Movie Review: Appatilo Okkadu Undevadu
Starcast: Srivishnu, Naara Rohith, Tanya Hope, Brahmaji, Rajiv Kanakala, Ajay, Prabhas Srinu, Sreenivas Reddy, Satyadev, Sasha Singh and Kalicharan Sanjay
Music Composed by Sai Karthik
Cinematography by Naveen Yadav
Edited by Kotagiri Venkateshwara Rao
Censor Certificate: UA & Runtime: 124.37 Minutes
Long long ago…
There was a person who…
Did the first the stamp paper scam…
Started the first venture capital in Kukatpalli…
Pirated movies like Aditya 369, Gayam, etc for the first time…
Threw the first ‘Kaddappa Bomb’ in Hyderabad… & who interestingly played the first switch shot in Cricket…
Are you intrigued who is this?? He is none other than the person whom I met today, Railway Raju.
Appatlo Okadundevadu follows the familiar pattern portrayed in Mahesh Manjrekar’s movies or the modern version of driven cop vs mango man in pickle (reminds an episode of Zanjeer, Vastav.. etc). Railway Raju (Sree Vishnu) lives in a Railway quarters with his mother (Rajeswari), a railway employee. Raju is a district level cricket player, even coach’s cricket aspirants and has a love interest Nithya (Tanya Hope). Things start looking up for Raju when he ends up as a Top scorer from Hyderabad, and nearly confirms his birth in next Ranji trophy probables. As luck would have it, Cop Imitiaz Ali (Naara Rohit) who counters radical forces in Sangareddy side targets Railway Raju as he is connected to Ahalya (Long separated sister due to her radical thoughts). Ahalya and her husband in one meeting kill several police officers in order to escape from Ali.. That’s when Ali smashes every opportunity Raju has to become a Ranji player. Ali’s personal vendetta changes Raju’s destiny for every & who triumphs on who, forms rest of the story.
There were several nuances in the film, that a 1990s kid who latch on to and enjoy deeply. But the story here disappoints with each unfolding event. As you tend to nostalgic, you predict the next moment in the story as well. A mixed ride as a story and even the screenplay doesn’t help it much but leave you with a sour taste.
Well when you talking about a good screenplay, the basics are act A – act B – act C, set in any order you first need a buildup, character, continuity and pay off. Here the buildup is very lackluster the characters just disconnect with you from the moment they appear on screen, while continuity scores a bit pay off gets cringe worthy. When you have two strong characters you need a journey from both the angles, like Maniratnam’s Iddaru, Dhruvanakshatram, Thalapathy and Govind Nihalani’s Drohkal. Here none of the two important characters get to connect with them. Even the actors doesn’t help us much. From the director and writer point of view there was no necessary for railway Raju to have many firsts in the script and the animosity between Imitiaz and Raju were highly under developed. A cricketer becoming a gangster doesn’t need to have villains or heroes but needed two characters that were at logger heads. hope you get the point.
The events kick start with the lead actress copying the famous dairy milk ad and one tends to think the director is taking us in good nostalgic trip, but the flow of events the creativity too changes its shape from liquid flowing to a rigidly solid object. For example there is conflict established in the life of Nithya and the conflict of interest established between IAS and IPS officers. None of them were given any importance or seem to be relevant for the bigger scene of the things. He does mention here and there about the conflicts, but these type of conflicts make characters interesting and connect worthy. Well the director missed the train here.
The director wants us to connect with his mother, who lost her first born to the radical forces but unwittingly without establishing any deep connection he kills her off conveniently, once her kid was found dead at her door step. This sort of screenplay writing is a very lazy pay off set up looking for twists and turns to make audience suddenly feel guilty at the same time pity on the lead character without proper set up. This is not just the only thing that’s lacking in the movie. You suddenly have references from Malugudi Days, and news reels that plays before screening during the time. But none of them work, due lackluster imbalance and immaturity of the writer.
On the whole, when you look at the technical team of this Sagar K Chandra directorial you feel like no one was in hold in their particular job and they all have had some heart to do something right. But lost their way especially in scenes like Railway Raju expressing his love to Nithya, playfully irritating her, the basic conflict between Imitiaz and Raju also the kind of rise and fall of the gangster shown in the movie. May be when I deeply thing about it everything in this movie seems to have had many inspirations but not finese or technical knowledge to bring out the best in the actors and to deliver it in an engaging manner. One thing I have to say to Sree Vishnu looks highly miscast in this heavy role, while Imitiaz Ali played by Nara Rohit with a single expression looks much more convincing. The director definitely needed a guide to help him understand the nuances of the bygone decade and concentrate on a comprehensive collage of feelings. This biopic-esque film and you minimum expect the film to have a journey like Thalapathy if not Nayagan. But the film tries to ape Kamal Haasan’s master class and Rajini’s purely classy mass in dose of Rajashekar-esque style. But the disappointing major factor of the movie lies in the inability of the director had he seen what Chaitanya Dhantuluri was able to achieve in Banam with lot less budget and much grippy screenplay.
Sree Vishnu had a very great opportunity something like Kasi and Satya for an actor like J D Chakravarthy, but the actor manages to make it feel like an exercise to watch him on screen. May be the heaviness of the role overwhelmed him, but he needed to transfer some raw energy and control his dialogue delivery as it is not a normal character with a single shade. Coming to Naara Rohith has done decently well as ‘Imitiaz Ali’ however he still has some dramatic limitations, he tries hard but his expressions are damn limited. Tanya Hope and Sasha Singh were highly blessed to be so beautiful that one tends to not look at their mouth and expressions, otherwise we would have found out how good they were. Rest of the characters were wasted and few been miscast, except for Satyadev and Bhramaji. The director somehow managed to make even Bhramaji look like a rookie, that’s no mean achievement.
In other technical aspects, music by Sai Karthik is highly forgettable and he needs work on his tunes further. Suresh Bobili gives a highly mediocre BGM with synth sounds. The cinematography looks okay for the budget, but a little bit more details of the bygone decade in the art department could have helped the movie. Editing is alright.
Sree Vishnu’s character seemed to have high potential to show varied emotions but when a director follows a tried and tested template of Ram Gopal Varma one feels like can someone write their own gangster movie. Esp. set in 1992-96 period the nuances from the time period were captured, but they make no sense to the entire story. Even in a film like Mithunam, there were few disturbances from the main plot like coffee dandakam but when you look at the whole impact they seem to be enjoyable. From an upcoming director it’s not like ‘m expecting an award worthy script like Nayagan, but when you touch up those point you cannot be immature about them. One gets a feel that the director himself was extremely confused and lacked any focus on the story and the characters, he is trying to depict on screen. Ayyare had few moments of potential sparks here and there promising a good director for Telugu cinema and in his ambition Sagar K Chandra cooks up a delicacy that makes one wonder if he is one film wonder.