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'Legend' Review: Balayya Does Not Disappoint

Movie: Legend
Rating: 3/5
Banner:
14 Reels Entertainment, Vaarahi Chalana Chitram
Cast: Bala krishna, Jagapathi Babu, Radhika Apte, Sonal Chauhan, Bramhanandham and Others
Dialogues: M ratnam
Music: Devi Sri Prasad
Editor: K Venkateswar Rao
Cinematographer: C Ram Prasad
Producers: Anil Sunkara, Ram Achanta, Gopi Achanta
Story, Screenplay and Direction: Boyapati Sreenu
Release Date: 28th March, 2014

Simha in the combination of Boyapati Srinu and Balakrishna in 2010 was a stupendous hit. The film ended the string of flops that Balayya was encountering prior to that. So when a film was announced in the same combination, there were lot of expectations. Will Balayya live up to the expectations? Will he deliver? Will Boyapati’s magic work once again remains to be seen.

Story:
Jeetendra (Jagapati Babu) is insulted in a village. So, he develops hatred on the village and the village people and its head played by Suman. Suman’s son Krishna (Balakrishna) is sent off to study by his grandmother to stop him from taking revenge. Years later, Krishna returns with the girl he loves (Sonal). After his return, he ends up having a fight with Jeetendra’s son. From then on, a tug-of-war begins between Jeetendra and Krishna. Meanwhile, there is a surprise twist in the tale.

Artistes’ Performance:
Balakrishna is a pro when it comes to showing intensity. Boyapati Srinu has created a character that is in keeping with Balayya’s image. The character makes full justice to his style of dialogue delivery and powerful expressions. In the second half, he puts in a performance that is bound to be liked by his fans. However, he fails to hide his age through the young character. But his dressing and characterisation perfectly suit the Legend character.

We cannot point a finger at Jagapari Babu’s get-up. He did not look so good even when he played the hero. His dressing and his acting get full marks. But due to some glitches in characterisation, his character falters at places.

Coming to the heroines, there is nothing much they get to do. Radhika Apte bores to the core. Even Balakrishna irritates by calling his sister-in-law ‘amma’.

It is probably one of those films where you will actually want Brahmanandam’s character to end soon.

Technical Excellence:
Devi Sri Prasad’s music is so-so. You will not remember any songs once you walk out of the film. But the title song has been well-picturised. However, Devi does leave his mark while giving background score.

Coming to editing, there are some loopholes. Since it is a heavy subject line, the editor should have been slick. Cinematography is good though.

Boyapati Srinu repeats himself and this film is technically not very different from his earlier films. All his films show the hero in two shades and so is the case with Legend. Balayya’s character is a mix of heroism and comedy. Boyapati who had shown Balayya in a powerful role in Simha, successfully repeats the earlier characterisation.

Highlights:

  • Balayya’s performance as Legend
  • Jagapati Babu’s get-up as villain
  • Some scenes in the second half

Drawbacks:

  • First half
  • Brahmanandam’s comedy track
  • Free climax sequence

Analysis:
The biggest draw for Legend is his performance. There is nothing much to the story and the same can be said about screenplay. But Boyapati Srinu manages to make a character that is in keeping with Balayya’s image.

Balayya gives his 100 per cent to a character that suits his age and boosts the performance. Though there are many loopholes in the story and despite it being weak in places, Balayya manages to pull it through.

The film’s highlight is surely Jagapathi Babu. In fact, if the writer would have pitted Balayya and Jagapathi Babu, then Legend would have turned out differently. But in keeping with the taste of the Telugu audience, the hero’s character is rather strong and the villain’s character is rather weak. Due to this, the film does not excite you. The hero pulls it along on his own strength. Had the director picturised a powerful showdown between Jagapathi Babu and Balayya, it would have helped the film a lot.

Boyapati mixes up various characters of Balayya along with his two shades formula and whips up Legend. But Balayya’s trademark dialogue delivery and dialogues that interest his fans induce some excitement into the film. However, the film will not be well-received by others barring his fans and mass audience.

Since it released at a time when there are no big films, it remains to be seen how far Legend will cash in on the situation. But if one were to compare this with Balayya’s Narasimha Naidu and Samarasimha Reddy, then the fans are likely to be disappointed. And if one were to compare it with Balayya’s recent flops, then the film is ‘much better’.

Bottomline: Great Legend for his fans... Small celebrity for others!

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

Click here for Telugu review

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Tags: Bala Krishna Legend Legend Review Legend Telugu Review