2 Countries Review
'2 Countries', starring Sunil and Manisha Raj in lead roles, hits the screens. Here is our review.
Ullas (Sunil) is a worthless, unemployed resident of the Venkatapuram village. He is an embarrassment to his family (Chandramohan as the father, Krishna Bhagawan as the brother, among others) and his all-weather friend is played by Srinivas Reddy.
Due to unforeseen circumstances, Ullas picks up a fight with a politician who shares his name. This leads to him getting in touch with Laya (Manisha Raj), a US resident who grew up in Venkatapuram as a child. Ullas and Laya were friends as children, but they got separated after the latter's family moved to America.
Laya believes that Ullas is still in love with her after all the years and temporarily moves to India to marry him. Ullas, a money-minded person, fakes non-existent love for her and marries her, all with the intention to own her vast property after marriage.
But on the first night, he receives the shock of his lifetime when he comes to know that Laya is a tough nut to crack and an alcoholic. Ullas is now embarrassed about his wife's masculine and dangerous habits. Once the newly-wed couple moves to the US, the matters get worse.
The rest of the film is about how Ullas is transformed and Laya comes of age.
Sunil once again steps into the shoes of a joker with a heart. And you know the consequences when he does that. It's a heady mix of the 'Maryada Ramanna' and 'Poola Rangadu' hangovers. With dialogue-writer Sreedhar Seepana in full flow, he reels off one 'prasa' after another as if there is no tomorrow.
There is only so much that you can take when Sunil repeats his acts. Whenever his friend (played by Srinivas Reddy) is around, he has to go overboard. If not, it's as if it's not a village set-up.
Then we have the Seepana gems on everything from friendship to marriage. 'Partnership pant lantidi, friendship underwear lantidi. Pant oodipothe, underwear eh..', the hero says in one of the scenes that glorifies friendship. And another: 'Amitabh Bachchan dhi Bollywood; Chiranjeevi dhi Tollywood; Manadi childhood'. Then you have a nutty aphorism on marriage: 'Pelli ante yedu adugulu.. moodu mullu.. rendu ungaralu.. oka bed!' Wow!
Once the one and only twist is delivered towards the interval, only quirky characters are expected to see the film through. So, senior Naresh enters the screen as Jhansi's henpecked husband, speaking in accented Telugu. Ironically, he is the President of a Telugu association! After subjecting us to endless 'prasalu' and the broken families of the heroine and her relatives, '30 Years Prudhvi' salvages the court scene in the climax. But for him, it's as if we were expected to cry as Sunil speaks sentimentally about how much he loves his troubled wife!
There is no point in the rivalry between Sunil's character and Shayaji Shinde's character. This sub-plot is old-fashioned.
The heroine's characterization is hardly engaging. She is suddenly reduced to a caricature after her marriage with Ullas. It's alright to show a woman who grew up in an unhealthy environment to lose her cool and shout at her husband, but there is no consistency at many places.
Sunil should immediately shed the hangovers that have caught up with him irredeemably for the past few years. After imitating Mohan Babu in two scenes, he even parodies Pawan Kalyan's style of delivering political speeches. We see no magic in his dance moves any longer and so, the songs are quite a letdown. Debutante Manisha looks too stylized at times. By and by, she does come off as involved in some segments. Srinivas Reddy, Prudhvi, Shayaji Shinde, Krishna Bhagawan, Naresh, Raja Ravindra, Sanjjana Galrani, Sijju and others are just OK.
Gopi Sundar's background music is fairly decent, while the songs are unwelcome. The cinematography and other technical departments like editing are sub-par.
This remake of a Malayalam movie is a blind rehash. Endlessly long and pointlessly caricaturish, '2 Countries' is riddled with scenes that overstay their welcome, performances that border on the loud, sub-plots that are wafer-thin, and a theme that is overdone.