Mallik Ram’s Naruda Donoruda (2016) Movie Review
Movie Review: Naruda Donoruda
Star Cast: Sumanth, Pallavi Subhash, Tanikella Bharini, Suman Shetty, Sri Lakshmi and Naga Chaitanya
Music Composed by Sricharan Pakala
Edited by Karthika Srinivas
Cinematography by Shaneil Deo
Censor Certificate: UA and Runtime: 131 Minutes
After Premam, another remake and another interesting subject to succeed at Tollywood box office as they loudly say in media. But since we here are more concerned about films soul, content, irrespective of any earning figures at box office, so let’s talk about the project in parts.
If a director gets actors as Tanikella Bharini, Sumanth Yarlagadda and Pallavi Subhash to work with, chooses an interesting point (Sperm Donation) and has even got a well-made Indian original to follow (bought the remake rights), then the chances are very rare that the film goes and doesn’t turn into something below average and missing much required emotions and grip.
However the example here is Naruda Donoruda, which is an official “adaptation” of Hindi film Vicky Donor (2012), which celebrates our hero Vikram (Sumanth) for his Aryan stemma. A man of proved fertility, he is quintessential Hyderabadi, Moodula koduku of Amma & Ammama, very high on life, one side loved by his neighbor Shweta. Dr Aanjanelu (Tanikella Bharini owns the character of Anu Kapoor) lures him into this trading business with promises of money and riches. A word about Dr Aanjanelu, he is a true businessman who sees through human personalities and personifies their sperm and knows a fertile man when he sees one. So along this business mixed with pleasure and happy people, our Vikram goes through his life falls in love and marries banker Aashima Roy (Pallavi Subhash). His journey is one of revelation where he finally discovers that sperm donation is his way of social service to childless people. An expected irony of life triggers this in him and soon his hunky dory world comes crashing down.
As far as performances are concerned, Naruda Donoruda has either got simple, overdone and exaggerated enactments putting it bluntly. Sumanth, for the first time, can be seen sleep walking through his character. He is back in his elements only in the final elements of the film. Sumanth is also not given any well written scenes to perform as compared to his talent. Whereas Ayushman Khurana’s character in the original is one of the well written characters in Bollywood, and here Sumanth is underutilized by the director. The performance of Pallavi Subhash is just alright. But Tanikella Bharini single handedly lifts the film through his funny characterization and nobody could have done it better expressing the sperm, history, science and social responsibility through his semi humorous and semi sensitive acting. Other supporting cast are well known but wasted in amateurishly etched characterizations.
Comparing Naruda Donoruda with its Hindi original, Mallik stays true to the original and never tries to change few nativity issues with characterizations (Like changing weird Sri Lakshmi’s character to local, or Heroine doesn’t need to be Bengali and Infertility clinics in Hyderabad are not in that bad shape as they showcased now). Here director tries to bring a 2012 film to 2016 without changing the perceptions, lingo and awareness of present genx and their thoughts. The simple love story between Vikram – Ashima, exuberant grandmother role and unnecessary forced inclusion of Naga Chaitanya doesn’t really fit into the adaptation. Moreover a Bollywood film simply cannot be imitated when it comes to its brutally honest execution with a lot of feel, responsibility and ethnicity. Exactly the reason why everything gets toned down here quite severely, making way for all mindless style, flirting, particularly in the climax ruining the much effective selfish sequence of the original. Keeping it strictly a scene to scene adaptation, the director also retains a highly cliched scene, wherein the love story between the lead pair is showcased in the very separate tracks. Now that’s what we have been seeing in our Telugu films since the late 90s, which certainly should have been ignored by the Telugu writers avoiding the nostalgia. Further there is also an amazing introduction sequence between Ayushman and Prakash in the original, which is again copied in a highly timid manner using rhyming dialogues, revealing a very casual and loud aiming just for a quick remake and easy money.
The cinematography in the film seems to have been inspired by many film trying to give a tonal change in different scenes but the overall feel of the film has been compromised. Editing and Production Values of the film seemed to be highly lazy in trying to recreating the original. The loud music composed by Sricharan doesn’t fit into the scheme of the things and neither his BGM enhances the mood of the film.
Hence overall, Naruda Donaruda remains a halfheartedly made film, which wished to convey something meaningful but could not free itself from the same old routine way to showcase it with cliched ideas. In other words, Mallik and writers had tried to play it pretty safe and in that attempt falls short of making a trend setting film, which could have brought Sumanth back into the big league. And looking from the larger perception this is really sad and unfortunate both for Telugu cinema and its audience craving for new ideas in films.
Survi Review: 1/5