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'Badrinath' Review: Just Better Than Shakti!

'Badrinath' Review: Just Better Than Shakti!

Rating: 2.5/5
Banner:
Geetha Arts
Cast: Allu Arjun, Tamannah, Prakash Raj, Kelly Dorjee and others
Music: M M Keeravani
Cinematographer: S Ravi Varman
Story: Chinni Krishna
Editor: Gautham Raju
Screenplay, direction: V V Vinayak
Producer: Allu Aravind
Release date: 10/06/2011
 
Allu Arjun is back and this time he has teamed up with the mass masala movie maker V V Vinayak with a different concept. Let us see how this is.
 
Story:
The age old ritual of ‘Kshetra Palakudu’ is revived among the Hindu saints and gurus. They approach the veteran Bheeshma Narayana (Prakash Raj) and he decides to mould one child to be the protector of Badrinath.

This is Badri (Allu Arjun) and as fate would have it, he is chosen to be the protector of the Badrinath shrine. The story takes a turn with the arrival of Alakananda (Tamannah) an atheist due to her reasons. Few sequences revive her faith in the god and also trigger love in her for Badri.

However, Bheeshma wants Badri to take over as his successor and the condition is that he must remain a ‘Brahmachari’ for the rest of his life. On the other hand, there is the evil Sarkar (Kelly Dorjee) along with his wife (Ashwini) who want to get Alakananda married to their son so that they can grab her property. What happens after that forms the rest of the story.
 
Performances:
Allu Arjun looks perfect in physique, riveting in dance performance, apt in emotional scenes. He did his best to do justice but then his character should have been etched with more conviction.

Tamannah is a visual feast and she has given a literal Abhishekam with her milky white oomph factor. Her screen presence is significant and she delivered well during emotional sequences.

Prakash Raj did his bit as required. However, his role was not as powerful as it was hyped. His face was hidden in white beard and hair. Only eyes and nose are visible. Worst make up.

Kelly Dorjee was spineless as a villain, all that hungama about his profile looks hollow. Ashwini (the police cop in Rakta Charitra who gets her revolver licked by Bukka Reddy) is a talented actress but she got stiff in few scenes. Brahmanandam was okay, Krishna Bhagawan gave his regular satires, Dharmavarapu was regular, the lad doing Ashwini’s son’s role was dull. Venu Madhav came and went.
 
Highlights:

  • Visual grandeur
  • Tamannah’s glamour feast
  • Bunny’s sincere efforts in action and dance
  • Pace of the film

Drawbacks:

  • Significant directorial flaws
  • Weak climax
  • Non-situational songs
  • Weak comedy
  • Average cinematography
  • Abrupt censoring

Analysis:
The film came in with various publicity stints such as

  • The costliest film ever made in Tollywood
  • Allu Arjun’s Indian Samurai role and his training in Vietnam
  • Chinni Krishna’s statement that this screenplay has never been seen before

Well, coming to the point. There is hardly any impact to say that the film was made at a budget of Rs 40 crores. If that is true then it must be said that the director didn’t utilize it in the right way. Given the buzz about Bunny’s training, the action and fight sequences should have been mind blowing but they were regular Peter Heinz product which we have seen before. As far as screenplay goes, guess Chinni Krishna meant it literally, nothing great about the screenplay. When subjects like Hindu shrines and customs are spoken, basic fundamentals must be followed.
Here is something for Vinayak-

  • If Allu Arjun is the protector of a holy temple, he should at least have a thilakam on his forehead
  • Tamannah lights the oil lamps with match sticks. That is unacceptable and grave mistake as per Hindu tradition. The custom requires it to be lit with incense sticks and not match sticks.
  • In the ‘Vasudhara’ scene, there is a temple deity and everyone is walking coolly with slippers, shoes, long boots etc
  • Allu Arjun gets upanayanam performed by Prakash Raj and he also drops a ‘jandhyam’ on his body. But that ‘jandhyam’ is never seen again in the film. Is that the value Allu Arjun’s character gives for religion and piousness?!
  • In the last fight, Allu Arjun jumps out from temple barefoot but by the time he lands at villains he has shoes.
  • If Brad Pitt kills the opponent by piercing a sword on the shoulder in ‘Troy’, our Allu Arjun pierces and kills merely with two fingers. Why is this silly copying?
  • If Ram Charan killed 100 soldiers in ‘Magadheera’, our Bunny killed 100+ here with no emotion packed. What’s this comparison?

That way, Vinayak has missed attention to detail and conviction in many scenes. The first half goes about in a mild manner and he shows his mettle before the interval bang with the idol fight. However, things gets a little quirky during the second half and it gets very predictable. Overall, the film will work strongly in the opening day due to Allu Arjun and Tamannah following along with the publicity hype but to be frank, the film has nothing extraordinary to be spoken about.

  • It is a weak story line with Computer Graphics hungama. No grip in emotions
  • Hero never connects with heroine’s love till the end. Then how the circle can be completed?
  • The stubborn sage Prakash Raj gets convinced with three lines from Tamannah.
  • Hero saves heroine by the word from his guru but not out of love.
  • Is villain Kelly Dorjee good or bad? The confusion is glued to that character.
  • Why the hero chops hundreds of heads and bodies? No emotion or sentiment packed in that as hero has no love towards heroine.

On a whole Badrinath ends up as much ado about nothing.

Bottomline: Nothing exciting

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

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