When will our filmmakers realize that even the dreamiest of socio-fantasy flicks need to have a semblance of logic? Comedy defying sense is not utterly detestable in a film mainly meant for the front-benchers, but when parody dominates the story, the genre (socio-fantasy in this case) itself starts looking less and less consequential. After all, why do we need to watch any film that comes in the garb of socio-fantasy replete with well-known mythological characters, who are given a Telugu filmi peculiarity, if we want to taste a series of shoddy spoof scenes? Do we not see them in Sudigaadus and the like?
With a Young Yama having a weakness for ice creams and lollipops, a wife of Yama named Ayyo (!) being a frivolous character who is easily swept off the floor when a drama artist praises her glamour and skin tone, a daughter of Yama blissfully happy to be a maid and a seductress because she is beguiled by the drama artist possessing divine powers on 'bhoo lokam', a Yama himself losing his senses if the latest sinner in his courtyard is a buxom whore, writing a mediocre screenplay should be a cakewalk for anyone. Yet, Yamudiki Mogudu falters both in scene-writing and in screen-execution.
E Satthi Babu seems to have been fairly influenced by umpteen Yama comedies, EVV Sathyanarayana's school, and even Tamil cinema (whose shadow we see in the climax) in varying proportions. It would have made for an enjoyable pot-pourri of entertainment and drama had he not been carried away by the need to fill the script with cheap frills. Immensely helped by a talented dialogue writer (the alliteratives and rhyming words, together with a liberal use of English words, are amusing), he could have doled out a good entertainer.
Sadly, the premise of Yamudiki Mogudu is paper-thin and this is where the problem begins.
While singing 'Nannu dochukunduvate..' to his wife, Lord Brahma (Chalapathi Rao) unintentionally skips Naresh (Allari Naresh), who is born without a pre-determined fate thus. Inexplicably, he is also gifted with the omnipotence of Gods, but he is unaware of his strength. Worried about the future, Brahma and other Gods ask for the help of Lord Yama, who refuses to come to their rescue. Just to stir Yama into action, Sage Narada (played by veteran actor Naresh, who is ridiculed as Pulla Rao by fellow rulers of daiva lokas and the Hell) descends on Earth and asks our hero, a drama artist, to chant the name of Yamaja just once.
Yamaja (Richa Panai) is none other than Yama's one and only daughter. As she descends on Earth and lands at Naresh's place, she is smitten by Sudden Star's glamour and falls behind him like a post- hypnotic being. Neck-deep in love with him, she starts irritating him (and us) by repeatedly chanting, "Moguda.. moguda..." For some reason, she sounds like a North Indian speaking in Telugu, much like Sayaji Shinde, her father in the movie.
Unable to get rid of her, Naresh makes her a servant maid and the family is soon bowled over by the miraculous maid. (One family member notices her prowess and faints, never to ask a probing question. Also, no member expresses surprise at her language). Meanwhile, Yamaja's seductive side impresses Naresh and he falls in love with her.
Lakhs of kilometers away, Young Yama (Master Bharath) locks horns with his dad (Sayaji Shinde proudly says, "I am Yama") and he too descends on Earth along with Chitragupta (Krishna Bhagawan has never been so boring). There is a Bommarillu parody in Yama loka! Before they find Yamaja's address on Earth, they have to see a floozy woman in semi-nude and undergo humiliation at the hands of Silk Dada (Raghu Babu).
Just as we start wondering what Yama must be thinking about his daughter's absence there, he too descends on Earth on his buffalo to forcefully take Yamaja back to his world. (One wonders why his son is not bestowed with the same kind of powers). Our fortuitous hero holds himself to the buffalo's tail but he ends up midway in the Trishanku world.
The rest of the film is about how Naresh fools around Yama, what happens when he realizes his innate gifts, how Yama plays a mind game with him, and how he ultimately wins his girl.
On the fact of it, the story has a lot of potential in it, even though the premise itself is absurd. Unfortunately for us, the director squanders away the opportunity by playing up nasty scenes one too many times.
When he is overwhelmed by lust, Yama can't differentiate between his bete noire in cross-dress and a promiscuous woman; he is susceptible to whisky; he is a supernatural lord for story's purpose and an anthropomorphic character for audience's sake.
On the other hand, Young Yama's character was created just to accommodate Master Bharath, who steals the show with his natural performance. The cricket episode was a good idea. But we have seen many such avaricious characters on screen in past and this element undercuts his appeal.
Ramya Krishna looks beautiful but her role is a huge let down, so also Richa, whose acting begins at the lower jaw and ends at the region above the upper lips. Sayaji sparkles occasionally, while the rest of the bunch simply ham.
Coming to Naresh, he caters to his fans and succeeds at that. Otherwise, he has chosen a stale script which doesn't give him scope to be different.
Koti's music is of low standard, so also the cinematography. The art work is alright though.
Released on: 27th Dec, 2012