Uyyala Jampala review

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In 2003, for Sankranthi, there was this big ticket release called ‘Okkadu’. I saw that movie on the first day. After the initial few minutes, I was so immersed in the movie that I didn’t notice the time and was surprised that Interval came soon. The credit for that feeling is entirely to the brilliant screenplay.

I had a similar feeling when I saw Uyyala Jampala today. The interval came too fast and when I checked the watch, it was only around sixty minutes from the start. It takes a lot of effort to put your thoughts on paper into action. The director seems to have put that effort. He resisted the temptation of extending the movie beyond the duration of what it is now.

The story is a simple ‘bava-maradallu’ story. There are no twists nor denouements. No soliloquys nor monologues. It doesn’t have a crest nor a trough. It has been a long while that we have seen a movie in Telugu that doesn’t have the above mentioned specifics attached to it. If we have to force ourselves to draw similes, then the movie can be compared to fresh breeze.

What is amazing is the fact that the director Virinchi Varma seems to be aware of all these things and, in fact, considered them to be a positive for the movie. None of the characters that appear on screen let the director down. Each and every person seemed apt for the role. One of the best pointers for that would be the lady playing the servant’s role. In the scene where she informs Uma Devi (Anandi’s name in the movie) about the cancellation of her marriage with Bujji, it does seem that there would be no one else performing that scene better than her.

Raj Tarun, the hero in the movie, resembles Sanjay Bhargava to an extent, but I am sure that the careers would be entirely different. Raj Tarun seems to be a man with a lot of potential. He performs very well and his squeaky voice is indeed an asset to him. It is difficult to believe that this is his debut movie. He doesn’t have the woodenness that’s usually attached with the debutants.

Anandi is a girl that’s known to a lot of women. She has acted in a popular serial. I have always felt that TV actors have an advantage- no emotion seems to beyond them and Anandi does solidify that belief of mine. She, like Raj Tarun, doesn’t make the audience feel for a moment that it’s her debut movie. She seems to emote well and is blessed with eyes that convey every single feeling.

The two people who portrayed the part of Raj Tarun’s friends, each have a scene where they bring the house down with humour. If one of the friends has this long scene of clicking a picture of Anandi, the other plays more than an accomplice when Raj Tarun goes and talks to the mother of a suitor and spoils the match.

The girl who played the role of Anandi’s friend is also very good. Amongst others Anita Chowdary, as the mother of Raj Tarun, trumps in a scene where she explains love to her niece.

The locations are keeping in tune with the mood of the movie. Shot in Konaseema, the director and cinematographer don’t seem to be in a tearing hurry to showcase the best of the region. Instead, they rely on basics and show the normal things well. The director captures the essence of the region very well. The language that the hero speaks is so East Godavari. The sarcasm laced with humour is something that the people from that region are said to be blessed with and the hero seems to have a lot of that.

During the titles, it was endearing to see the producers associated with the movie to dedicate the movie to their daughters or to the women in their family

 

Verdict: A must watch. A director’s movie from the beginning to the end. 

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Dhoom 3 Review

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In the lead up to the release, Aamir Khan, in all his interviews, was at pains to explain that the reason he accepted Dhoom 3 was that he liked the script and not because the franchise was a money spinner.

It is, then, not to his advantage that the premise, to an extent, and the idea of the movie were borrowed from a popular film maker’s well acclaimed movie. Because of the image that Aamir has, his acting will be compared against the original.

Regardless of how it fares at the box office, this movie tells us that how the franchise movies have failed to adapt to the changing landscape of the movie business. When Dhoom released around ten years ago, it was a novel thing to see bikes, bikers, thieves, props and girls. Dhoom 2 relied heavily on the ‘Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai’ factor to pull it off.

In ‘Koffee with Karan’, Aamir Khan provided an insight into why Salman Khan is a bigger star than him. He said, “I need a lot of people to make the film and myself work, but Salman can just walk in and give you a hit”. He is right as the duo of Abhishek Bachchan and Uday Chopra let him down badly and the movie doesn’t look half as spectacular as it should.

The weakness of the movie is the fact that it relies overtly on Aamir Khan. People keep waiting for the moment why Aamir Khan accepted the movie. It never comes. What we get is a twist that is bland, because of the ‘lack of novelty’ factor.

Aamir Khan is lucky that this movie would be followed by PK. Abhishek Bachchan might not be so lucky as it puts a lot of pressure on his release. This movie might be the last movie in which we might see Uday Chopra in the cast. He seems to be the only actor in the movie who seems to have aged with the idea of the movie.

It is perhaps good for a movie that Aamir Khan wields control over the making, as it was visible that his presence, if any, was limited. The beginning scenes, bar the flashback, are pointers to that. The entrance of Abhishek Bachchan was so contrived that it seemed they were trying to keep up with the present trend of inanities. In fact, the area seemed more out of Rio’s Favella’s than Mumbai’s Dharavi.

Vijay Krishna Acharya will be remembered as a person who threw away two golden chances of directing what could’ve been good movies. From the movies he has made, it is impossible to believe that he was at one point of time an assistant to Kundan Shah.

Please do get back to me if you notice Katrina Kaif in the movie. Yes, she does make her presence felt in the scene where she kisses Aamir Khan and in the songs. Apart from that, nothing. Jackie Shroff sizzles in the little while that he is there.

The only one in the technical department to come out unscathed would be the cinematographer. There are some brilliant shots of Chicago in the movie.

Verdict: The indecisiveness of how to use a star at hand killed the movie. Only the wide release can guarantee collections