Last week we saw the problems of image trap in Rajasekhar's Apthudu. This week it is Rajendra Prasad in Appa Rao Driving School.
Now, his essential brand is coarse and lurid comedy. Since it has won him a couple of successes at the box-office he has stuck to that religiously. But a film basically needs a sturdy story and a taut script for comedy to take effect.
Appa Rao Driving School doesn't have any strong story and nor has the director come up with an intelligent script to keep up the tempo. Ergo, the film is stuck on a single gear - spluttering and struggling.
Appa Rao (Rajendra Prasad) is a driving school owner, the peculiarity of the school is that it is has been left to him by his grandfather on the promise that it should be open only to women.
Problem starts when a rich girl Anjali (Preeti Jingiani) falls in love with him while Appa Rao's marriage is fixed with Mahalakshmi (Malavika). It turns out that Anjali, a daughter of a dada Reddy (Jayaprakash Reddy), is suffering from a debilitating diseases (what else but the ever convenient blood cancer)
The rest of the story is about how Appa Rao keeps his marital boat going even while trying to satisfy the girl about to die. It is a corny tale made even more so by some silly dialogues that pass off for one-liners and puns.
It is a role that Rajendra Prasad has made it his own. He has a whale of a time. The only problem is that we have seen it all and felt bored then itself. The two heroines Preeti and Malavika have nothing much to do --- a dupe has been used for the latter in many places after she walked out over a fracas while shooting.
The only redeeming feature of the film is Brahmanandam's comedy. His spoofy takes on factional feuds are hilarious. But such fun is far and few between in the film.
The music is okay. But Anji Seenu does not have the wherewithal to cobble a workable script and his direction to looks pedestrian. He seems to think that comedy alone will suffice. But can a car run on a single gear?
Appa Rao Driving School in a sense comes across as a gear-less automobile.