Sandeep Reddy Vanga’s Arjun Reddy (2017) Movie Review
Movie Review: Arjun Reddy
Star Cast: Vijay Deverakonda, Shalini Pandey, Kanchana, Sanjay Swaroop, Gopinath Bhat, Jia Sharma, Amit Sharma, Priya Dharshi, Aditi Myakal and Kamal Kamaraju
Directed by Sandeep Reddy Vanga
Cinematography by Raju Thota
Edited by Shashank
Music by Radhan
Certificate: A & Runtime: 186 Minutes
“Films more real to their soul are the ones that you connect and remember”
Arjun Reddy is a classic case of an egoistic and an insecure person who thinks the world is just a place, where we live with a free spirit and has an attitude too. He knows he is a Rebel and he doesn’t wish otherwise. He has values deep rooted, he is not sick like many think he is. He is messed up from inside as he cannot adjust to reality other than what he believes in. So, he did he achieve what he needs? That’s the story of the film for you to watch and not me to tell it out.
“Rebel without a cause is a fake!”
After being subjected to films made by young directors and writers who ape some good Hindi or Korean movie to show that they are talented and good enough to be trusted, here comes a man who tried to understand the technique of making a movie from Korean and European and who has some balls to bluntly tell the story he needs to. If the director believes that this movie is a cult or a classic, he has to prove himself again and iron out many issues in his writing. But he does have a potential and it will be highly unsatisfying if he doesn’t achieve that.
“Don’t bother about technique, you have a story tell it out loud.”
Ok, what is this Arjun Reddy that stands out? Arjun Reddy as a film is more than just about a character. There are themes of depression, regression, progression, demolition, reconstruction and even re-birth imbibed into this tale. Yes, when you watch (*Spoiler territory – trade with caution) a man like Arjun who never uses his last name destroy himself by drinking rather abusing alcohol and life in itself, he is like a Todd in mother’s womb who is running around trying to find a comfort zone. He needs to become larva to get to next stage. He broke the egg but he is still not in his complete senses to understand that he is a human. At the Interval point of this movie, Arjun died and he needed re-born!
Slowly, he tries to find his ways, he is growing environment around him is helping him, all the nurses around him are not just satisfying his “EGO” ( *Please remember the term) .. but they are the factors that provide shelter to a baby in mother’s womb. A baby, before birth doesn’t understand what it is going to be, or where it is going, all it needs to do is survive, have a heart beat and form itself. There… that is Arjun in that stage for you. Trying to do what he likes more than what he should. Trying to find ways to forget himself and be some other person.
Then, we enter the next stage where he needs to grow out of all these get limbs, know he is a human have some traits develop a brain and start using his hands and legs to indicate he is alive. That’s the situation that he faces while he craves for sex. Lusts for it but doesn’t want any love. He doesn’t get something emotionally connected to two bodies and souls, that is, sex just because he physically needs it. It is more than that, that’s what a six to seven-month-old baby needs to understand, he thinks he should get out, he thinks he has “tools” to survive on his own and gives false alarms to come out of his safe nest but he is still not ready. There is still time. There is still more knowledge that he needs to acquire to survive in outside world. He is still in a cocoon of his own, protected and saved.
The minute Arjun agrees to what he is and even loses his career, slams away his friends, shuts away the family, that’s when he realizes what he has lost. That’s when the eight months old baby learns to breathe on its own completely. Until then it requires the umbilical cord to breathe and survive. It shows the first signs of growth, a full formation of lungs, kidneys, and heart as we know. He is getting ready to understand. He is ready to be re-born.
The moment Arjun re-enters his home, he is finally ready to be re-born. He needed to lose umbilical cord that helped him survive along to understand what he is capable off and what will kill him if he still clings on to it. The death of his most loved person forces him to reunite and reconfigure but he is still “BORN“? No, that’s the climax. He needed to cry out, wash out all the blood, be more alive than just being flesh and blood! There you go refined, refreshing, Arjun Reddy! (*Spoilers Over)
This is not about his obsession but this is more about his path to the reconstruction of himself. The path is messy and the writing even though delightfully layered is still completely found wanting. Here director and writer try hard to say things that we should see and know in dialogue rather than in visuals. We are asked to understand Arjun from various perspectives while all we need to do is understand that way he is doing, “From Within himself“. And here it is he falters, he misses the bulls-eye but manages a great score.
His execution levels are off top standards and don’t get me wrong when I say he is above many debutant directors even the lucky ones who scored huge commercial hits. I mean his technique and understanding of cinema are far superior to them. He looks more evolved but he needs to prove himself more than what he did to sustain that impression.
Cinematography by Raju Thota, Music by Radhan, are in complete sync here. You can see what you need to feel and understand that with BGM (Done by Harsha Vardhan Rameshwar). Kudos to all the technical crew, Art Department, and writers aboard!
Vijay Sai Devarakonda tries to sink his teeth into the character and he successfully blurs the line between an actor and the character. Shalini Pandey is not just a cute doll and her performance is equally complimenting. Rahul Ramakrishna, watch out for him you may hear his name as much as you hear Vennela Kishore’s in the coming days. All others actors have fit the bill and a big shout out to Kanchana. Bringing her back to screen is one masterstroke. Well, done!
No good movie is too long and no bad movie is short enough – Roger Ebert
The flawed yet simple narration that stays real and raw makes the film stand above the rest. But this is no way an achievement for the team. This is just a start and the first step in right direction. Once you find a path that is not an achievement, identifying current is not an achievement but utilizing to generate power is and hope Sandeep Reddy Vanga has that strength within to be a powerhouse of content. For this one, he deserves a pat on the back and a whiskey on the rocks.