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'Dongaata' Review: Simple, Fun Film

Movie: Dongaata
Rating: 3/5
Banner:
Manchu Entertainments
Cast: Manchu Lakshmi, Adivi Seshu, Madhu Nandhan, Bramhanandham, Prudvi and Others
Music: Satya Mahveer, Sai Karthik, Raghu Kunche (Endhiro)
Editor: S R Shekar
Cinematography: Bhaskar
Producer: Manchu Lakshmi
Story and Direction: Vamsi Krishna
Release Date: May 8, 2015

After Chandamama Kathalu and Gundello Godari, Lakshmi Manchu took a break of sorts and became the mother of a beautiful baby girl. Now, she is back with an entertainer where she acts in a movie produced by her baby-daughter. So, let’s see what Dongaata is all about…

Story:
Actress Shruti (Lakshmi Manchu) gets kidnapped by Katam, Venkat (Adivi Sesh) and Vijju (Madhu), who demand a ransom of Rs 10 crores from her mother Jyothi Lakshmi (Pragathi). In comes Brahmi, Man of Fire (Brahmanandam) and ACP (Pridhvi) to solve the case. Will the kidnappers be caught? Do they have any other motive apart from money and will Shruti be freed forms the rest of the story.

Artistes’ Performances:
The film is produced by Lakshmi Manchu and she plays the main protagonist of the film. Unlike her earlier films where she has done some serious stuff, Dongaata has her playing a heroine in a fun film. She pulls off her part convincingly, though in a couple of close up shots, she does look a bit older than her hero Adivi Sesh. But barring that she puts in a sincere performance. And the best part is she does stunts, dances, sings all in one role.

Adivi Sesh plays the quintessential good boy-turns-bad-boy kind of role which is slowly getting stereotyped into. As always he is pretty convincing as the guy with a hidden agenda. It looks like he is the current industry favourite to play the smooth guy.

Madhu is another actor who is a staple in almost all the films these days and he gets to play a rather meaty role in this one too. No matter how long his character is, he pulls it off convincingly and manages to make the audiences laugh and Dongaata is no different.

The guy who plays Katam is also pretty convincing and his huge frame and child-like innocence makes him worth a watch.

Pragathi gets to play a grey character in the film. Though not an out and out vamp, she does play the ‘bad’ woman and she is her usual good.

Roles are being specially written for Brahmanandam these days and after watching Brahmi, Man on Fire, one is convinced that this could be the nth character written keeping only him in mind. He is sufficiently hilarious.

Prudhvi too gets an interesting role which has subtle hints of double meaning dialogues, but is funny nevertheless.

Then there are cameos by Ananth, Annapurnamma, Giri Babu and others who perform within the scope of their characters.

Technical Excellence:
Cinematography and editing are up to the mark since it is a small film. The music has been provided by multiple music directors in keeping with the present trend and so you have Sai Karthik, Satya Mahaveer and Raghu Kunche as the music directors.

Yendiro will be remembered for some time as it is a song addressing the men and questioning as to how and why women are inferior to men. 

Then there is club mix which brings together a lot of Telugu stars like Nagarjuna, Ravi Teja, Rana Daggubati, Nani, Navdeep, Sushant, Sudheer Babu, Manchu Manoj, Simbu and Tapsee is another major highlight of the film. It is good to watch an ensemble of young and senior stars dance away for the same song after a long, long time.

Dongaata happens to be the directorial debut of Vamsi Krishna and he succeeds in making a simple, fun film. Of course, it has its share of drawbacks, but it surely does work at one level.

Highlights:

  • First Half
  • Subtle comedy
  • Lead cast

Drawbacks:

  • Predictable plot
  • A major chunk of second half

Analysis:
Debut film is a huge test for any aspiring director. But Vamsi Krishna does pull off the task convincingly and he also manages to make the audiences laugh along the way.

On the face of it, the film is an age-old kidnap drama which has a plot that is totally predictable. But Vamsi Krishna manages to make it worth a watch by mixing comedy in good doses during the first half.

He does come up with some interesting scenes like the opening sequence of Lakshmi Manchu where she gets to do some heavy-duty stunts in spangled black skirt and knee-high boots. He also makes good use of his leading lady being an actress and has some interesting dialogues for her.

Though Prudhvi and Brahmanandam are more or less a part of every film that releases these days, Vamsi does manage to make their characters amusing.

While it is not the kind of comedy that makes you fall off your chair and roll with laughter, the comedy though subtle does keep you entertained through out the first half.

Of course, in the second half, the director loses grip for a major portion as they spend too much time trying to tie in a lot of messages into the story.

From hinting at gender equality to spreading the message of using condoms for safe sex and avoiding unwanted pregnancies that produce orphans to geriatric care to promoting the cause of orphanages, Lakshmi Manchu says a lot of things within an hour. Just when you feel that it is going overboard, the director brings in the climax sequence and once again you get engrossed in the main plot.

Of course, there is no denying that the plot by and large is more or less predictable, yet the climax turns out to be interesting and has some interesting dialogues about the industry and actors in general.

Dongaaata in short is Lakshmi Manchu’s take on ‘why should boys have all the fun’. Well, she does get her way and manages to entertain her audiences while having fun herself.

Close on the heels of Dochey, Dongaata is definitely more interesting in terms of presentation and makes for a time-pass watch on a lazy summer afternoon.

Bottomline: Try it for some fun

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

Click here for Telugu review

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