Prakash Raj’s Ulavacharu Biryani (2014) Movie Review

Cast: Prakash Raj, Sneha, Urvashi, Samyuktha Hornad, Tejus
Producer: Prakash Raj
Music Director: Ilayaraaja
Director: Prakash Raj
Censor Certificate: U
Runtime: 126 Minutes
Watched at Prasadz, Hyderabad.
A misunderstanding is the shortest cut between two hearts.
Gauri (dubbing artist) and Kalidas (works at archaeology department) are unmarried, passionate about food and lead quiet lives. Until a misdirected call connects Gauri and Kalidas and they start talking to each other about their lives and their passion for food. Kalidas and Gauri soon discovers each other over the phone, in an elaborate five consecutive days when they prepare, each of them separately in their own individual houses, Joan’s Rainbow cake. However, the apprehension about one’s own age and physical appearance compels both of them to launch a cautious defense of misidentity and impersonation for their first ever meeting.  But both of them are in their late 30s and not so happy about their appearance and decide to send in their young friends. As both of them do the same thing, this twist adds to the comic element resulting in an affair with Meghana and Naveen.
Coming to the performances, Prakash Raj performs well in the role and his body language and dialogue delivery gel well with the character. He should have sleep walked in this role, but somehow the energy shown by Lal in the original is missing in Ulavacharu Biryani. Sneha suited the character very well. She has considerable footage in the first half. But her presence in the second half doesn’t have much opportunity to perform. Prakash and Sneha share absolutely no on screen chemistry. Debutants Tejus Kancherla and Samyuktha Hornad are decent and the two have carried their roles with ease. They both make a nice pair. M S Narayana is natural and efficient in his role. Rests of the characters see to it that the garnishing is perfect.
Prakash Raj’s first film “Akashamantha” was one of his best films in his career. Then, he successfully remade the movie Shikshanachya Aaicha Gho in Telugu as “Dhoni” which ran to some extent. But he fails to great extent in his latest film Ulavacharu Biryani remake of a Malayalam film.
We will start soft, just like the film. It’s a mature concept and the film is actually substandard considering the typical Telugu romantic stories. When you start watching “Salt n Pepper” you feel like you are connected to characters and you drive through every emotion of the film. Ulavacharu Biryani is a mixed bag of comedy, romance and these are served to the audience without any spice. It’s like a spicy dish on the menu, but getting boiled tasteless soup on the plate. Prakash Raaj didnt suit the lead character, where as Sneha has potential for this role her character went flat. Except for few technical values this movie has nothing one would like. Malayalam Salt n Pepper was a decent entertainer, which has now been almost remade artlessly with a lot of unnecessary modifications thrown in to glorify the nativity. Prakash Raj shot making ability is fine, but his screenplay is bad and he failed to narrate the story with heart in the right place.
There was absolutely no big story in “Salt n Pepper”, but it had a feel good screenplay, there by engaging the audience with situational comedy and emotions.  But in Telugu version, Prakash Raj worked on unnecessary developments left out developing important scenes in the film like; Joan’s Rainbow (Connecting the lead characters with food) – Passion of Food (Malayalam version enhanced emotions, served it as background, Established connections and which provides perfect channel for love between the lead characters) – Bhramaji character and there is forced romance to conclude.
Preetha has captured perfect frames that make Ulavacharu Biryani, a visual delicacy. Editor Kishore wastes time, priming it all up and slices and chops without precision. As a surprise, music of Ulavacharu Biryani is soothing and the lyrics are well written but good music cannot create magic if other things in a movie are misfits. Maestro Ilayaraja has done a good job with music, I wish his music was accompanied by some nice situations and choreography. Art work in the film is fine. Production values of Creative Commercial Banner are good.
Remakes typically face an acclivitous battle, often intensified by the revere placed on the original. To say the least, it is a near impossible task to balance fêting the original, while also making something unique and its own entity. That is why so many remakes fail. Coming to Ulavacharu Biryani there are few brief moments scattered, but they are absolutely caved by everything else (Story, Screenplay, Narration, Characterizations…). On the whole, Ulavacharu Biryani offers more or less the same ingredients as the original but the recipe isnt the same. If you have time to spare, and time to access internet, go with the original.
“Salt n Pepper” missing in “Ulavacharu Biryani”.
Survi Review: 1.5/5
Theatrical Trailer:

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