When most of the successful movies in Tollyland adhere to a formula, then why others should be left alone? So, the magic mantra is to stick to the formula, play with the screenplay, tweak it a little with some timely twists, leave the audience to surprise, they walkout with laughs and your cash register starts ringing. The makers have always been trying this time-tested trick and touching the pinnacle.
Balupu directed by Gopichanad Malineni tries nothing new in terms of story and characters. The formula gets on the right track, and the slight derail happens in terms of twists that leaves everyone to surprise! The director must be applauded for making a complete ‘action’ entertainer that blends with Ravi Teja’s mass image. After biting the dust for so many years, this may be the actor’s comeback film. He reprises the role, that’s done to death by many bigwigs, of a hibernating cheetah till pre-interval and breaks out during the interval bang. Post interval it’s all daam daam dishoom dishoom.
Ravi Teja plays a recovery officer in a bank, although he doesn’t look like one. The hero’s entry is typical bashing the goons’ one, throwing punchlines – naa maata lo punch vuntaadi, naa debba lo punch vuntaadi. He meets Shruti Hassan and her comical baggage – Crazy Mohan (Brahmanandam) in the first half and embarks on a fun ride. There are some intermittent flashes of Purna (Asutosh Rana), and his gang, searching for someone all over the country. Ravi’s father Mohan Rao (Prakash Raj) is always worried about his son’s marriage. Then there’s interval bang with a twist. The film rolls into second half revealing the other side of Ravi and Mohan Rao. Beautiful Anjali brings an air of realism to the story. Thus the director adds many feathers in this well-ornate cap and slides the film into an entertaining and action-packed climax.
Ravi Teja’s pulled off this multi-hued role with aplomb. The comedy he brings out in the climax is to die for. Shruti Hassan looked glamorous than ever. She added a vibrant hue to the film and made the template glossier. Anjali was near perfect in her role. Though she occupies a less screen space than other lead characters, she remains pivotal to the plot. It’s good to see Brahmanandam in a full-length role. Of late, this has become an industry norm. When in trouble he’s always there as a messiah saving all the sinking ships. Ali, and others in the comic bandwagon, supports him in evoking few more chuckles. Asutosh Rana is menacing as always. Adivi Sesh makes an unnoticeable appearance. Prakash Raj outshines others with a ‘sweep-the-floor-off-your-feet’ role reversal.
The director should have taken more care on the locations. Most of the story happens in the city of Bangalore but nothing establishes the fact that the movie is shot in the garden city. And what’s the reason for making a mockery of Oscar awards in the first song. Adding to that you can see hollywoodbangkok.com next to the statuettes in a set.
Music by S S Thaman is adequate. He has delivered some peppy music and good background score that moves with the theme. Evaindo song is the best of the pack.
Cinematography by Jayanan Vincent enhanced the overall look and feel of the film.
Kona Venkat and K S Ravindra added right dose of wit and humor to an otherwise run-on-the-mill script. The crackling dialogue is the film’s biggest asset.
Bottom-line: The racy screenplay and slick packaging make Balupu a perfect entertainer. You’ll relish most of this wholesome meal.
My Rating: Expectation – 7/10; Reality – 6/10