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'Daruvu' Review: Old Wine In Old Bottle

'Daruvu' Review: Old Wine In Old Bottle

Rating: 2/5
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Sri Venkateswara Entertainments
Cast: Ravi Teja, Taapsee, Sayaji Shinde, Brahmanandam, Vennela Kishore, M S Narayana, Prabhu, Jayasudha, Raghu Babu and others
Music: Vijay Antony
Editor: Goutham Raju
Story, screenplay, direction: Siva
Producer: Burugupalli Sivaramakrishna
Release date: 25/05/2012
 
Mass Maharaja Ravi Teja who has been reeling through a string of flops has chosen a socio fantasy theme this time and he has teamed up with Taapsee who is also looking for a hit. Let us see how this is
 
Story
In Yamalokam, retirement age comes from senior Yama (Satyanarayana) and he gives the charge to his son (Prabhu). However, the experienced Chitragupta (M S Narayana) is retained much to his disappointment. He decides to teach a lesson to the new Yama and plans to get a person from Bhulokam who can create chaos in Yamalokam. That person turns out to be Bullet Raja (Ravi Teja), a mass character. He falls in love with Taapsee. Though he is yet to complete his lifespan,  Chitragupta plays a game and Bullet Raja gets killed only to come to hell. Here, he discovers the plot and demands to go back to earth. Since his body has perished, Yama and Chitragupta send him inside the home minister’s body. What happens from there and how things change forms the rest of the story.
 
Performances
Ravi Teja has come up with yet another good performance. His energy levels, comedy timing and his dialogue delivery suit the bill perfectly. For his age, he is truly a fabulous star.
 
Taapsee was there to fill the glamour quotient and provide the visual feast in songs. She has trimmed down a bit but doesn’t look shrunk like her earlier film. Not much was there for her to perform.
 
Brahmanandam had a meaty role and did his best to generate laughs. However, the more restrained he is with his expressions the better impact the comedy will have. So he should do that more often.
 
Sayaji Shinde was standard, Avinash was alright, Sushant Singh was not used to his potential, Vennela Kishore made his presence felt, Jayasudha was elegant, Raghu Babu was regular, Prabhu didn’t have much to do, M S Narayana was moderate, Dharmavarapu and L B Sriram came and went. The others didn’t have any scope.
 
Highlights

  • Ravi Teja’s performance
  • Art Department

Drawbacks

  • Too much eccentricity
  • Poor quality comedy
  • Fluctuating emotional quotient
  • Songs
  • Exaggerated cinematic liberties

Analysis
After ‘Mirapakaya’, Ravi Teja has dabbled with many films but he was unable to get the much needed hit for his career.  With ‘Daruvu’ many felt that gap will be fulfilled. Even the sentiment factor also worked since it had the element of Yamalokam and all films with that worked at the box office. Of course, the film had to suffer from factors like zero pre-release publicity, bad songs etc.
 
‘Daruvu’ looks like a proper commercial entertainer packed with endless comedy but few minutes after the film begins, one realizes that the comedy is more mindless than endless. Moreover, the quality of humour was rather mass than meaningful. The director tried to pump in a lot of energy into the scenes but if not for Ravi Teja, the film would have been totally tasteless.
 
Time and again, the Telugu makers have burnt their fingers by relying on Tamil directors. There is no doubt that the technicians from Kollywood are good but expecting the directors to catch the pulse of Telugu audience is a mistake. Here again, the film sees a lot of ‘Tamil Paithyam’ in scene composition, content and cinematic liberties. Putting up a loud show doesn’t make for good humour.
 
The element of blasphemy is something to be made note of. Yes, many films have come wherein Yama is made fun of but then the character always had strength and respect. Even Rajamouli gave that leverage in his film ‘Yama Donga’. But that was missing here. Scenes like Ravi Teja showing holding knife on Prabhu’s (Yama) neck, the shooting of arrows on Naradha, Chitragupta, Yama and above all, projecting Chitragupta as a more lustful individual was not very appealing.
 
A lot of focus was kept on exploiting Ravi Teja’s potential as a performer but in this process, the others were ignored. The villain was hardly there, the romance track was just for songs, efficient artists like Vennela Kishore, Srinivas Reddy, Raghu Babu mumbled few lines but they were totally subdued.

Overall, this is a film for those who want to see a good act from Ravi Teja but if you are expecting a wholesome entertainer then it will completly disappoint you.

At the box office, the hardcore masses and ardent Ravi Teja fans might like it to an some extent but if the making budget has touched Rs 15 crores or more then recovery is difficult.
 
Bottomline: Muta Mestri + Yama Donga + Yamudiki Mogudu = DARUVU.

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

Click here for telugu review

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