Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Arjun Reddy - Movie Review

I remember the day its trailer was released, Arjun Reddy had created quite a stir. In a film industry that loves glorifying its heroes and objectifying its heroines, through its masala potboilers and wafer thin plots, this was a shocker. And yes, the movie was certainly worth the hype!

Honestly, from the teasers and the trailer of the movie I was under the impression that it’s going to be the story of a psycho (sorry, but cant seem to find a better word). But the movie turned out to be a dark and gritty love story of an obsessed lover, Dr. Arjun Reddy Deshmukh (played excellently by Vijay Devarakonda) and his junior in college, Preeti (played by debutante Shalini Pandey).

At the outset, the director, Sandeep Vanga, breaks the stereotypical entry of heroes, that we Telugu audiences are used to seeing. So, there is no introduction song, no useless sidekicks who create a fake halo around the hero and no shots with a close-up of the hero’s torso! Instead, the lead actor walks in with ruffled hair and an unkempt beard. For the first time in a Telugu movie, the hero is shown to be a smoker, alcoholic, a drug and sex addict! Oh, and he abuses too (I think the entire Teluguland is dubbing his dialogue – M*******D in the theatres). Quite a contrast to our quintessential Telugu star!

                                                      Image result for arjun reddy

The plot is simple. Dr. Arjun Reddy is a topper of the batch and the entire college obeys to his whims and fancies. His only fallacy – his temper (or the lack of control on it). Arjun falls for a junior, Preeti, and there begins his love story. And again, romance here happens over anatomy classes where the topper, Arjun, teaches Preeti to help her study well. Loved this break from the usual singing and dancing in Swiss Alps!

What works for the movie are these departures from the usual. You see a guy you can relate to, who abuses, drinks, smokes and cares for his girl, just as any normal guy would. You see his gang of friends, who are as real as it gets – they abuse each other, pull each other’s legs but stand like a rock when needed. A special mention here for Shiva (played superbly by Rahul Ramakrishna), who plays Arjun’s best friend. The scenes between Arjun and Shiva are particularly real, effortless and extremely funny.

The movie belongs to Vijay Devarakonda, without a doubt. As Arjun Reddy, he shows how brilliant he is as an actor. As the brashy, short -tempered boyfriend, he displays emotions really well. The one particular scene where he goes to drop Preeti at the bus-stop shows his anger and the very next minute-his sweet side explains my point. While the first half shows a hot-headed lover, the second half gives us a frustrated and a completely demented lover. And Vijay Deverakonda excels in putting forth the pain of a jilted lover.

Shalini Pandey is burdened by an ill-etched role. We do not get to see or understand what makes her fall in love with Arjun, given the fact that it all starts forcefully and not like a lover’s proposal. The cinematography by Raju Thota and music by Radhan complements the dark narrative well.

Arjun Reddy is definitely a leap towards a new wave of telugu cinema, which is real and massy.

My Rating: 3.5/5

Negatives: Length, female lead's half-baked character, pace in the second half and predictable climax