From the publicity posters to the way the film was being spoken about even as politicians took umbrage, it promises to be a bold, if not, a different kind of a film. After watching it, at the end of its 186-minute running time, one wonders if it is a tad too long. It is a biographical narration of an ace medical student’s life, a spoilt brat, who is an outstanding student to begin with.
Arjun Reddy: Bold, different and tad too long
Vijay Deverakonda, the ‘Pelli Choopulu’ star has a huge weight on his shoulders in this venture. Playing the title role, Arjun Reddy, his story is one that of a hot-headed youngster, who has his way everywhere. Demystifying a few things about medical college students, the director Sandeep Reddy Vanga shows them smoking like normal collegians, even having a swig or two of liquor here and there. The difference from other such films is the location and the ambience where it all takes place – Mangalore and a medical college environment.
Parental opposition from the girl’s side puts an effective barrier to the passionate times that Arjun has with his lady love (Shalini Pandey). Lip locks, shown a little too many times, which could test traditional Telugu cinema fans, are par for the course as the love-struck medical students lose themselves in a frenzied aura of emotion. Of course, no amount of reasoning works and the stubborn father marries her off against her wishes. What next?
Here is where, the director stays put in the very zone, where he wants the action to remain rooted – the desperate times of the hero as he sinks into substance abuse and refusing to move on. Even as the entire support structure from his classmates to an elder brother want him to break free from the rut, it takes a long time coming, obviously only at the climax.
As a tale of a love struck man, who falters and finally figures out what is best for him, the experiment that the director undertakes is tedious, stretching out time and again. The second half could have definitely been brisker, with a few subplots adding up to nothing significant.
Ultimately, as it ends one does feel it would be a challenge to see it through on only such bouts of innovations. It also would be an acid test for Vijay’s star power, given that his earlier release was not a hit.
Cinema : Arjun Reddy
Cast : Vijay Devarakonda, Shalini Panday and others
Direction : Sandeep Reddy Vanga
Genre : Romantic drama
Plus points : Vijay Deverakonda
Minus points : Length of the film
- K Naresh Kumar