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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Duvvada Jagannadham

Isn't a movie about a story, creativity, entertainment and some take-away?
Well, Duvvada Jaganndham has none of these elements.
To begin with, why is DJ's character portrayed as a brahmin? What is the relevance to the story (?!)?
There are two sides to Allu Arjun's character: one, a brahmin caterer (Duvvada Jagannadham) in Vijayawada and another a police informer and assistant (DJ) who helps Hyderabad rid of crime and criminals. The modus operandi is simple...bash them up or finish them off.
I am not sure how I sound when I say this, but to date I haven't witnessed a brahmin capable of so much violence! In fact, none.
When he acts as the police assistant, he dresses modernly by wearing shirt and trousers and when he is the caterer, he wears a long-sleeved shirt and panchi (dhoti). In the former avatar, his language is brash and in the latter, a sing-song way of speaking which is supposed to represent the brahmin way of speaking Telugu.
Through this brahmin character, the director (Harish Shankar) has made a mockery of brahmins and their mannerisms. Just because they don't protest , doesn't mean you can get away with anything.
If one were to make a film on brahmins and their language, culture and mannerisms, watch Mithunam (directed by Tanikella), a beautiful movie portrayed by two characters, SP and Lakshmi. It makes such peaceful watching!
Except Tanikella, no one in DJ has been able to do any justice to the essence of a brahmin in the movie. Well, for that the director ought to have done some research. There is no evidence of any.
Rao Ramesh, otherwise a good actor, has dared to imitate his father's character from Sankarabharanam and has fallen flat. The comparison is obvious. Some greats just cannot be imitated.
Chandramohan and Subba Raju, both good actors, are wasted in insignificant roles. It is Allu Arjun all the way.
Allu Arjun has made his fans wait long but this movie is just not worth the wait.
My rating: 1/5. Not worth wading through the rain-flooded streets to go watch this film. Sit at home and sip some hot coffee instead.
By the way, the female presence is fulfilled by Pooja Hegde. She is there too.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Ami Thumi

The best thing about watching a movie is not knowing what it is about beforehand. Not having watched the trailers, I knew nothing of the cast, the story, the director...nothing. All I went by is the word going around.Therefore, Srinivas Avasarala's presence in the beginning of the movie, came as a pleasant surprise.
In fact, there are not one but three male leads, all having equal screen presence: Adivi Sesh, Srinivas Avasarala and Vennela Kishore. There is not much for the female leads in this movie.
Written and directed by Ashtma Chamma's director Mohan Krishna Indraganti, this movie, also a romantic comedy, falls in the same genre (of neat, small budget movies).
Adivi Sesh and Eesha are in love with one another. This is opposed by Eesha's father played by Tanikella Bharani because Sesh is an orphan. On the other hand, Srinivas, Tanikella's son is in love with Aditi, who is the daughter of Kedar Shankar, Tanikella's arch rival. And therefore, Tanikella is opposed to both these alliances.
Vennella Kishore's proposal to Eesha comes as a great relief to Tanikella as he is happy his daughter will get married into a rich household, not knowing that under the camouflage of opulence, Vennella Kishore's family is in deep debt and looks toward this alliance to redeem their lost riches.
The director uses the name Maya like he had used Mahesh before, to create confusion. Eesha uses this confusion to get the right pair married to each other.
Music is a pleasant plus to this movie. The background score is soothing and no where jarring. There are (thankfully) only two songs. The third one is a medley of old songs, done very charmingly by Srinivas Avasarala.
On the surface it looks like the movie copies Ashta Chamma, but the story is different.
Srinivas Avasarala has a great comic timing but he has close competition with Vennela Kishore who is simply brilliant in this movie. Despite his portrayal of a person from a highly sophisticated background, he gets conned by Eesha and her cook (an insuppressible Shyamala Devi). Tanikella Bharani, always a great actor, throws himself into his role with a great abandon as he sings and dances around gleefully at the prospect of getting his daughter married to a person of his choice.
On the minuses, it lacks the balance of a substantial role for the female leads (miss the spunk of a Colors Swathi). The story could have been crisper. Adivi Sesh, is good at acting and is good looking too but appears a bit too thin. The meaning and relevance of the title seems delusive.
All in all, a simple story which keeps you smiling throughout.
A 3/5 from me. Do watch. All your tensions of the real world will be forgotten for the 128 minutes it runs. 

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Daily tit-bits: June 2017

Went to Shopper's Stop at GVK to exchange my kurtha after watching Bahubali.
And guess who I saw there? Sathya Krishnan, the hoarse voiced Anitha from Anand movie. She appeared so young without makeup! Google told me that she is 26 years old. Unbelievable as she plays roles mush older to her age.
2nd June 2017:
Went to watch Andagadu. Had always watched Raj Tarun's movies on TV. Went to the theater as there were no other good movies playing. Second, encouraged by Raj Tarun's energetic performances, expected something from this. The movie didn't know whether it wanted to be a comedy, a romantic or a spooky one. Though to the hero's credit, he holds up in all three avatars. A 2.5/5 from me.
Trying to be a Andagadu isn't about a swollen face and eyes and a neatly combed hair. Needs a better makeover.
Watched Chandamama Kathalu (2014). Beautiful movie! Am going to review it.
Also watched Attack (2016). Watched a Ram Gopal Varma after many years. Glad to see that he hasn't lost his touch. Quite ingenuously directed, Manchu Manoj playing the protagonist.
The previous movie by Manchu Lakshmi and this one by Manchu Manoj shows that the brother-sister duo are good at selecting good stories.
6th June 2017
Cleaned window frames. Got a cold again. Dust allergy persists. Despite his professed treatment, the doctor has done nothing to cure me of my allergy.
The first rainfall and an end to Summer 2017! The roaring 40s to mild 30s...what a drop! Weather is delicious with rains during nights and clouds during day.
The early onset of summer from March itself had me groaning at the endless hot days.
But every bad/good day has to end one day.
9th June 2017
Watched Coffee with D (2017). Hadn't thought of it much when the movie was released. Not really expecting much from an established comedian playing a hero. But was pleasantly surprised to see a decent performance by Sunil Grover in a non-comic role The story was different and had a good potential to be great but lost its footing somewhere with a slip-shod direction.
Visited Ruci & Idoni and Coffee Cup last week.
Ruci & Idoni big name but no show. Had ordered a starter which was okay and a pizza which was served with fried onions sprinkled on top! Pizza-biryani?
Coffe Cup: We ordered a veggie platter. Taste was ok ok but was so oily! The main dish of  sizzler was also pretty average. The vegetables were well-cooked but no sizzle in the sizzler. But like always, keeping upto its name, the coffee there was outstanding! No comparison to be found in Hyderabad.

Eating lot of ripe mangoes...almost one a day. Scared of increase in sugar levels :(
11th June
Went to visit a friend in hospital. Took some food along. Hospitals arent a nice place to be in...
12th June
Watched Srirasthu Subhamasthu (2016). Allu  Sirish has attempted a commercial role after his 'hatke' roles in his earlier movies. The story started decently enough but then soon lost track and was hurriedly concluded after going round in circles. A 2.5/ 5 from me.
13th June:
Woke up to the sound of inverter going 'kiiiii... kiiiii'. Battery drained it seems. Called a couple of electricians to get it cleaned and have distilled water filled. Wish I could do it myself without having to wait for them to come home. Realized two things: nothing ever runs forever without maintenance; two: have become so used to having 24/7 power that even those few minutes of living without power, especially the internet is so suffocating!
15th June 2017:
Just like that without a thought or plan went to watch Ami Thumi. 60/- for auto after haggling with two more drivers who had quoted 80 and 100/- respectively. Liked this light hearted movie.
Had gone without a thought for lunch. And when I saw that it was 9.5 kms from Cinepolis, Malakajgiri to Paradise, booked a cab which came for 73/- Directly went to Pizza den. The pizzas which were priced 90/- just a couple of years ago are now 140/-! Thankfully, the taste remains the same. Next went to my favorite Mamta Sweet house and bought a couple of samosas. And for the first time, went to Pardise Cafe and had their tea. Awesome at 12/- So thankful I didn't go for the 110/- priced coffee at the Cinepolis. Would they have been able to match this taste? I doubt it.
Walking provides you the freedom to stop and shop wherever you want. Exploited this to the full by shopping at China Bazar to buy a plastic sieve for 40/-. And most important went to Hong Kong market and finally bought a back cover for my mobile. Getting one for a 3 year phone is difficult these days. 3 years is considered old :( .But Honk Kong market has everything related to mobiles ;)
he said 150. I said 100. He said 'Done' and slipped the cover on. Should I have asked for a lower price?
16th June:
Went to Big Bazar to pick up a few groceries as I had missed some when I went to Ratnadeep for my monthly shopping. A bill of 483/ for a handful of items and a waste of nearly two hours in commuting and buying.
Was still able to pick up a thothapuri mango for making menthi baddalu :) Going for an overdrive after having grossly missed out on the mango season last year.
Despite having topped it up and the battery showing signs of charging, the inverter still shows low battery ;( Hope it starts working properly soon.
17th-19th June
Was up the whole night with uneasiness of health. Some chest tightening, stomach churning. Sat up the whole night and a loss of appetite and feeling of weakness the next day.
Feeling much better today though no sleep last night once again. I need to keep myself physically more active and definitely see a doctor about the heel pain. Even simple walking in house leads to pain....despite two months of giving up walking. After two years I am putting on some weight. Initially it was good to see after having lost drastically for the last two years but if I dont do something fast, I will keep adding. getting rid of it then will be tough.
Saw Dhruva (2016), What a brilliant concept! So different from the usual shit churned out these days. A good actor would have raised the bar to its deserved heights. Would have gone to watch in the theaters if it was a different actor.
23rd June :
It is 5 days since I have been feeling well. Five days since I slept well. Have been sleeping at around 4-5 am everyday. The dust allergy is back and last night it didn't allow me to sleep till I inhaled the steam. Only after that was I able to breathe and go to sleep.
The best part is that the sugar levels are near normal despite five consecutive sleepless nights :)
Wrote this as Tubelight review without watching the movie and from the reviews I have been watching/reading, they are saying the same thing. That's how predictive our movies have become. Lol!

Watched "Little Boy" (2015) out of curiosity due to the hype created around "Tube-light" (2017).
Little Boy centers around an 8 year old boy and his belief in bringing back his father who has gone to war. This movie has a weak story line, is melodramatic, yet is heart-warming in parts.
In Tube-light, father-son bond is transformed into brothers' bond with Salman playing a goofy character (like in Bajrangi). 
Sure to mess up with the basic story line by turning it into an emotional Bollywood hyperbole.
Can't see how the innocence and beliefs of a child is transfered to an adult.

Had entrusted the task of making raagi mudde and raagi malt to others earlier. It used to take them forever to make it. Now that I have started preparing it myself, I am amazed at the speed with which I am able to prepare it so easily! Why it took them hours to prepare this is truly puzzling.
It is fortunate that I like raagi so much. It has so many health benefits. Feel good whenever I have it.
Planning on having raagi malt for dinner everyday.
24th June
Went out to get all miscellaneous chores done around home. Got 3 kgs of mota  rice for dosa, bread from Spencer's (like it there only), a curry to go with the biryani planned.
Unplanned was the scooter puncture :( Had parked in front of SBI to get curry from Santosh dhaba. When I drove it a few meters, felt the scooty wobble. Showed it to the puncturewala just around the corner and had to wait about 20 minutes till the puncture was done. Charged me 50/- for it.
I had first suspected that the puncture was done on purpose but then the tyre was in tact; the tube had a small hole as though it had worn out.
An ayurvedic doctor visited who spent quite sometime at my home. He was supposed to take care of my physical health but went into the details of my psychological issues. This was an unexpected outcome but made me feel good. Unraveling helps in a big way!
25th June
Finally made the biryani. Was so much craving for one. The ones at restaurants, perhaps good for their non-veg counterpart, are rather disappointing on the vegetarian fare.
Turned out pretty decent, Went the whole hog by frying all vegetables etc. like I used to prepare earlier i,e before I started preparing veg biryani. In combination with the paneer curry bought yesterday, it tasted awesome.
The downside is this deep craving for a meetha paan after eating biryani. Had do make do with the khajoor-paan in my fridge.
Watched a film called Mister (2017) starring Varun Tej, What a senseless movie! No story in it at all.
26th-30th June:
Have not been keeping very well since the 11th June. Again, bouts of weakness. For the last three nights have been woken up due to beating heart. Was particularly bad last night.Scared. Need to get blood test done, but when?
Finally, after trying to get the inverter battery started/repaired, bought a new one for 8500/- after a supposed exchange of 3000 for the old one. Same Amaron one.
Two good things have happened this week. One, the cold has finally gone completely. Two, after two months, I seem to be free of pain in the ankle for the last four days.
Is it because I have started taking Gemcal? Whatever, walking completely free of pain feels great! Should I now try going out for walk again? One of my ex-studnts who has become an orthopedic doctor says that all I need to do is stretch my feet in the morning and ensure that I wear soft foot wear. May not go for the planned orthopedic visit now.
Watched Poorna (2017). A short one at 90 minutes, it is an awesome movie which tugs at your heart strings.
Also watched a terrible Duvvada Jagannatham (2017) Allu Arjun. Wrote a review. Watched Markatmani (2017). It is declared a hit but I didn't understand what it was about. Maybe I don't understand the dark humor in Tamil movies. The concept may be new but I didn't find it engaging at all.