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'Rey' Review: Shouts For Success

Movie: Rey 
Rating: 2/5 
Banner:
Bommarillu Vaari
Cast: Sai Dharam Tej, Saiyami Kher, Shraddha Das, Venu Madhav, Tanikella, Naresh and Others 
Music: Chakri 
Cinematography: Guna Shekaran
Editor: Gowtham Raju 
Story, Screenplay, Producer, Direction: YVS Chowdary
Release Date: March 27, 2015

His second film released and it was declared that he was indeed the heir apparent to the megastar as he had the same energy that megastar had during his earlier films. But a first is a first and Sai Dharam Teja finally gets to enjoy the release of his first film as a hero. As for YVS Choudhary who has written, produced and directed the film, it is a huge moment in his life as he has spent a lot of money on the film. Let’s see if the film lives up to the expectations of mega fans…

Story:
The story begins in Jamaica, yes you read that one right in Jamaica. Rock (Sai Dharam Teja) is like any other youngster in the black neighbourhood who dreams of having sex with a hot chic. Well, into his life comes Amritha (Saiyami Kher), a girl who dreams of competing in the BOW competition to fulfill the dream of her dead brother. So, the film has to have a baddie and it comes in the form of Jenna, two times winner of BOW who is hell bent on hitting the hat-trick. 

From their college Bob Marley Music Academy to the US, Rock and Amritha have the quintessential love-hate relationship but have one common goal. So do they have it in them to win the big fight? Does Jenna allow them to win the title? 

Artistes’ Performances:
YVS Choudhary is bang on in picking Sai Dharam Teja as Rock. His rugged look and his unrefined looks perfectly suit the character that YVS tries to project. He suits the part of a boy who grows up in a middle-class black neighbourhood and gets the body language right. In fact, his dressing is also inspired by the street style of the black kids which is a plus. He gets to show off his dance moves and you know instantly why Pawan Kalyan was keen on getting his nephew’s film released. He surely has the same energy levels that his uncle Chiranjeevi had during his earlier days.

Saiyami Kher is good as she manages to convince the audience that she has got the moves to play the part. Of course, she is no stunner in terms of looks, but she surely has a surf-board body which is so right for her character. She struggles in close-up shots, but she is a pro when it comes to dance and that’s what matters for her character.

Shraddha Das as Jenna is also a good choice. Her heavy, curvy frame is perfect for the success-obsessed, narcissist pop diva. She looks glam and has the presence to impress you with her bad girl act.

Tanikella Bharani, the guy who plays Dange, boys who play Rock’s friends, Naresh, Hema, Venu Madhav form the rest of the cast and they do put in ok performances.

Technical Excellence:
A good part of the film has been shot in the US, in San Francisco to be specific. The cinematographer does a good job. Though it is a dance musical, the music is a huge disappointment. They have also used the now popular Golimaar song of Chiranjeevi for that ‘mega’ touch. Choreography is by Raju Sundaram, Prem Rakshit, Jani, Sekhar and Bhanodaya and all of them do put in enough work to make the steps as close to street style dancing as possible. The last song, though very lengthy totally belongs to them.

But the biggest drawback of the film is the length. It feels as if you are watching a never-ending film and you wish that editor Kotagiri Venkateswara Rao had chopped off a few scenes mercilessly.

Finally, we must appreciate YVS Choudhary for risking it all to make a film like Rey. But that’s the end of good news.

Highlights:

  • Sai Dharam Teja
  • Shraddha Das
  • Choreography

Drawbacks:

  • Length
  • Second half
  • Predictable story

Analysis:
Okay, the film starts off with a voice-over from YVS Choudhary that the audience must look beyond the setting of the story as it is an attempt at bringing the culture of street style dancing from Jamaica and the US to the Telugu audiences. Then there is Ram’s voice-over introducing the hero Rock. Despite all this, nothing prepares you for the many black characters speaking in Telugu.

To keep the feel right, YVS retains a lot of black characters and that might be a bit of a culture shock to regular Telugu audiences especially in B, C centres.

Even in urban pockets, not many can relate to them unless they are aware of the Bronx culture in black neighbourhoods. It is also very loud in keeping with the story and this might irk many viewers.

But YVS must be appreciated for trying to make a film that is targeted at the youth obsessed with street style dancing from major cities across the world. He also shows the murkier side of fame and success in the world of pop. And his biggest plus is having a female antagonist. So far, he is successful and then trouble begins.

The film is so long that you begin to lose patience by the time interval happens. And the surprising part is that the songs are also too long and test your patience. Once you get the story which moves forward on predictable lines, you slowly start losing interest.

It is pretty tough to control your child and likewise YVS finds it hard to trim his film and that’s where he loses. Had he told the story in a shorter format and with more pace, it would have surely worked at one level. But Rey is stretched to the extent that it becomes tedious watching by the time climax happens.

Yet, it is rather interesting to note that YVS thanks a lot of people, dead and alive; puts in a message against piracy, puts forth the idea for a multi-starrer with Pawan Kalyan, Mahesh and NTR.

Also, the second half has some scenes that do not match the theme of the film and YVS must have chopped them off to save time and to tighten the story. In all, you will have to take a risk if you really want to watch in theatres for Sai Dharam Teja and YVS.

Bottomline: Lengthy yar(w)n

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

Click here for Telugu review

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