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'Appalaraju' Review: Just For Industry Folks

'Appalaraju' Review: Just For Industry Folks

Rating: 2/5
Banner:
Shreya Productions
Cast: Sunil, Swathi, Sakshi, Brahmanandam, Raghu Babu, Ajay and others
Music: Koti
Editing: Praveen Pudi
Cinematography: Sudhakar Yekkanti
Story, screenplay, direction: Ramgopal Varma
Producer: Kiran Kumar Koneru
Release date: 18/02/2011

Ramgopal Varma is back. This time, he has chosen the Tollywood circuit as the backdrop and tried to portray his views in the satirical way. Let us see how convincing they were.

Story:
Appalaraju (Sunil) hails from Amalapuram and he is a passionate film buff. His dream is to direct a film and for that he already writes a script for a tragedy film with the title ‘Nayaki’. With full confidence, he comes to Hyderabad and manages to set foot in the industry.

It is here he comes across people like Rocky (Raghu Babu), creative head Pushpanand (Harshavardhan) as a team. Eventually, he manages to convince glamour queen Kanishka (Sakshi), the muse of Babu Garu (Adarsh), as the leading lady for his project. Then comes KT (Ajay), a star who hates Babu Garu and has got an eye on Kanishka. While all this is one side, a twist of events occur and Appalaraju is forced to join hands with mafia don Srisailam Anna (Brahmi) who becomes the producer of this film.

What are the challenges and experiences for Appalaraju? Is he the same man who comes from Amalapuram after the completion of his film? Will he be successful in making his ‘Nayaki’? All this forms the rest of the story.

Performances:
Sunil has given his best for the role and it was looking clear that he was imitating the body language of Ramgopal Varma in many scenes. His characterization was not consistent and had lots of ups and downs. But he rocks with his graceful dances every where and punch dialogues here and there.

Swathi does her bit as required and it was a different experience to see the glamour avatar of this slender girl in songs. She can do with adding few extra pounds which will make her more desirable. 

Sakshi Gulati has sex appeal written all over her, except the face. She was sensuous, gave the apt expressions and though her role was limited, she made the best use of it and shows potential. 

Brahmanandam managed to get few smiles with his one-liners. Though few scenes of his were not made with conviction, he did an okay job. 

Tanikella was apt, Raghu Babu was good, Harshavardhan imitated RGV completely right from facial expression to walk, Ajay was effective, Adarsh was powerful. Venu Madhav was irritating, Krishna Bhagawan was cool as usual, Kota was okay, Ali was not used rightly. MS Narayana, Suman Shetty, the lad with pony tail filled the gaps.

This beautiful story was wrongly handled by the director missing the spice and kick in entire drama. He ended up this film as a b-grade film without any Midas-touch by him.
 
Highlights:

  • Ramu was successful in creating characters that both the film folks and the media folks will be able to connect with real time personalities but not for general audience.
  • The song which has dupes of Balakrishna, Chiranjeevi, Venkatesh, Nagarjuna doing few antics gets huge applause in theaters
  • The song on film directors hitting directly with their names mesmerizes the audiences.
  • The song ‘Ringu Road kaada..’ shot on Ajay and Sakshi stands as an example for technical brilliance and appealing look.
  • Sunil’s dances
  • Lyrics on a whole and especially ‘cinema mayam’

Drawbacks:

  • The emotional anguish of the protagonist was not etched well, it is hard for the audience to connect to him.
  • Weak comedy
  • No flavor in drama
  • The scene after interval when Brahmi reveals his lyrical talent and sits with Ali. It got dragged to nearly ten minutes with no power in content.
  • The scene between Ravi Teja and Sunil. The reactions of Sunil were not right given the background he comes from in the movie. Also, it is not sure what the intention was behind having that scene. Instead of empathizing with Ravi Teja in the scene, Sunil discards him. That affected his characterization.
  • The scene between Sunil, Raghu Babu and Harshavardhan at ice cream vendor and auto-wala tests the patience of audience.
  • Lengthy narration

Analysis:
People focused on this film just because of Ram Gopal Varma than anything else. Everything else falls after his brand name. He is known for his in depth emotions, effective screenplay, crisp, short and straight dialogues and on a whole a master style of handling. People carry some expectations coming to theatres. Adding to RGV’s image, it’s the satire on film industry and characters resembling its real time people pulled the attention of public.

On a whole, it’s the creative instinct of the director played here than the interest in carving a convincing and connecting film.

The objective of making a film is not just about fulfilling the director’s creative satisfaction. It is also about the satisfaction or to say the least, some entertainment for the audience. Well, that was missing its mark here completely. The subject chosen is something for those already in the film industry or to those individuals who are planning to join the industry. As such, the common public will not relish it.

An attempt was made to come up with an overall comedy treat but the slapstick style adopted didn’t have the crisp humor, it was dull and stale. Many a time, director assumed that many scenes would bring laughs in theatres but he proved wrong.

The film takes off very well and sets the right tempo but starts fizzling out after fifteen minutes. From then on, it is a dull journey till the end. By no means is it a film of RGV’s mettle and his masterstrokes were completely missing.

Comparatively, Puri Jagannadh’s ‘Neninthe’ was better considering the genre.

At the box office, the openings may be huge owing to the hype and controversy created but that will not sustain for long.

Bottom-line: Good story but weak narration  

(Venkat can be reached at venkat@greatandhra.com)

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