All The Best has released at a time when people are caught up in the fever of watching larger-than-life entertainers, be it extraordinary heroism of the kind seen in Gabbar Singh or incredible stuff of the kind promised by Eega. The film has released when people cannot care less about Srikanth and JD. However, this is not the biggest disqualification of this film. JD Chekravarthy's new directorial is somewhat intelligent - not the story but the comedy. All The Best is not simplistic; it is an eccentric comic drama.
Throughout the film, either Srikanth or JD, who get to play equally important roles, don't try to make you laugh. A world of bufoonic characters, whose list goes on and on, make up the film. It is not for the mass audience, simply because there is no vulgarity nor our dear comedians come up with stock expressions. It is all situational comedy greatly helped by rhyming dialogues. Brahmanandam, seen in just two scenes, delivers a smart performance without uttering a single word. Raghu Babu as a stupid senior cop and Raghu Karumanchi as his informed junior cop, were designed after Kota-Mallikarjun Rao duo of Hello Brothers. 'Telangana' Shakuntala as a well chair-bound woman tortures her henchman, Krishna Bhagwan, with her verses. (Sample this: Aarogyaniki raksha istundi lifebuoy/ Salman Khan eppudu pothadu Dubai?/ Andaru NTR laku avutadu Balakrishna babai). A halo is carefully built around Rao Ramesh, the only character who speaks some 'grandhikam.' Babu Mohan speaks some political satire in the one scene he is seen. Pradeep Rawat as a duplicate don acts well. The likes of Brahmaji (who fails to evoke laughter) come and go in quick succession. There is a scene where a stupid terrorist acts like a trained dog in trying to escape from a cop. This is an example of subtle comedy. There are three serious characters played by Lucky Sharma, Kota and Chandra Mohan.
Ravi (Srikanth) introduces himself to Chandu (JD), a shameless cheat, as the beleaguered son of a jailed father who was wrongly accused of defrauding his employer. Chandu and Ravi strike rapport very soon, and thanks to a fraud land deal commissioned by Sutthi Velu, they become partners in crime. Chandu is not muscular, thus he needs Ravi's support. They have a task on hand, to be accomplished before Razzak bhai (Rawat) whizzes off to Dubai in week's time. Rawat has long been trying to buy a piece of land, but has been denied by its owner. The twosome scheme a plan to hoodwink the rightful owner into giving them the documents.
However, there is more to the design than meets the eye. There is some dose of sentimentality and villainy. Will the unremorseful Chandu ever change? The twist unravels in the climax.
Everything said, All The Best suffers from an unexciting story. It is technically appalling. Hemachandra's music was difficult on ears; worse, JD ill-places all the songs. The pace suffers in the second half. Some elements (like the bad son preying on his family, a drama enacted to reform the bad character) are old-fashioned.
It is Krishnamohan Challa's dialogues that come with good amount of variety, but EVV Sathyanarayana's dialogue writers had mastered this kind of writing long back.
Two of the biggest weaknesses: 1. JD and Srikanth come across as passive participants in the film's mainstay, i.e., comedy. 2. Since the climax is the soul of the story, it should have been a bit elaborate. The inner transformation of Chandu was not sufficiently projected. For an audience who has spent so much time watching one too many eccentricities, the dramatic twist makes the film look as an exercise in fakery. Entire episodes start looking superfluous in retrospect.