There was a time when the creative dreamers like EVV Sathyanarayana could, with their powerful imagination, locate some weird ides in the space of family dramas. That was how much they were eclectic with respect to even a single film. Today's directors, probably inspired by such irreplaceable directors, try their best to replicate the midas touch of such directors and thanklessly end up displaying their lack of basic directorial vision.
'Malligadi Marriage Bureau' is one such film where even the basics have gone terribly wrong. Srikanth (Malligadu) plays a hoodwinking marriage broker with notoriety for brokering the knot between the unlikeliest pairs. Even though he expropriates money to the maximum extent possible, he is the most sought after agent in the town. Why so? Because he provides 1 year guarantee for the marriage! Hies clients range from software engineers to good-for-nothing dons.
He is omnipresent and wherever a potential client is in real trouble, he appears miraculously without wasting a moment. For some reason, he is unable to find a match to the well-heeled but over-aged Chotu Bhai (Brahmanandam), despite knowing well that Chotu can salvage him out of the distress he is in very easily. This is quite a serious anomaly in the script, especially because Malligadu is shown to be ready to clutch at any straw and also seen to be achieving the near impossible tasks.
The story has got an element of sentimentality, too. Malligadu is a parasite with a cause; he urgently needs money for a reason and that explains why he had reluctantly turned into a sought-after notorious schemer.
The characters around him include, mainly, Manochitra, Vennela Kishore and, importantly, Brahmi. Manochitra is an insurance agent who has an allergy for marriage. Her parents approach him to convince their daughter to marry in life. The insurance agent wants to be a Mother Teresa but, illogically, wins policies by flashing doomsday scenarios and insensitive talking. Even a nomadic tribal person can guess that in the process of Malligadu meeting the insurance agent, love will blossom between them. And since love is blind, the wannabe Mother Teresa loves the deceiver despite knowing full well that he cheats people for the sake of money.
The comedy tracks were the only hope but they too fall flat. Brahmi is a buffoonic don whose only strength is his trigger-happy brother. The single threat faced by him is in the form of the trigger-happy encounter specialist, ACP Naayak, played by, smile a bit, Posani Krishna Murali. The idea had the potential to give us great moments, but it was wasted by parody-kind sequences. There is absolutely no fun in Chotu Bhai giving someone's wedding card out of fear to the ACP.
Vennela Kishore is in love with her colleague and he pays big-time money to Malligadu to help him in winning her. Kishore succeeds but on the day of marriage, the skeleton in the cupboard spoils the show.
No much conflict and only a few frivolous sub-plots, the film is a dud.
Srikanth has been doing such roles for long now and it was time he reinvented himself. Manochitra looks pretty but she is a bit elderly. Brahmi evokes laughter with his expressions here and there and that's it. Others are seen in forgettable roles.
The music and other important technical departments could as well have been outsourced to others.
Verdict: A film without much conflict and a story with trivial sub-plots.