Howrah Bridge Review
'Howrah Bridge', starring Rahul Ravindran, Chandini Chowdary and Manali Rathod in lead roles, hits the screens today. Here is our review.
Arjun (Rahul Ravindran) is apparently a grown-up person. His physical attributes suggest that. Sweety (Chandini) is apparently a grown-up person. Her physical attributes suggest that.
He comes to her village after 18 years. By then, she is intensely in love with her Bava (played by Ajay). He woos her nevertheless. She doesn't resist him much. A platonic relationship ensues.
Suddenly, the not-so-subtly pro-romance girl realizes that she has gone too far in her relationship with Arjun. What of the Bava? One fateful day, she realizes that Arjun has replaced him in her 'flexible' heart.
This is when Arjun leaves the village delivering a bombshell. Suddenly, Sweety is at the crossroads of her life, having kicked out the Bava and having been kicked out by Arjun. Enter another Sweety (Manali Rathod in an incredibly useless role).
If we scratch the proceedings a bit, it becomes clear that this is the story of a double-timing Chandini's character who behaves like a split personality. Or, maybe, she is just an immature, confused nincompoop. If we scratch further, it becomes clear that Rahul Ravindran's Arjun is no less pathetic.
When Arjun and Sweety face troubles, this reviewer saw it as poetic justice. It's not like no Telugu cinema hero ever wooed a girl who is someone else's fiance. But this someone is always shown to be either an unworthy candidate or an outright villain. In 'Howrah Bridge', however, the much cheated Bava (Ajay) is actually the only broad-minded character around.
In one scene, Sweety tells her Bava that he is everything to her. In the next scene, she is quite comfortable about Arjun wanting her to either kiss him or impress him by dancing after escaping a rape the previous night. When he misses her, Arjun has only one kind of memories: how he missed to kiss her twice, only to kiss her secretly when she was playing with the kids!
In one scene, a character is quite happy that her lover came back to her after 18 years. Guess how she tells him how happy she is? "Oh God! I have been waiting for you for one hour. It's getting late for cinema. Damn it. Inka raa ve twaraga". This is how it sounds as she talks on the phone.
The hero meets his sweetheart after 18 years. Guess when? When she, an Ad filmmaker, is shooting for a condom ad. He enters the set as if he is meeting her after a gap of 1.8 days. She tries hard to show some joy on her face and says pack-up because it's holiday time. He says, 'Appudena?!' She says yes and they walk out as if they are going to watch 'Baahubali-2' because, well, they met after 18 years.
Comedian Madhu Nandan meets the second heroine and tells her that she would be great on the bed. Her parents watch on. Such silliness is business as usual in the film. Posani Krishna Murali actually confuses Moods condom for Moove and delivers the film's only worthy scene.
A recurring tragedy in our Telugu movies is the way childhood love stories are depicted. 5-year-olds, 7-year-olds come with unbelievably mature behaviors and conversations.
Vidyullekha Raman is a Sarpanch and when Ali issues her a cheque of Dakota Bank, she believes the bank actually exists!
There is Rao Ramesh, a debauched womanizer. He decides to demolish a bridge so that there is title justification.
Atrocious scenes, double-timers who deserve their share of miseries, mind-numbing performances, and a ridiculously-mounted climax. This is 'Howrah Bridge'.