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'Cinema Bandi' Review: Unrealistic Drama In Realistic Set Up

'Cinema Bandi' Review: Unrealistic Drama In Realistic Set Up

OTT Movie: Cinema Bandi
Sandeep Varanasi, Vikas Vasistha, Rag Mayur, Sindhu Sreenivasa Murthy , Sirivennela Yanamandhala, and others
Cinematography: Apporva Shaligram, Sagar YVV
Editing: Dharmendra, Raviteja
Producer: Raj Nidumoru, Krishna DK
Story-direction: Praveen Kandregula
Streaming on: Netflix
Release Date: May 14, 2021

Popular Bollywood directors Raj Nidumoru and Krishna DK have successfully ventured into the OTT space with “The Family Man”. Their first OTT production is “Cinema Bandi” which premieres on Netflix now. Let’s find out its merits and demerits. 

“Cinema Bandi” is set in a village somewhere near Madanapalle (Andhra – Karnataka border). Resting on a one-line story, it begins without much build-up and comes to the main point in 15 minutes: a villager trying to make a feature film in his village with a found camera.  

When a shared-auto driver Veera (Vikas Vasishta) finds an expensive Digital camera in the back seat of his auto, he comes up with a ridiculously ambitious plan to make a film with the help of his friend Gana (Sandeep Varanasi), who is a wedding photographer in his village. 

He believes the film would be a ticket to fortune. He also hopes that his village would come out of its miserable conditions due to perennial drought. Their knowledge about movie making is years of watching movies. The practical knowledge is zero. Still, the wedding photographer Gana is confident of pulling off the feat of filming a movie and Veera finally gathers a barber Maridesh (Rag Mayur), a vegetable vendor Manga and a student Divya to play the lead roles in the movie.  

Without a doubt, “Cinema Bandi” is a film meant for OTT consumption. It has a simple idea and is made with a minimalistic budget, extracting raw performances from the mostly unknown actors. Debutant director Praveen Kandregula has sprinkled the humor throughout. Even though he has no dense plot, he has made sure to engage us for the most part. 

The sequences of finding actors for the lead roles are hilarious. Also, the filming of a romantic scene is a LOL moment. These situations have worked largely to the innocence of the characters. But the film ends superficially without proving a strong purpose. 

The final sequences should have been handled in a far better way. Some scenes turn too regular in the end. The duration also becomes a problem after a while. There are also logic issues. The villagers and their behavior give us a feeling that the film is far from the contemporary setting of Andhra villages. 

The reactions of the people when they first find the DSLR camera make us wonder whether we are going to watch “Gods Must Be Crazy” again? Scenes like these are unconvicing.

Besides humor, “Cinema Bandi” boasts another major strength – the performances of lead actors. Vikas Vasishta as an auto driver, Sandeep Varanasi as the barber and photographer, Rag Mayur as the hero in the film, and the two girls have played their roles convincingly. Their Chittoor slang is also perfect. 

Director Praveen makes his mark in his debut film. 

In a nutshell, ‘Cinema Bandi’ makes a decent watch on the OTT platforms for its honest effort from the makers. The naturalism in the setting, and humor score over other logical issues. 

Bottom-line: Simple Movie

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