A film that will awaken your social self, once you’ve made it past the item songs and the muscular protagonist playing the common man.
One of the tribes on the Andhra Karnataka border had been displaced by force, their small village had been burnt down by Reddappa’s men. Reddappa – the criminal miner (a safe reference to Janardhan Reddy who would probably hate it if he ever got to see this formula villain they have depicted him as. One of our biggest scammers will have more to him).
And in Hyderabad…Surabhi is a dying theatre group. Babu (Rana), who had been a part of the group for long is now making his plans to go abroad much against his grandfather’s interest. Surabhi Subrahmanyam played by Kota Srinivas Rao wants Babu to perform one last play in his home town near Bellary before he leaves. A play he wrote for Babu. Subrahmanyam however doesn’t
make it past that night and the group decide to do the play in his honour.
In Bellary…One of the actors from the group gets into a feud with Reddappa’s men and gets his tongue chopped off. This reason serves for Babu’s essential need to beat up people and links his story with Devika (Nayanatara) who is in Bellary to gather footage for her documentary exposing the illegal mining.
Once Babu’s past comes into play, the film like all films involving Babus puts us through the twist after twist exercise.
The film places scenes about artistic integrity, injustice to the tribal and the struggle of the common man between boring interludes full of Telugu masala. And when a film has pledged its integrity to the ‘Telugu way’ it can only bore you
with its pretentious tone backed by a poor and overdone score.
I think Rana pulled it off in a few close ups. Like we say, it’s the struggle that we should appreciate.
The rest were just typecasts except for a few sequences involving stage plays. Kota on stage, which was very brief was all that got me excited. And of course the cameo by Venkatesh in an item song, best part of the movie.
Nothing is more boring than a commercial film trying to be socially evocative. The seriousness it craves for never makes it past the fluff.