Agnaanavasi!

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When the song teaser of Agnyaatavasi came out, my first thought was that I liked the shot of the chair revolving and Pawan Kalyan standing tall next to it. When the teaser came out, I liked the shots of PK walking in front of people with all colored faces and aghoris and a fight sequence where the hero slits someone’s wrists in a green background. When the trailer came out, I totally loved the dialogue that Pawan uttered about the chair – about how there is a war behind every convenience we seek.

Imagine my dismay then when I find that all the aforementioned shots are done within the first 15 minutes of the movie. That the revolving chair and the dialogue about it have no preamble or powerful sequence to back them up, they are simply the first dialogs that the hero utters. That the shots of PK walking in front of people with colored faces and aghoris are all montage shots that are duly dispensed with over the course of a song during the title sequence. That the fight sequence is the hero’s intro sequence where he slits the wrists and cuts throats of a few Khal-Drogoesque people for what is clearly sport and no personal enmity whatsoever! Continue reading

Khaidi and Shatakarni – Quick Thoughts

This is not a review. There is no point writing reviews for these two movies because you know you are gonna watch them anyway.(Plus Ravi has reviewed Shatakarni here already). This post is just a few stray thoughts that sprung to my mind while watching these movies.

And of course, spoilers galore – especially for Gautamiputra Shatakarni. You have been warned. Continue reading

GoutamiPutra Satakarni – Desam Meesam Tippudaam!

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A non-Telugu friend accompanied us to the screening of Legend in Prasads Imax just to experience the first day first show madness. He knew people here are crazy about movies, but when the crowd started shouting ‘Jai Balaiah, Jai Jai Balaiah’ in the interval, he was completely flabbergasted. I still remember the moment he turned to me with wonder in his eyes. If only he was here in Hyderabad now and had come with me to Goutamiputra Satakarni, he surely would have run away. The kind of mania that Balakrishna’s 100th movie is generating is unprecedented.

When I heard Krish was directing Balakrishna’s 100th featue, I thought it was a mistake. Krish’s sensibilities as a director are completely different and Balakrishna’s fan base and his manner of acting are miles away. When the trailer came out, I loved the lines in the background – Saranama, Ranama – so beautifully written, I thought. When I was walking in to the movie today, I still had my misgivings. But when I walked out, I did so without any complaints. Goutami Putra Satakarni (GPSK) lived up to all the expectations and the hype. Continue reading

“Meena” by Yaddanapudi Sulochana Rani: Book Review

The cover image and the blurb of a very old book caught my eye at my grandparents’ home one summer. On an impulse, I read the book. To my pleasant surprise, this two-part series turned out to be my most cherished read, which stayed with me long after, and there began my love affair with the author.

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Yaddanapudi Sulochana Rani, her stories, her plots and her writing are such a delight. If you are interested purely in the tale, the narrative and the emotions, she is unparalleled. She makes you her slave, driving your emotions from love to extreme hate in a matter of a few pages. Continue reading

Naannaku Prematho: Sukumar’s Almost There

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The overwhelming feeling after watching Sukumar’s last movie Nenokkadine was that of frustration. Frustration that he was brave enough to forego a big bang climax fight and settle for Hero sitting and pleading with the villain, yet felt compelled to include an “item” song in a pub in London; Brave enough to make his Hero cry for love of his parents, yet couldn’t escape shoehorning an unconvincing romance into it. Nenokkadine was a movie that wanted to be intelligent yet didn’t dare enough. When the movie failed spectacularly, I half expected him to do a safe venture this time. But Sukumar surprised by sticking to his guns yet again. But did he dare enough this time?
Yes, and no.

Continue reading

Why I just didn’t like Rudrama Devi

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A lot of the conversation I had with people after I reviewed Rudrama Devi revolved around the question – ‘How could you dismiss all of Gunasekhar’s hardwork like that?’

Apart from the fact that the movie was terribly paced and lacked any emotional highs, here are a few of the things that really disillusioned me about the movie – Continue reading

The voice of Bhallaladeva – An alternative history of Bahubali

The first shot of Bahubali is the map of the world its characters inhibit. In what is probably a first in Indian cinema, a fictional language is created for the tribal warriors that appear in the latter part of the movie. The inspiration of Game of Thrones in both decisions is undeniable. Yet, I wish the movie has imitated the wildly successful book / TV show in another crucial aspect: The complexity of its characters. Barring Kattappa, and possibly Shivagami, all of its characters are completely two dimensional. Continue reading