Balupu movie review

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From March 18th, 2011, Ravi Teja doesn’t know what a hit is. In the interim, the movies he has acted in- six- Dongala mutha, Veera, Nippu, Daruvu, Devudu Chesina Manushullu and Sarocharu- sank without a trace. He has acted in Balupu with not a single movie in his kitty. Is he risking his entire career on the result of one movie? Is he confident that the movie would provide with a whiff of fresh air?

What do we do when we fall on bad days? Try to recreate everything that we felt good about in the halcyon days? Ravi Teja does the same. He gets Brahmanandam to enact a full length role and proves that his chemistry with him is the best in the industry. The way he calls him “Pulka” in the movie is a bit jarring at times, but entertaining nevertheless. The scenes involving Shruti Hassan, Ravi Teja and Brahmanandam are among the best comic scenes we have seen in the recent times.

Prakash Raj and Ravi Teja play roles with different shades in the film. In the flashback, they duel with each other and Anjali helps them unite. Others play their parts well in the movie.

Ravi Teja has been reeling with continuous flops from the last couple of years. This film wouldn’t satiate his fans, including me, waiting for a blockbuster. But at the same time, it is a stopper for the horrendous streak that he has been having. He proves, in no unmean terms, that when it comes to comedy he stands second to no one in the industry. His chemistry with Brahmanandam is almost magical. In the interviews as a part of publicity for the movie, he has been stating the same. His imitation of the way Balakrishna delivers public speeches brings the laughs in the theatre. As alluded to previously, it doesn’t bring him back with a bang, but it sure does keep him in contention in the coming days.

Shruthi Hassan combines well with Brahmanandam and does pretty well. She didn’t enough scope to perform in the role given to her. If the movie does set the cash registers ringing, she will be considered a lucky mascot. Her movie with Pawan Kalyan gave a fresh lease of life to him and this movie, in all probability, promises to do the same to Ravi Teja.

Brahmanandam gets a full length role and he delivers. His imitation of the interval fight scene in Iddarammailatho brings the house down. Prakash Raj also performs well in the characters with different shades.

Gopichand Mallineni, the director, is a self-professed Ravi Teja and that shows in every frame. The pressure of resuscitating Ravi Teja’s career could’ve easily shown on the final product, but to his credit, he played to the strengths of Ravi Teja and brings out some fabulous comic scenes. The Jumping Jhapak scene in the climax is one such.

The production values in the movie are good in patches and could certainly have been better, especially in the scenes involving Lakshmi Rai

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Babai Hotel

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Last month, on the occasion of a colleague’s farewell, discussion veered towards food. When the topic of Idlis came up, a colleague- a boisterous, healthy food-eating and international cuisine relisher (nothing wrong in that though), said ‘How differently can Idli be prepared? They are the same everywhere’. Though I couldn’t say it on his face, but they can be different.

A couple of days later, I found myself making a trip to Vijayawada. Now this is a place that I hold dear to heart only because my parents and friends stay there. There might be many reasons to not like Vijayawada- oppressive weather being the primary reason. If one has to love Vijayawada, it has to be for food. According to me, from the places that I have been to, Vijayawada has to be the ‘Street food capital of India’. You can find a lot of dishes, from idli to dosa, omelette to egg dosa in the morning and pani-puri to deep fried savouries in the evening. I know, health freaks can find it a bit tough to digest. Anyways without digressing, let me just jump in.

No trip of mine seems complete without a trip to Babai Hotel. So, today in the morning, blessed with beautiful weather, I found myself making the trip to aforementioned place. After a lot of haggling with the auto driver, we managed to agree on a price. On the way, he asked innocently as to why we were making the trip to Babai hotel when SSS Idli point was just next lane for us. He said the idli costs the same there too and tastes better. Little did he know that I am adamant when it comes to my choices.

When I entered the place, I found a few changes. Where there were only two tables, there are four now. Straightaway, I ordered for two plates of idly- one for me and one for my father. Well, the process of how it is served on the plate deserves paeans altogether. The coconut chutney goes in first, then the karappu podi (Gun powder, however idiotic a name that is, for the unknowing) and then the ginger chutney. Next come a couple of idlis onto the plate. My mother always compares the smoothness of idlis to cotton. I visualised the same when the idlis were on the plate. Next comes the best- a generous serving of ghee on  the items already present on the plate. After all this, a dollop of butter is served on the idlis and you carry it to your table. At that very moment, I found myself laughing at the colleague and the auto-driver.

The claim to fame of this place is that the legendary NTR used to relish their idlis a lot. Also, a movie was made with the same name – Brahmanandam was the hero in the movie. People who place ambience over taste will never like the food here. The place serves only a few dishes- Idly, Dosa, Masala Dosa, Pesarattu, Upma, Pesarattu Upma, Upma Dosa, Godhumma ravva Upma, Podi Dosa, Pongal, coffee and milk. You can give the Pongal a miss and savour other dishes. The costliest item on the menu- Masala Dosa- costs 30/-. On your way back, if you can raise your sight by a bit, you can see the appreciatory articles neatly set against a green background. Among them, you also find an appreciatory letter from the office of the president, no less.

The discerning amongst you might point out that there is no Sambar, I say there is no need for it. If you want to taste it when you find yourself in Vijayawada the next time, just say the name, ‘Babai hotel’. The people will ask you if you want to go to Gandhinagar. Just nod your head and you will find yourself there in fifteen minutes, regardless of where you are

Iddarammailatho movie review

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During the audio release, when his time to talk to the crowd came, Allu Arjun made an impassionate plea for the technicians involved in the business of movie making. One of his statements went this way “To make me look good on the screen lie the efforts of a lot of people”. At that time, the statements seemed to border on false modesty and self deprecatory humour. Now that a few of us have seen the movie, they, the words, ring true. From the moment aerial shots of a city, probably Barcelona, are shown, we are in awe of the cameraman. This is the reason why the movie won’t draw as much flak as Orange did for basing the plot in a city abroad when it could’ve been based in pretty much anywhere in the world.

We can’t even blame the audience for immersing themselves with only the stylish visuals. That’s the only thing that asks for attention from us. The presence of a story or lack thereof is not vivid till the end credits roll.

It’s quite a miracle that the movie escaped with an U/A certificate considering the entendre about virginity and sex in general. Anyways people coming to Puri’s movies come entirely knowing that these things are passé. If not, the director certainly thinks that the audience think so.

Allu Arjun is the best thing about the movie. The emotion filled fight before the interval is, quite clearly, the best moment of the movie. It is his diction that requires a lot of improvement. His accent at certain places in the movie is a sure put-off, perhaps explaining the reason why he can’t carry a movie on his shoulders. At least not a movie which requires subtlety and intensity in facial expressions. That it is a poor movie doesn’t mean that its box office prospects are hampered. An example for poor movies doing well exists in the form of Racha and Naayak. Coincidence that his cousin is the hero in both the movies?

Amala Paul would be thankful that she got to appear in the best song in the movie. Her effort to appear as the innocent girl is probably among the worst parts in the movie discounting Catherine’s part in the movie. Her appearance in the later parts can’t be explained without letting on the twists in the movie.

We are all treated to the thighs of Catherine as a part of the introductory shot in the movie. It actually sets the trend for the rest of the movie. The length of her trousers varies with the mood of the scene. If that’s to attract a section of the audience is only known to the director and herself.

Puri Jagannath is still a director who continues to frustrate and delight us in equal measure. For every Pokiri, he gives us a Nenu Naa Rakshasi. For every Neninthe, there is a Devudu Chesina Manushulu. The point I aver to is, his poor films are always more than that- they are worse. His good films have become few and far in between. Shortly put, he is like the lover of a girl whose mother doesn’t like him. A few people reckon by him and a few people won’t like whatever he does.

Just before I wrap this up, I have to talk about the dances. When we say that Allu Arjun is one of the best contemporary dancers, it probably amounts to making a true statement. We are provided a glimpse into greatness when Allu Arjun dances to an old Chiru hit, we exactly know who is the better dancer. Perhaps there lies a message to his cousin in attempting the remixes of his father’s hits. Hope the message is to deter him from attempting them