It’s Karthi all the way
Eleven years after he made his debut in a villagebased movie Paruthiveeran Malligadu in Telugu, released in 2012, Karthi, returns to the pastoral setting forcefully in his latest Chinna Babu, a dubbed venture, produced by his elder brother Suriya
Eleven years after he made his debut in a village-based movie ‘Paruthiveeran’ (‘Malligadu’ in Telugu, released in 2012), Karthi, returns to the pastoral setting forcefully in his latest ‘ Chinna Babu’, a dubbed venture, produced by his elder brother Suriya. Having been faster of the two to adapt to the neighbouring Telugu film industry and picking up the language to the extent of dubbing his own lines, this Tamil hero has a niche fan following in both the States of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
Understandably, changing his body language and mannerisms to suit the farmer role (which he wears as a badge of honour), Karthi charges up the first hour of the film with his raw action and machismo, given for films in this genre, where the male of the species dominates endlessly. The justification is that the farmer needs to be given his pride of place, thunders the hero, who plays the green warrior to the hilt, promoting eco- friendly measures to the young gen and his fellow men.
The villain team too is equal to it and the star (Shatru) who plays the bad guy has been upgraded from playing similar yet minor roles in many recent films in Telugu cinema. Locking in the bad versus good track into a family saga where there are warring relatives and subterranean political moves, the film stops short of being preachy on the virtues of living well and united under a single family banner.
Director Pandiraj, who associates with Karthi for the first time, lets the family affairs take over the second half of the film and lets the proceedings take the much expected mushy route. Much tears are shed and siblings quibble over trivial things even as the patriarch (Satyaraj, in an understated, dignified role)wants a total family portrait to be clicked and hung on the walls of his house before he dies. The film picks up from where it left itself only in the final few minutes by which aching hearts in the cinema halls would have shed more than a tear or two.
The heroine Sayyesha Saigal, who had a disastrous launch in Telugu with ‘Akhil’ in 2015, passes muster as the love interest of Karthi who stalks her shamelessly and professes his love, after taking clearance from his father! If the audiences, used to a certain dosage of weepy emotions, can take in an extra dose of it and yet cheer for the do-gooder who wants to stay rooted to the soil of his hometown and do well for everyone, then this is the film, undoubtedly.
BY K Naresh Kumar