The quest for new stories, new plotlines is ongoing in Telugu cinema. While a majority of the releases are bad rehashes or stereotyped reruns of old hits, a few plumb the depths to unearth potentially interesting concepts. This week’s release @ Narthanasala too, on the face of it, had all the right chances to emerge as a watchable kind of a movie, having taken a leaf out of the NTR’s classic ‘Narthanashala’, released in 1963.
Not a patch on the original
Yet, given the please-all mentality which bogs down the innovative urges of modern day creators, the film, helmed by debutante Srinivas Chakravarthy, totters and drags itself into a mishmash of borderline sex comedy and pseudo message mongering to the womenfolk to be brave and face the bad men in their lives. A half-hearted, ineffective variation to the macho hero is introduced when he plays a romantic game with a gay character to get into the heroine’s home and win her hand with the active support of the ladies in her home.
The usual insufferable acting style of Jayaprakash Reddy, which has stopped appealing to the public is seen in full flow, where he is shown as the heroine’s uncle. Then follows the unbearable hamming of Sivaji Raja, who is the hero’s father, popping in and out of scenes to slow down the film even further. One wonders why there are two heroines – Kashmira and Yamini Bhaskar - in the film, a home production of Naga Shaurya, which fails to give enough footage to either of them, even as the former manages to marry her beau at the end. A torrid time waste of a film, it ultimately turns out to be, a sad reflection of the muddle-headed manner the Telugu filmwalas operate in their desperate bid to entertain the fickle audience.