Try watching a game of tennis with Federer fans. Try watching a game of tennis with Federer fans with him in full cry. Try watching a game of tennis with Federer fans with him in full cry and ripping those one handed backhands; There is a joy in watching Federer play. The joy gets multiplied when you watch him play those one handed backhands. There is a word always associated with the one handed backhand – style. There is only one more grand slam winner among the present day players that plays with a one handed backhand- Stanislas Wawrinka. In August 2014, there was an article in New York Times, where it was said that there are 24 players among the Top 100 that play the one handed backhand. Yes they do, but they aren’t as well recognised, bar Grigor Dimitrov.
Federer, Wawrinka and, to an extent, Dimitrov apart, the rest aren’t that well known because they need to hone other skills too. In the book Strokes of Genius, the author Jon Weirtham says that Federer has 27 different variants of the forehand. Yes, you better believe that! 27 variants of the forehand! Style with substance is a cliché but describes Federer well.
In movies too, we have times when people tend to fall back on style. Because there isn’t a cause and effect prognosis for the box office fate for a movie, we end up seeing movies which are high on style and low on substance. Meher Ramesh is the torch bearer for those kind of films. For people who don’t agree; Kantri, Billa, Shakti and Shadow are the four words I would say. They have a word for it too – slickly shot!
Jil, the latest release in Telugu Film Industry skirts dangerously on similarity to those movies, but the director Radhakrishna (debut?) goes to the brink and realises it each time; and he pulls it back to normality. If you see the movie it’s apparent that the director has depended on style to push the screenplay forward than a story.
Violence is glorified in the movie and probably saves it from sinking without a trace. All the fight scenes are well shot ( sorry, slickly shot) and push the movie forward. Yes, there are so many scenes in the movie where he could’ve eulogised the hero; he leaves that job to us with the way the fight sequences are shot. The director seems to be at his best in the fight sequences. I liked the sequence where the protagonist is told that whoever he speaks to would find themselves killed. He is scared by the thought and tries to retaliate till he sees his lady love. The sight of the lady makes him run and run he does; to a graveyard. And there he is pushed to a point where he retaliates and says, ‘Naatho matladithe champestharru kadha ra! Mari nuvvu brathiki unnavu enti?’ (You said you would kill people who talk to me. You are talking to me and how are you alive) and goes on a hacking spree.
With the kind of story of hand, the director could’ve done a lot worse, but he doesn’t. He believed in style and stuck with it till the end of the movie. At least, he had that clarity of thought to stick to it. That probably saved him the blushes at the end of the day and saved him the comparisons to Meher Ramesh.
There is one thing that the director impressed me with; the protagonist, a fire officer, has the habit of collecting items from the people he saves and he keeps them in an almirah. Ayn Rand’s ‘Fountainhead’ is displayed prominently in a couple of frames.
Gopichand made his debut with Tholi Valapu and immediately turned to negative roles in his next few movies. Out of the blue, with Yagnam, he returned to being a hero. After Lakshya till Loukyam, for a period of seven years, he endured a rough patch. In this movie, he looks different and adds aura to the role of the fire officer. He looks the part and completely dominates the proceedings with his screen presence. Performance wise, he is yet to touch the peaks that he did in the movies with Chandrashekhar Yeleti – Okkadunadu and Sahasam. He said in an interview that this is a different movie for him because he ventures into romantic genre with this movie. While there is a romantic angle in the movie, it would be difficult to club it under romantic genre. He worked quite hard for this movie and it shows; especially in song sequences. He dances well in the movie and it bodes well for him in the future
Raashi Khanna, in the lead up to the movie release featured prominently in the promotions. Most of the wallpapers for the movie did suggest that she would be overflowing with oomph in the movie. That’s partly right. She was normally dressed and had a good role to play in the movie, people would aver to the song sequences and point to the excessive skin show there.
Kabir, the antagonist in the movie has a good role to play and lives up to the billing of a villain. He looks menacing in many frames of the movie and does well in the scenes that he goes toe to toe with Gopichand. His entrance scene was good and establishes his presence in the movie. It won’t be a surprise to see him bag big ticket roles in the future
Good actors like Srinivas Avasarala, Brahmaji and Chalapathi Rao were wasted in insignificant roles.
UV creations are turning out to be good producers. They spend money on movies to make it look good. To spend on a Gopichand movie directed by a debutant(?) by shooting the songs in Spain is a brave move. Problem is with the locations that they were shot in. Most of the locations have ‘already seen in different movies’ written all over them. They should’ve taken a little more care in choosing the locations.
In the disclaimer for the movie, it was mentioned that no animals were hurt during the shooting and all the sequences involving animals were graphically made. Did any of you see any animals in the movie?
Verdict: If you are the sort of a person who prefers plating and garnishing on a dish rather than the dish itself, you will surely love the movie.
Image courtesy : idlebrain.com