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Zombie Reddy Review: Zom-Com Goes Wrong!

Zombie Reddy Review: Zom-Com Goes Wrong!

Movie: Zombie Reddy
Rating: 2/5
Apple Tree Studios
Cast: Teja Sajja, Anandi, Daksha Nagarkar, Prudhvi, Mirchi Hemanth, and others
Music: Mark K Robin
Cinematography: Anith
Editor: Sai Babu
Art: Sri Nagendra Tangala
Producers: Raj Sekhar Varma
Written and Direction: Prasanth Varma
Release Date: Feb 05, 2021

Telugu filmmakers have been experimenting with storylines and genres. Director Prashanth Varma, who debuted with an altogether different psychological thriller ‘Awe’, has introduced zombies to the Telugu screen.

His latest directorial Zombie Reddy is Telugu cinema’s first zombie drama. Let’s analyze.

Mario (Teja Sajja) works as a developer of online games. They notice a bug in one of their viral games. Their programmer Kalyan (Mirchi Hemanth) can only fix it. The trouble is: Kalyan is getting married in Kurnool, and he cannot rush to Hyderabad. To save time, Mario and his two other colleagues head to Kurnool to get it fixed.

On their way, their vehicle hits a man and he bites the hand of Mario’s colleague.

Once they land in Kurnool, Mario comes to know that a faction leader is waiting to kill Kalyan. He also gets introduced to Nandini Reddy (Anandi), who acts suspiciously.

Once the wedding ceremony gets completed, Mario’s friend turns into a zombie, and the entire village also gets infected. How Mario escapes from this village, and how did the villagers turn into zombies?

Artistes’ Performances:
Known for his impeccable performances as a child artist and teenager, Teja Sajja in a full-length role as a hero has pulled off the act confidently. He perfectly fits into the role of a gamer. However, director Prashanth Varma at places uses unnecessary slow-motion build-up to show heroism.

Anandi gets a meaty part to make her presence felt, and she does very well. She is the surprise package. Daksha Nagarkar is okay.

Hemanth as the bridegroom and ‘Get-up’ Srinu as a faction leader provide some laughs.

Technical Excellence:
In his two previous movies, director Prashanth Varma has proved that he has a stronghold on the technical departments. He brings out the best from his technicians as well.

The cinematography is perfect. The background score is electrifying.

Zombie genre
Comedy part

Clueless first half
Over the top scenes

“Zambavati Telusu Gaani Zombie Lendabbi,” asks Getup Srinu’s character when zombies round him off.

Teja Sajja, who plays the protagonist in “Zombie Reddy”, explains the concept of Zombies, thus giving an idea to the Telugu audiences, as zombies are alien culture to us. This sequence comes in the middle of the story.

Before the zombies take the centerstage, Prashanth Varma sets it up comedy sequences involving clichés of faction movies.

Much of this part is like a spoof on the formulaic sequences of faction dramas like “Samara Simha Reddy”, “Indra”, “Aadi” and “Narasimha Reddy”. Then there is also a spoof on  “Narasimha”, "Chandramukhi", "Kanchana", "Jambalakidi Pamba" etc .

Prashanth Varma has mixed faction elements with Zombies to make the audiences get connected with this new genre. So, it is like ‘Samarasimha Reddy’ meeting ‘Shaun of the Dead’.

The pulpy concept has its merits, but it also goes overboard at many places, thereby dilutes the mood. Even towards the end, the film mixes other clichéd elements of science fiction (like a scientist’s experiment gone wrong), devotional dramas, etc.

In an attempt to ‘localize’ the zombies' concept, the concept becomes another regular Telugu movie masala thread.

As said above, director Prashanth Varma presents the beginning portions as a spoof on the clichés of faction dramas but he also narrates them in a clichéd manner. Until the middle-portion, we don’t get to connect it to the proceedings. Luckily, he saves the best part in the second half.

Since this genre has never been attempted in Telugu cinema earlier, it will appeal to only limited audiences. ‘Zombie Reddy’ is not entirely entertaining, but it does offer some fun. There is a novelty factor, but it should have been narrated in a more engaging way.

Bottom-line: Brain 'biting' experience

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