Our director watched Thamizh Padam, threw the banana out and ate the peel. Seen in one sense, the film would have been nothing more than an art film had it been copied as it is. The director wanted to play to the gallery. Insofar as it caters to the front-benchers, he cooks up full meals for them. The class audience will, however, find it off-the-mark.
Telling the rags-to-riches story of an underdog in a light-veined manner is an enticing idea. And if the plot is written after the near-impossible feats of our Telugu heroes, there should be no way the screenplay can fail. The film is an all-Naresh film, showing the hero as someone interesting in doing 'allari' and more 'allari'. Needless to say, if you are someone who likes to see Naresh in a joker's role, Sudigaadu is your kind of movie which you must watch!
The storyline is quite exciting and comedic: The hero, as an infant, reaches Hyderabad along with his grandma, running away from thugs out to kill him. Without his knowing, and as if he were God's representative on Earth, he grows to be an omnipotent fighter, a millionaire (in one song), a super cop (when did he join IPS?) and does more miraculous things in between, like our heroes in films. He happens to kill the goons of D (the don's identity is revealed in the climax) in a variety of ways, inviting D's wrath. Interestingly, he is assigned the job of nabbing D by the DGP.
But, alas, he never cared to know the identity of his parents from his grandma until he reaches the age of marriage. The now super rich and spectacularly larger-than-life hero embarks on the journey to trace his parents along with his girl friend. The rest of the film is about how their family song, Pinky Pinky Ponky, helps him find his parents and how the honourable court forgives him for all his murders, much as NTR and Chiranjeevi were let off in Bobbili Puli and Tagore respectively.
The story looks simple and hilarious on the paper and rightly so. Coming to the execution, the film begins well and entertains with some really funny sequences - like the child becoming an adult while cycling, he falling in love with a rich girl and, when challenged by his girl friend's father (Sayaji Shindi), he grows from being a coolie to a multi-millionaire. In the second half though, the spoofs become a sort of distraction and almost irrelevant to the happenings after a particular point.
More than using cliches and supposedly laughable elements of Telugu cinema to build an aura around the hero, the director lets the hero do sub-standard comedy. The movie is a spoof on dialogues rather than cliches, which are more difficult to be ridiculed.
Consequently, what should have been a celebration of overused but much-liked stereotypes turns out to be a routine film with its due share of clumsy sequences (involving everyone from Brahmanandam to Jayaprakash and Kovai Sarala). It would have been nice to surround the hero with characters mostly seen in super hits, instead of sketching funny characters. That would have been a better tribute to masterpieces.
The Pokiri twist to the story was good, but the surprise that came in the form of D's identity did not help the story. While the first half holds out good interest, the second half's pace is sluggish.
Our heroes may have been ridiculously extraordinary, but a spoof story on them need not be illogically conceived. Taking liberty in making a funny fight sequence is welcome, but not in writing a brazenly ill-conceived story. The Telugu hero achieves impossible things by putting the most minimum effort. The scenes can be illogical but the story should have been taken seriously to be qualified as a film story. Whatever the genre, there is no substitute to telling a story that has a head and a tail.
Some entertaining elements:
The trio of MS, LB and Kondavalasa ridicule the ageing stars doing roles much younger to their age. A fine point.
The song where Naresh grows rich had some rib-tickling ideas.
The 'Thodakottudu School' was a thorough spoof on factionist films.
The CM, the PM and Obama requesting Naresh to continue as a police officer and serve the people was a highlight.
Naresh and Kovai though poor, are shown living in a big bungalow. The hero says 'Lankantha gudiselo tanu ela untundo emo' before heading to meet the heroine.
Coming to performances, Naresh fitted in well with the film's flavour. When it comes to making fun of himself, by seeming ridiculous, there is none more adept at it than this comedy hero. He does justice to his role. Monal looks good and does her part well. Kovai Sarala and the rest of the bunch were routine.
Sri Vasanth's music fits the bill. The kitschy song was especially good. As Srinivas is an experienced director, he shot the songs well. Vijay Ulagnath's cinematography and Raghu Kulakarni's art were apt.
Bottomline: It entertains the front-benchers. Others may watch it with minimum expectations.
Released on: 24th August, 2012