For a good part, watching Bus Stop is like reliving the experience of savoring Ee Rojullo minus a unique emotional touch. Here the innocent moments of this March's 'sleeper' hit are replaced by the time-tested formula of parent vs ward conflict. Fertilizing an otherwise oldish texture in the bottle of promiscuity, Maruthi doles out a mediocre output that would be seen as a dumbed down version of Shankar's Boys minus the element of the youth having an aim of their own. The 'Sa Re Ga Me' anthem is replaced by a song where the four fathers funnily put a spanner in the romantic/sex-filled lives of their wards.
The doubles entendres, laced into one too many comedy scenes, become too much to digest at some point, not because one is a prude or a purist but because it is not difficult to see that the crudity is a camouflage for BS's (no double meaning intended!) vacuity. The dialogues are not inventive and the many parodies are entirely second-rate. The parents, barring Rao Ramesh, look trivial to begin with, as they are made to do slapstick comedy. They seem to wrongly overreact to situations, though it is heartening to see them become mature and make sense toward the end.
Pair 1: Srinu (Prince) has been waiting for the return of his school-time sweetheart, Shailu (Sri Divya), for four years now. He starts wooing her and she keeps spurning him for the fun of it. She loves him secretly. Her father fully trusts her to be a shy girl; so he feels cheated when he spots her dancing on the dais. Will the girl ever be able to marry him? If yes, what consequences would she come to face? What lessons are in store for her?
Pair 2: Kanna (Kanna) sincerely loves Seema (Hasika), who is unabashedly a double-timer. Kanna cheats on his father so as to dole out expensive gifts to Seema, who is invariably thankless. She is after a good-looking, hard-working guy and takes pleasure in distracting his concentration. In no time the girl transforms the reserved, reticent guy into a cyber sex-maniac. What makes her reciprocate Kanna's love?
'Cell' user No. 1: Saikumar Pampana, who stole the show in Ee Rojullo, returns not stammering but overusing his metaphorical and literal cell. (Besides using several sims, he is also fond of batting). This son of a street-vending tiffin-maker is the romantic counterpart of Magahdeera, who wants 100 partners at one time! He learns his lessons the hard way. His story is dealt in a rather shoddy manner, and had it not been for the actor, it would have been unpleasant to watch the scenes from word go.
Pair 3: Things are very easy for them. Thanks to Rao Ramesh, the girl's very unorthodox, hatke father, who enjoys himself watching his daughter tell 'I love you' to her college-mate. Unlike the fathers of the two boys and the two girls (aforementioned), he believes in giving his daughter full freedom in choosing his life partner, and also occasionally teaching the rules of wise parentage and how to be responsible children.
Had it not been for the parents' anguish and the natural parent-ward conversations, BS would have been entirely unemotional and, more important, without a plot. The middle-class morals are dealt with an understandable maturity. Otherwise, BS's in-your-face entertainment would seem no more than its double meaning dialogues and innuendos.
All of them give a decent performance. Sri Divya and Hasika have the right body language and their dubbing is equally good. Prince, Kanna and Saikumar have got ease in them. It is fitting that the four fathers are made to behave like jokers, symbolically to indicate that they are fooled around by their wards. However, their comedy doesn't work. They are good in the emotional scenes though. Rao Ramesh is at his usual best.
The dialogues are littered with street language, which is the reason why BS may be liked by the youth.
JB's music and BG score are definitely impressive. Prabhakar Reddy's cinematography is satisfactory. The editing is fine.