Battala Ramaswamy Biopikku Movie Review: This supposed 'biopic' leaves you yawning
Plot contrivances aside, the film does not even bother with basics like a coherent screenplay and continuity
"Biopics are not meant to be made on the lives of political leaders and film stars. Common people like you and me can have one. Everybody's life would be a biopic if there is a director," says a character in Battala Ramaswamy Biopikku as he begins to narrate the journey of the protagonist.
This line is gives us to understand that Ramaswamy is neither a celebrity nor an inspiring personality, but a fictional character. The film exists only because the producers (Rama Krishna Veerapaneni, Satish Kumar) found a director (Ram Narayan) to helm this outdated tale disguised as a biopic.
Cast: Altaf Hassan, Shanti Rao, Lavanya Reddy, Satvika Jai
Director: Ram Narayan
Streaming on ZEE5
Altaf Haasan Ramaswamy is an ambitious and compassionate man, who aspires to rise above his challenges and write his own destiny. He has two goals in his life -- the first is to adhere to monogamy like his favourite god Lord Rama and the second is to set up a saree business. Destiny, of course, has other plans and he ends up marrying three women -- Jayaprada (Shanthi Rao), Jayasudha (Lavanya Reddy) and Siri (Satvika Jai).
Trouble begins to brew between the three women and Ramaswamy barely succeeds in preventing them from fighting with each other, but he satisfies their 'needs', becoming their 'perfect husband'. When things take an ugly turn with Jayaprada and Siri fighting out in the open, a sudden realisation hits Ramasamy and he decides to command respect as the head of the family. The director goes on to make things complicated by throwing a twist making Ramaswamy a corpse! What happens afterwards forms the rest of Battala Ramaswamy Biopikku.
This supposed biopic of a common man lacks fundamental logic and has an overwhelming dose of cliched, stereotyped characters. The film does manage to tickle our funny bone every now and then, but its outdated execution destroys what was built by its comedy. Even the film's biggest twist hardly leaves us surprised and throughout the runtime, one can't stop wondering if the film was made for the 1980s.
Plot contrivances aside, the film doesn't even bother with basics like a coherent screenplay and continuity. When the story isn't novel and the performers are newcomers, it's the deep-rooted emotions and screenplay that save the day for simple, small films. But here, everything falls flat.
The plot mainly focuses on Ramaswamy and his ordeals with his three wives. But whenever they begin to fight, it makes us pull our hair out more than Ramaswamy. The over-long sequences of the protagonist and his side-kick being tormented by their 'Telugu' wives are ill-conceived and leave us yawning.
Altaf Haasan slips into his role effortlessly and his acting is one of the few things that keeps us invested. With precise comic timing and a good performance, he is extremely convincing. The three female leads, on the other hand, are reduced to mere arm candies. Bhadram has his moments in the film and tries to brighten up the space he gets. The other saving graces are cinematographer PSK Mani's picturesque frames and Ram Narayan's background score.
With the pandemic and lockdown already hurting us, Battala Ramaswamy Biopikku only adds more pain during its runtime. At least in the case of COVID-19, vaccines provide some hope of eventual respite. For this movie, however, there is no help.