It's the attitude with which you approach a film as a viewer that decides the way, you narrate it to the people you know. The world is what that rests in the mind. In the case of the makers of Dagudumutha Dandakor, presented by Krish, the Tamil-original Saivam only looks an 80's styled drama comprising a shady bunch of scenes executed in a scenic village preaching about vegetarianism with some 'cute' moments. The result is as good as the previous line. It's not a little beautiful world anymore but a forced assemblage of cardboard pieces driven by commerce where the storytelling hardly strikes a chord.
Why do remakes often seem pale, especially when not executed by original storytellers, say a first-timer like R K Malineni here? At least, the most prominent of reasons we notice happen to be the little moments, which often build the foundation to a stirring couple of hours, unscrupulously making an exit for supposedly, the need of pace. The reasons are rather convenient when a director justifies it in the mask of reaching out to a different audience-base. However, that's only revealing one side of the story that Dagudumutha Dandakor, primarily narrated as a family-drama, turns a shoddy offering.
For the kind of a timeless backdrop that the film re-introduces to us, or at least tries to, we should have talked about it with some fondness. We happen to see joint families with their cattle, some settled heads, lush-green farms, natives bathing in the lakes and all the behind-the-scenes drama that go into yearly jataras. These slice-of-the-life moments, blame it on the uni-dimensional cinematography at major junctures, don't come together organically. They're just in place with an attitude as a possible contrast to that of a child in the film when he says, "Oh dude! It's a village where people are just dumbheads and don't even understand wi-fi."
At the very start of the film, we see a Rajendra Prasad, with an unlikely plastic coating to what he utters, elaborate on how the rurals are still the grass-roots of a nation. A few scenes ahead, a lizard happens to fall on an aarti-plate and a skirt nearly catches fire . A bad omen, they realise and their fetish for superstitions are introduced. On the other hand, the metropolitans happen to be gadget fanatics, on the mobile while bathing, discussing office-tensions, market-losses with a dose of insults on 'undeveloped' villages. In either of the cases, it's not an open-minded projection of mindsets. It's more a drubbing session, undone majorly by an old-wordly musical score.
We witness similar drama, as the film ends. The tear-fest rolls on and we're confused to take in the apparent suggestions. The attachment for pets? Doing away with dogmas? Selective love for species or remotely, vegetarianism?
It's only inviting more trouble to a switched-off tale so departed from the times, when it has an easily-staged 'happy-ever-after' ending. A couple seeking a child gets its wish nearly fulfilled, the boy who was earlier fretting about being called Sunny and not Sanyasi Raju speaks otherwise, an inter-familial marriage at the teenages is approved by elders and the rest, well, forget it. If not for a sheer cinematic-free portrayal by an assured Sarah, Dagudumutha Dandakor, for a viewer would have been an equivalent of doing a set of gunjillu like her in the film, as a form of self-punishment.