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'Ulavacharu Biryani' Review: A Bland Preparation

Movie: Ulavacharu Biryani
Rating: 2.5/5
Banner:
Prakash Raj Productions, Creative Commercials
Cast: Prakash Raj, Sneha, Tejas, Samyuktha, Bramhaji, M S Narayana and Others
Music: Illayaraja
Editor: Kishore
Cinematographer: Preetha
Producer, Direction: Prakash Raj
Release Date: June 6th, 2014

Prakash Raj is one of the most recognized south actors in the country. He has pleased both the masses and critics over the years in various languages and won the national award for his acting. Of course like all seasoned actors, he decided to extend his horizons and got into direction with Akasamantha in Kannada. Later, he went on to direct Dhoni in Telugu. Through the film did not do well at the box office, it did not stop him from directing his latest venture Ulavacharu Biryani which is a remake of the Malayalam film Salt ‘N’ Pepper.

Story:
Kalidasu(Prakash Raj) is a 45-year-old bachelor and Gowri (Sneha) is in her 30s and unmarried. Due to a wrong connection, they end up talking with each other. Over a period of time, they become phone buddies but they avoid meeting each other. Finally, one day, they decide to meet each other. Oblivious of each other’s age, they fear that they might put off each other. So, they send their proxies (Tejas and Samyukta) instead. While the young lovers fall for each other, differences crop up between Kalidasu and Gowri. Will they finally meet? Will they sort out their differences?

Artistes’ Performances:
Honestly, there is nothing new to write about Prakash Raj. He has excelled in whatever character he has played till now be that of a father, grandfather or a bachelor like in Ulavacharu Biryani. He emotes rather well as a middle-aged bachelor and his expressions help us understand the thinking of the character. Well, he is surely among the few actors who can play their characters with ease. And Prakash Raj once again emerges a winner as far as his acting goes.

Sneha puts up a performance on par with Prakash Raj. Her dressing perfectly suits the character she plays.

Tejas and Samyukta are just about okay. On the other hand, senior artistes Ishwarya and Urvasi put in good performances. Brahmaji’s characterization is interesting and he plays his usual self. MS Narayana succeeds in evoking a few laughs.

Technical Excellence:
The music for the film is by maestro Ilayaraja. But he disappoints by making music that is below his range. In fact, the maestro is known to never compromise on background music. But in Ulavacharu Biryani, he disappoints.

Cinematography is quite good. A special mention has to be made of frames where the cinematographer captures food. They almost make your mouth water.

Editing has quite a few loopholes, especially in the second half where a few links go missing.

Though a remake, the story is interesting. While the film was a hit in Malayalam, some of its flavour has been lost while being remade in Telugu. Unfortunately, the writers fail to retain the original spirit and you feel that they should have been more careful about the seasoning.

Last, but not the least, Prakash Raj as the director is just about average. Had the same film made by a more seasoned director, he would have done maximum justice to the plot. Prakash manages to come up with some sparkling scenes in the first half. But he falls flat in the second half.

In his earlier film Dhoni, he fails both as an actor and director. But in Ulavacharu Biryani, he gives superlative performance as an actor, but fails as a director in key scenes.

Highlights:

  • Prakash Raj’s acting
  • Light, romantic scenes during the first half
  • Cinematography

Drawbacks:

  • Screenplay goes off the track in second half
  • Climax

Analysis:
It’s not everyday that one gets to see a clean love story revolving around two middle-aged people. However, apart from clean romance and the feel-good factor, Ulavacharu Biryani does not offer anything new.

While director-actor Prakash Raj manages to capture the nuances of a middle-aged couple, he fails to ignite the passion between the younger couple. It is obvious that Prakash Raj did not bother to understand the younger generation before coming up with the characters of Tejas and Samyuktha. On the other hand, he etches out the interactions between himself and Sneha beautifully.

Another glaring faux pas is the inclusion of a ‘adavi manishi’ or jungle man track which is lame. Also, Prakash Raj fails to give this sub-plot a clean ending. It ends abruptly, making the viewing a bit jerky. Also, the climax scenes involving Sneha and Prakash Raj have been dealt with superficially.

In all, the love and affection with which Prakash Raj starts making his biryani, are missing by the time he wraps up the film. Unfortunately, his biryani does not taste as good as it smells. It is clear that he had lost interest somewhere along the way. So, the audience is served an uncooked Ulavacharu Biryani.

Bottomline: It’s like uncooked biryani

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

Click here for telugu review

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Tags: Prakash Raj Sneha Tejas Ulavacharu Biryani Ulavacharu Biryani Review