From time immemorial we are used to films of big stars releasing during the main festivals of the year across India. This is a phenomenon observed both in case of Hindi and Regional films. And in this regard Pongal/Sankranthi holds a special place of pride as not only is it the 1st major festival of the year, but it is also a festival that’s equally big in both Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh and thus crucial for big Tamil and Telugu releases. Over the last few years Sankranthi has always seen 2-3 big Telugu films releasing and it’s not a surprise for more than 1 film to succeed. Though by and large it is the big masala entertainers which work majorly during this time, there can be exceptions as well. During Sankranthi in 2011 we saw a regular masala film like Mirapakaya and a smaller slice of life film like Golconda High School succeed. In 2012 both Businessman and Bodyguard succeeded and last year we saw the clash between Seethamma Vakitlo Sirimalle Chettu and Naayak and not surprisingly both the films succeeded.
If we try to understand what the audience wants during the festival period, it will not be tough to realize what would work and what would not. People by and large are in a celebratory mood and if they get to watch good entertainers, featuring their favourite actors there’s nothing better. But it’s always not about the budget alone, the public is starved of entertainment and if the film can appeal to them on that parameter even a slightly smaller film can work and Golconda High School is one such example. This year’s Sankranthi saw a straight contest between Mahesh Babu–Sukumar’s 1 Nenokkadine and Ram Charan Teja–Vamsi Paidipally’s Yevadu. While Mahesh Babu was aiming for his 3rd straight Sankranthi hit, in case of Ram Charan it was a chance to get his 2nd straight Sankranthi hit this time. Yevadu was originally supposed to release in August 2013, but with the political turmoil in A.P the release date got moved around a few times before finally settling upon a Sankranthi release date. The makers of 1 Nenokkadine settled upon a release on 10th January while in case of Yevadu they closed upon 12th January as the release date.
Vamsi Paidipally’s previous film Brindavanam (2010) was a big hit but that was quite a while back. Both producer Dil Raju and Ram Charan have a similarity, while producer Dil Raju started off 2013 in style with Seethamma Vakitlo Sirimalle Chettu he lost out later with Ramayya Vasthavayya. Similarly for Ram Charan 2013 began in style with Naayak, only to face a drubbing with Zanjeer/Thoofan. Hence in a way Yevadu was a crucial film for all of them and a way to keep them going this year. Now what would be the result is something I was keen to find out. So thus I set out to watch Yevadu on the day of release at Mumbai’s Aurora Cinema, the best place to watch such films according to me. The fans seem to be all set for a good time and thus I started watching the movie with the fervent hope that the film should be at least worth the time and money invested on it 🙂 . So let me now go on to tell you what the film is all about and I feel about the same.
- Director Vamsi Paidipally, producer Dil Raju and hero Ram Charan had a common agenda with Yevadu, to make a blockbuster movie and what better way to go about doing it than trying to have a mixture of all the ingredients required for the same.
- To start with you have a popular hero in the form of Ram Charan Teja who gets not one but two avatars in the film. He is the quintessential hero who fights, romances, does comedy, handles the emotional scenes, dances like a dream etc all with remarkable ease.
- To make the fans of Ram Charan and the mega star family even happier, you have Allu Arjun roped in for a cameo in the film. So it is not a surprise when you get to see the audience going berserk when you have the entry scenes of both Ram Charan and Allu Arjun respectively 🙂 .
- Oh! The film needs to have a story right? Well of course there’s a story-Satya (Allu Arjun) and Deepthi (Kajal Aggarwal) are in love with each other but their romance is cut short when a local don Dheeru Bhai (Rahul Dev) sets his eyes on Deepthi. In the ensuing process Dheeru Bhai orders their killings but Satya manages to stay alive and slips into coma. With his body and face being partially burnt and his vocal chords damaged, the doctor (Jayasudha) performs a surgery on Satya and gives him a new look. Satya realizes that he can now use his new look (he is now Ram Charan) to his advantage and thus goes about with his mission of eliminating Dheeru Bhai and his key men, to avenge for the death of Deepthi. Just around the half way mark as Satya completes his mission and we wonder what the rest of the film has to offer, he gets attacked and survives the same. That is when he finds out the reason behind the change in his look and this leads him to realize that fate has brought him a much bigger mission in life. How he goes about handling the same is what the 2nd half of the film is all about.
If there’s a hero you need a heroine right? And when you anyways get to see both Ram Charan and Allu Arjun on screen do you need to settle down with just one heroine, no right? Well both the director and the producer believe in the theory that the more the merrier and so we get Kajal Aggarwal in a cameo and 2 other heroines vying for the attention of Ram Charan- Amy Jackson in the 1st half and Shruti Haasan in the 2nd half. So how important are their roles in the film and what do they get do? Well Kajal Aggarwal as Deepthi though in a cameo does make an impact as her role is vital to the plot. Amy Jackson is completely incidental to the plot and is there just to step up the glam quotient. Shruti Haasan looks pretty as always and gets a couple of songs as well to boost her presence, but that’s about it.
- Yes the film is violent and has more than its share of action sequences- be it action on the busy roads, street fights or even bloody one to many combats, the film has enough and more of it to keep the fans of the star happy.
- So you feel the film is proving to be very heavy and should lighten up? Oh! Don’t worry you have the ever reliable Brahmanandam providing Ram Charan with some company. But alas while we as always cheer up at the very presence of the veteran actor; he barely gets enough screen time to unleash his magic upon us. And top it all he is completely missing in the 2nd half of the film 😦 .
- Isn’t the film supposed to be high on the emotional factor? Well certainly there’s enough scope for that as Jayasudha and Ram Charan share some good mother-son chemistry. Also in the 2nd half we see Ram Charan getting to be a messiah of sorts for an entire basti and inspiring the bastiwalas to even revolt against the bad guys. So emotion packed moments are there in plenty, be rest assured 🙂 .
- The film needs to have a lot of bad guys right? After all when you have a film with Ram Charan and Allu Arjun, that’s like a given thing. Here again Vamsi Paidipally doesn’t disappoint. If the 1st half sees Rahul Dev, Ajay and their cronies, the 2nd half sees Sai Kumar, Kota Srinivasa Rao, Subbaraju and a host of others doing the honours. All of them do the standard bad guy job alright except maybe for Sai Kumar, who actually looks imposing as Dharma, the baddie wanting to control the whole of Hyderabad.
- Are you not curious about the songs and wanting to know what Devi Sri Prasad has done with his music score? Well it’s a typical ‘DSP’ album with songs which more or less go in flow with the film. So if ‘Freedom’ (lyrics by Krishna Chaitanya and sung by Suchith Suresan) is a song for Ram Charan to showcase his dancing skills then you also have a couple of soulful ballads like ‘Nee Jathaga’ (lyrics by Sirivennela Sitaramasastry and sung by Karthik and Shreya Ghoshal) and ‘Cheliya Cheliya’ (lyrics by Chandrabose and sung by K.K). Well the film also needs to have a peppy number each with each heroine separately? So that’s why you have ‘Oye Oye’ (lyrics by Sri Mani and sung by David Simon and Andrea Jeremiah ) and ‘Pimple Dimple’ (lyrics by Ramajogayya Sastry and sung by Sagar and Ranina Reddy).
- Not yet satisfied? Oh! Ok I guess you want to know why an item number is missing, don’t worry you do have one in the form of ‘Ayyo Pappam’ (picturized on Ram Charan and Scarlett Mellish Wilson, lyrics by Ramajogayya Sastry and sung by Ranjith and Mamta Sharma). The songs are all more or less of the crowd pleasing variety, but nothing that will remain with you forever.
- The film more than has its share of bloopers and certain events clearly may leave you shaking your head in amazement. But remember that this is a typical formula masala film and such things are but only to be expected 🙂 . Take for example the fact that Sathya i.e Allu Arjun gets a makeover as Ram Charan and goes about organizing his life and mission without the least possible discomfort. Characters (Brahmanandam, Amy Jackson etc) also float in and out of the film like taking a stroll in the park, again all in the game I guess.
- If you watch Yevadu you might even end up feeling that it’s easy for a simple angry young man to be a nightmare for not just dreaded gangsters but also for a Delhi based politician.
- If you need still more motivation to watch the movie then let me tell you that it’s great fun to watch it with a boisterous crowd, especially in a single screen. And mind you for a long time into the film you almost feel that you are watching 2 films for the price of one (yes that’s how the 2 halves of the film work for a long time, before the mandatory balancing act towards the end 😀 ).
- For those wondering why there isn’t much of Allu Arjun in the film? Well isn’t he the actual hero of the film? 🙂 🙂
Well by now I guess the primary objective of team Yevadu seems to have been met as per the box office reports floating around. 2014 seems to have started in a not so great fashion with the 2 Sankranthi releases. Let’s see how the rest of the year turns out.