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'Bandipotu' Review: He Is Not Funny

Movie: Bandipotu
Rating: 2.75/5
Banner:
E V V Cinema
Cast: Allari Naresh, Eesha, Srinivas Avasarala, Sampoornesh Babu, Tanikella, Rao Ramesh, Posani and Others
Music: Kalyani Koduri
Cinematography: P.G. Vinda
Editor: Dharmendra Kakarala
Producer: Aryan Rajesh
Story, Screenplay and Direction: Mohan Krishna Indraganti
Release Date: 20th Feb, 2015

Allari Naresh returns after Brother of Bommali. Some time back, he and his brother Aryan Rajesh had announced that they would be producing films under their banner EVV Cinema. Now, they have come up with their first production Bandipotu. Naresh pairs with Mohan Krishna Indraganti and tries to steer clear of mass cinema and attempts to come up with a class film. Let’s see if the film is yet another comic caper…

Story:
The film starts off with the introduction of Vishwa (Allari Naresh) who enjoys conning the cons. In short, he identifies people who cheat others and makes it his agenda to con them. One fine day, Jhanvi (Eesha) comes to him and puts forth an irresistible offer to him. Together, they decide to make the lives of three people miserable. One is Martanda Rao (Tanikella Bharani), Seshagiri (Rao Ramesh) and the other is Bhale Babu (Posani Krishna Murali). Vishwa ropes in Tella Babu (Sampoornesh Babu) as the third member and they go about their mission.

The rest of the plot shows why Jhanvi and Vishwa are after the three men and how they con them and shame them.

Artistes’ Performances:
Allari Naresh plays a hero for a change. Well, usually all his films show him as a comedy hero. But in Bandipotu, Allari Naresh has made a conscious effort to project himself as a regular hero which is a huge change for him and his fans. That is not to say he has discarded comedy totally and taken to action and romance. Comedy is the main theme, but it is more subdued vis-à-vis his past films.

Eesha gets a good role and she plays her part well. She looks good in the songs and appropriate for her character.

Sampoornesh Babu is another surprise. Instead of his ‘on your face’ kind of comedy, he too plays a rather subdued character as Vishwa’s team-mate. He pulls it off well, but he does not get too many situations to make people fall off their chairs laughing.

Tanikella Bharani is his usual best. The subtle nuances of his character are a delight to watch.

Rao Ramesh gets a meaty role from among the three baddies. It is not very easy to compete with Tanikella Bharani, but Rao Ramesh manages it nevertheless. His expressions and body language make his character totally interesting.

Looks like it will be a long, long time before a film is made without Posani Krishna Murali. He is as good as ever and plays his part convincingly.

Srinivas Avasarala plays the sidekick of Tanikella Bharani, Cheekati. Though a supporting role, he plays it with conviction. He seems to be mastering playing the ‘shrewd’ characters.

Chandra Mohan as Parvathalu and Subhalekha Sudhakar as Satyanarayana are other characters that play key roles.

Lastly, Shraddha Das does a sizzling item number.

Technical Excellence:
The film is visually rich when compared to all Allari Naresh films till date. Of course, it is his own production, so he hasn’t compromised on budget and has tried to make a visually appealing film keeping the audiences’ expectations in mind.

Cinematography is decent while editor Dharmendra Kakarala should have tightened the second half.

Kalyani Koduri provides music for the film which has a couple of decent numbers. All songs have been well shot and a couple of them have been shot abroad.

Mohan Krishna Indraganti who is best remembered for his film Ashta Chemma returns after a long gap with this film. While he does succeed in presenting Allari Naresh in a totally different mould, he does it at the cost of comedy. So, one misses the feel of watching an Allari Naresh’s film.

Highlights:

  • Visually appealing songs
  • Rao Ramesh
  • Tanikella Bharani

Drawbacks:

  • Dragging second half
  • Weak plot
  • Low dose of comedy

Analysis:
Think Allari Naresh and you imagine laughing your guts out for two and half hours. Think EVV banner film and you expect an out and out entertainer.

Bandipotu which Allari Naresh claims is a tribute to NTR, was promoted as a class film from the word go. Though the audiences associated Allari Naresh with comedy genre, he seems to have made a conscious effort to break that image and present himself as a hero instead of a comedy hero.

Hence, he has chosen a story that is more of a revenge saga with a decent sprinkling of comedy. Of course, the film has its moments thanks to the director Mohan Krishna Indraganti, but it surely does not fall into the comedy genre.

Indraganti spends the first half establishing the story and introduces various characters that are associated with the main plot in some way or the other. There are a couple of songs and the film moves forward smoothly.

Then in typical commercial film style, Indraganti tries to make space for an interval bang. But it’s only when the second half begins that the audiences slowly begin to lose patience as the story rambles along on predictable lines. Since the plot is clear by now, the revenge saga kind of falls flat and loses steam. The episode of Bhale Babu is especially tedious and you wait anxiously for some big bang in the climax.

However, Mohan Krishna Indraganti disappoints completely and one is left feeling unfulfilled by the time end credits roll.

Surprisingly, the film is neither a comic caper like Indraganti’s earlier hit film Ashta Chemma nor is it a amusing thriller on the lines of Akshay Kumar’s Special Chabbis. While Bandipotu does succeed in projecting a new Allari Naresh, it totally lacks on entertainment quotient.

Of course, Indraganti is brilliant when it comes to characterization, but he seems to have totally discarded the beautiful humour that showcased his core talent in Ashta Chemma.

All in all, Bandipotu is not your typical Allari Naresh film or EVV Cinema for that matter. It is up to the audiences to decide if they like this new experiment of Allari Naresh or not.

Bottomline: Allari Naresh Tries New Genre

(Venkat can be reached venkat@greatandhra.com or https://twitter.com/greatandhranews)     

Click here for Telugu review

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