birth and the ensuing confrontation with Valmiki is one of the best moments in the film. Also, his resolve to help Ramachandra's emotionally detached family is strong enough to make us empathise with his character. It's difficult to envision any other actor enacting the part of Bantu. As the story takes off, we don't see Allu Arjun, the star, we only see Bantu and that is one of the biggest strengths of the film.
The emotional moments fit seamlessly into the narrative and the drama is even more engrossing towards the climax, when a key character resolves the conflict. Although the narrative follows the blueprint of family dramas, the story offers interesting twists and punch dialogues at regular intervals.
However, Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo is not without its blemishes. While Trivikram, generally, may have a progressive opinion when it comes to portraying women characters, the same can't be said about Bantu's unmistakably obtuse gaze at his boss, Amulya (Pooja Hegde)'s legs. Samuthirakani and Govind's track seems half-baked and so is its culmination.
There's comedy, a little bit of romance, and heaps of emotional drama powered by the inventive use of music. SS Thaman's soothing melodies and foot-tapping songs are woven into the narrative to wondrous effect, especially OMG Daddy, Samajavaragamana, and Butta Bomma. While PS Vinod crafts every frame beautifully, Naveen Nooli's editing could have been sharper.
The film also benefits enormously from the performances of Allu Arjun and Murali Sharma. He perfectly slips into the character of Bantu, and brings swag and energy to the stylish sequences. His mesmerising dance moves in a well-conceived fight-folk song, and the way he mimics popular Telugu heroes in a medley are a delight. Murali Sharma's performance reveals both vulnerability and determination and he lends grace and gravitas to his character.
Pooja Hegde looks stunning, and more importantly, she plays her part effortlessly and strikes up palpable chemistry with Allu Arjun. Tabu's character, unfortunately, is poorly etched.
Although the cast is peppered with actors like Nivetha Pethuraj, Sushanth, Rohini, Rahul Ramakrishna, Vennela Kishore, and Navdeep, the film gives them little to do, leaving the bulk of heavy lifting to Sachin Khedekar, who is impressive with his comic timing and turns in an impressively confident performance. He receives enough support from Jayaram in a role that is a cakewalk for the latter. While Samuthirakani doesn't disappoint, comedian Sunil has little impact in the film.
Overall, Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo delivers on its promise and is the perfect Sankranthi entertainer for the entire family.