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Telugu Review: 'Devudu Chesina Manushulu' is bad

Updated: August 16, 2012, 10:58 AM IST
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Telugu Review: 'Devudu Chesina Manushulu' is bad
'Devudu Chesina Manushulu' starring Ravi Teja and Ileana D'Cruz is written and directed by Puri Jagannadh.

Two lessons for us: 1. We should learn how to try to sell a movie from BVSN Prasad. He said that there is an invisible story behind the no-story in 'Devudu Chesina Manushulu'. 2. We should learn how not to tell a story from PJ. Two points about PJ's new-found faith in RGV's belief that the audience don't take the story as seriously as the director takes: 1. If not the story, the director must take the other aspects of a film seriously and in any case, the audience must be taken seriously. 2. Only those who think about themselves smugly make a film like 'DCM'.

'DCM' was conceived like a joke. Do you remember the Ali-Alfansa track in 'Amma', Nanna O Tamila Ammayi? Ali needed to behave like a joker in the situations his cleverly made him to imagine. To stretch a similar kind of idea into a full-length story, PJ needed a character who is either like a joker or a mad man. Prakash Raj (as Prakash Raj) is that comedy villain suffering from some unnamed mental disorder.

After the first half is over, it starts looking meaningless because of the screenplay technique employed. After the film is over, the climax looks ridiculous because of the comic twist to the otherwise serious proceedings. Even if the climax was sensible, the director could have in no way convinced the audience as to why he made the first half in the first place. The only way he could have done it was by establishing a connection between the first and second parts. For example, by writing dichotomous scenes for the two parts and by making the first half a part of the lead characters' subconscious in the second half in order to bring about, say, transformation in the hero and to achieve some other purpose through PR.

The problem is that PJ thinks that it is enough if a film has some high points (read a heroic dialogue now, an exciting fight next, a masala song and a quirky comedy scene later, and so on). Even these elements are found to be bland in 'DCM'. And yes, God (Brahmanandam as Lord Vishnu) has been abused. You need not take the Lord Almighty seriously or be an intellectual to make some intelligent stuff in his name. We of course know that PJ is neither a serious thinker nor an intellectual.

Circle Inspector Subba Raju (Subba Raju) happens to accidentally press the trigger, thereby killing Sandy, who is the Bangkok's don Prakash Raj's trusted lieutenant in Hyderabad. Subba Raju is now hounded by PR's goons, and, in an attempt to save himself, he approaches Settlement Ravi Teja (Ravi Teja) to broker a deal between him and PR. RT flies to Bangkok, only to be cheated by Goli (Ali), the taxi driver. He bumps into Illeana (Illeana), a taxi driver in Bangkok.

Between some emotional talk involving RT and Illeana, PR's pathetic mental state keeps us expecting something thrilling form the film.

Meanwhile, the girl likes our orphan hero. Our orphan hero and the orphan heroine, whenever they talk with each other, wear their orphan-hood on their sleeves - the film's only emotional dose, which has been done to death in many films. When PR sees Illeana, he lusts her and asks the hero to surrender her to him. This enrages our hero, who hits hard on PR's head. He quickly comes to Illeana to ask her to travel to Hyderabad with him. She kicks him hard. In Vaikuntha, Lord Vishnu seeks to reverse the things and the curtain is raised to play another story. Even God's behaviour is silly, strange and inexplicable here.

The second half is about how RT and Subba Raju come in to contact with each other, how RT flies to Bangkok, how he meets Illeana, how he sits on the table to talk to PR, and, more importantly, how PR reacts when he sees Illeana.

If 'DCM' makes you sit for 124 minutes, it is more because of your trust in PJ and some promise which the film seems to throw up every now and then. This promise is never kept.

It is PR and Illeana who gave entertaining performances. Illeana's tearjerkers and her attitude deserve praise. PR was at his usual best in making us laugh by undergoing trauma as a self-forgetful don. In comparison, RT sleepwalks through his role. He was, you may be surprised to know, given boring dialogues.

Ali was routine. He overstayed his welcome in the second half. He was overused in two-three comedy scenes when the audience expected some serious progress in the story. Brahmi and Kovai Sarala were just about ok. Fish Venkat and MS Narayana (as Papayya) had their meagre roles.

Raghu Kunche's music was good and the songs were well-executed. 'Yemi Sethura' and 'Disturb Chettanade' were good, and Gabriella had good screen presence in that song.

Finally, two suggestions. 1. PJ should get a story-writer who takes his story seriously. 2. PJ should get a dialogue-writer who doesn't think like he thought yesterday and day before yesterday.

First Published: August 16, 2012, 10:58 AM IST
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