Thursday, October 30, 2014

Dikkulu Chudaku Ramayya review

Written on request.


The problem with Dikkulu Chudaku Ramayya is not unique but the endemic facing the Telugu Film Industry in recent times- The filmmakers’ inexplicable need to pepper every film with unrelated comedy scenes despite most of them not even managing to evoke faint smiles. When some filmmakers claim that people want entertainment and comedy, I want to tell them while that maybe true, most of what they make is not anyone’s definition of comedy. Bad, lazy filmmaking is a part of any industry and since that is a given, we too as audience have gotten used to seeing sub-standard movies week after week. The same old love stories, with a hero who has a ripped body, can dance and maybe, if we are lucky, act a little bit, a heroine who more often than not is hired as nothing more than an ornament, a mandatory item song featuring either yesteryear actresses or unsuccessful heroines, and the obligatory comedy track featuring the comedian bigwigs of the industry. The fact that most films fail to impress is not news. These days they can’t even engage an audience for the length of their duration. Inspired by television comedy skit shows, more and more filmmakers are opting to allocate more and more running time to comedians.

Thanks to this phenomenon, expectations of viewers have been dipping lower and lower when one goes to watch a Telugu film. But every once in a while a film promises to be something more, something different than the mind-numbing mundanity of weekly releases. Dikkulu Chudaku Ramayya promised to be that film. It worked on a very interesting premise, something we don’t see in Telugu cinema and it was produced by Varahi Production, who after giving us a string of well-made films, topped it all with this year’s breezy and lovely Oohalu Gusagusalade. I walked in with expectation and energy, and I walked out drained and disappointed. Not only was this film as average as other films, it also squandered a very interesting premise for the sake of a few cheap laughs.

On the page, the idea of a father and a son falling in love with the same woman is teeming with possibilities. As a serious enterprise, it can comment upon how age is not a restriction to fall in love, or show us how a father and a son can have similar likes or maybe even convince us that the claim is not as preposterous as it sounds at first. As a lighthearted comedy, it can talk about marriages in our time and age, and laugh about how men don’t want to accept that they’re growing old. Dikkulu Chudaku Ramayya, surprisingly, does nothing of that sort. Ajay stars as a man who became a father in his teens and wants to relive his teenage at the same time as his son. Though never a great actor, Ajay tries hard to bring life into this interesting character but leaves it half-baked thanks mainly to the director’s uncertain treatment. Indraja, usually a fine actress, plays the standard Telugu cinema wife-mother who alternates between crying out of happiness and sadness. It is such a cardboard character that the filmmakers could have replaced her with a whiteboard with words Happy, Sad written on it. Naga Shourya, who showed such promise in his debut, tries hard to make his character’s predicament come to life but thanks again to some overtly clichéd writing, evokes pity for his efforts. And the heroine, Sana Maqbool, is such a weak character as well as an actor that I’d rather not even talk about it. Ali’s role was pointless, Posani came in the end to garner a few laughs and the villain was immemorable. The only two actors who generated any feelings were Brahmaji, who’s comic role was a deviation from his general roles, and the kid who played the younger brother. The production values are adequate, if not excellent, and the same could be said of music composed by MM Keeravani. The writing, predictably, is the weakest link. And that for me is the saddest part because given the premise, even decently shaped characters could have had the audience care for their fates. A few scenes are catchy but mainly because of the uneven tempo and inconsistent narration, it becomes hard for the audience to really empathize with any of the characters.

There is nothing in the film that earns a trip to the movie theatre. I suggest you catch it on TV, if you really want to.

1 comment:

Purnima said...

Could you please change the background of this blog? Black is too harsh on eyes.