The makers promised it. And, they have delivered it. Kandireega was, in its hero's words, described as a "fresh commercial movie" by those who watched the rushes. It would have seemed mere trumpeting, but for the confidence seen on the face of Ram, who, after a BO dud (Ganesh) and a near-average grosser (RRKK), believed in Santosh Srinivas's script.
Starving for new ideas to keep the audience from becoming uninterested in cinema itself, Telugu cinema found an idiom some years ago. Was born the tricky hero, who crafts a plot to con practically everyone in the film. Not long before, everyone (be it the ruthless but doting father/brother of the heroine, the rival-lover and the anti-hero comedic sidekick) are trapped into his mousetrap or ship out. All aimed to have a happy ending where he will marry the girl he had charmed before the vaudeville began.
Kandireega only improves on a solid template and offers full-on entertainment. And how?
Seenu's (Ram) journey begins from Anakappali, moves to Hyderabad, only to to end in an expected climax in Warangal. He begins as a loser, cursed by everyone in the village for becoming a nuisance. The ever-so casual Seenu is stirred into doing his graduation when his maradalu (Swati in a cameo) refuses to marry a semi-illiterate like him. He moves to the city, and soon falls for the beautiful Shruthi (Hansika Motwani). The only problem to him appears to be Bhavani (Sonu Sood in one of the best performances), a much-feared goon for whom murdering is a daily routine, who too loves Shruthi.
The story takes an unexpected turn when Bhavani throws up a challenge to Seenu: to woo Shruthi as best as he can and win her love if he can. (At first, it threatened to become a major defect in the film when Bhavani behaves in a manner that seems unrealistic with the way he has been projected from the beginning. It soon becomes trivial when the film presents yet another surprising twist in the first leg of Half Two).
How does Seenu win over the love of Shruthi? Does his plan to marry her go well as expected? Is Bhavani playing with the fire? More so, do Seenu and Bhavani have to overcome a new challenge? Answers to these questions are revealed in the second half, which is a laugh riot.
Kandireega is different in both the first and second halves. While we are entertained by Ram's heroic antics in the first half, in the second half it is a hotch potch of comedy, confusions and romances that keep us hooked to the seats.
The performances of Ram, Sonu Sood and Aksha need special mention. While Ram is at his lively best, emoting naturally and delivering punchy lines in everyday lingo, Sonu Sood is menacing at first, then goes soft core mode. The Bollywood import has got so much potential when it comes to delivering live wire performance without going overboard, with just facial expressions. On her part, Aksha (playing Sandhya) emotes well, be it when it comes to romance or doing comedy, and her Warangal dialect, albeit dubbed, is all right. In fact, in the second half it is Sonu Sood and Aksha who are the leads.
Santosh Srinivas plays his game quite well. With a well-written script, he executes it with craft. Thaman's music and background score help.
Watch Kandireega for its comedy and its cinematic bells and whistles.
Released on: 12th Aug, 2011