Sunday, October 17, 2010

Brindaavanam (2010) dir. Vamsi Paidapally

I won't be able to explain exactly how excited I was to finally see my favorite Tollywood hero on the big screen,  let me just say that for me personally, Endhiran and Khaleja were fabulous opening acts for what has turned out to be a superfantastic (yes that is one word) October.
I saw Brindaavanam in a very packed theater (the most I've seen in the theater and lining up for the later show since Om Shanti Om). Since I was going to be seeing a movie without subtitles, I did my usual peeking at reviews so I can get an idea of the basic story going in, so I knew that the first 15 minutes would have a fight and a song. I had my friend Marcia with me who is a newbie to Tollywood and had become a huge Jr. NTR fan after only one viewing of Yamadonga and some dance videos. I was on the edge of my seat waiting for the Hero Introduction and it was so cool to see the theater erupt and Marcia almost fall out of her chair. (I of course remained quite composed, I am from Minnesota after all) Ha-Ha! Such fun!

Jr. NTR plays Krish, a millionaire's son, who has a girlfriend Indhu, played by Samantha. She tells him about her friend Bhoomi, played by Kajal who needs help getting  out of an arranged marriage. Prakash Raj plays Bhoomi's Dad. He is wonderfull as the stern Father. He has lots of stoney stares and glares. I wasn't able to figure out why the heck he would push Bhoomi into an arranged marriage with the evil looking goonda played by Ajay, I mean couldn't he tell by looking at him he was bad news? Anyway Indhu convinces Krish to pretend to be Bhoomi's boyfriend in order to help her get out of her predicament. While traveling with her to her rural home (named Brindaavanam)she fills him in on her family which seems to be a very miserable and dysfunctional bunch. Once Krish arrives he is able to win them all over and resolve some of their problems. The supporting cast is excellent and features what seems like almost all the main supporting stars of Telugu films.

Kota Srinavasa Rao plays Bhoomi's grandfather, he tells Krish about his other son played by Srihari. It seems Prakash Raj and Srihari are step brothers who have been feuding for a long time. Someone in the theater was kind enough to tell me the feud was over a lack of respect exhibited at a wedding, not sure whose, maybe Srihari's. When the grandpa leaves to visit his other son Krish goes along.
     Srihari was great! Seemed like all his dialogs started with "Rey!" and were said in an echo chamber. (I just love the Tollywood sound effects during fights and speeches and funny moments. Such a wonderfull part of the ride, puts a smile right on my face!) Krish manages to bring the two Brothers together and Prakash Raj is happy now to let Bhoomi marry Krish. A bit of a problem because Indhu is really Krish's girlfriend. Not only that but it turns out Indhu is Srihari's daughter. Indhu comes up with another plan to play along with the engagement by bringing in  Brahmanandam in as a pretend Father for Krish. At the same time Srihari finds out Indhu has a boyfriend and  brings Krish's real parents to Brindaavanam.
       The rest of the film is a series of comical escapades as they try to keep the charade going. The audience was in stitches during the scenes between Tarak and Venu Madhav and Tarak and Brahmi. Brahmi's entrance caused almost as many cheers and whistles as Tarak's entrance. I enjoyed Venu more I think primarily because his comedy scenes were much more physical and so the lack of subs didn't deminish my enjoyment of him.
    Samantha and Kajal did fine with their respective roles. I liked Samantha's charactor better maybe because I think she is a better actress. It's not an easy task to keep up with Tarak, and I have to confess I was mostly watching him, but I thought they both did an excellent job in the dances.

The movie's climax had Krish confessing to Srihari and Prakash about his deceit. That doesn't go over very well, but then Bhoomi needs rescueing so when Krish saves her all are happy again. In the end Krish has to decide who to marry and like in Simhadri it is implied he ends up with both. 

Brindaavanam can really be summed up in one word: Tarakariffic! (Hee-hee I made that one up!) Tarak was his usual awesome self. The audience cheered during his dialogs, especially the Racha Racha speech (not me though I *ahem* remained quiet and ladylike throughout) The fights were great! I loved some of the funny details like when he wrapped his fist in the towel and helped all the rowdies he pounded land on the ground quietly so he could sneak up on more of them. I loved the tree breaking apart and cutting the other tree in half during the climax fight. The variety of looks on his face when he was in Brindaavanam trying to keep his charade going were priceless. His dialog delivery was fun to watch. I can't wait for the dvd to get the full benefit of the comedy and the emotional scenes. 

The music by S.S. Thaman is very good and Tarak's dancing proved once again that he is the best. There aren't video clips sufficiently long enough to post the songs, so that will have to wait for the review with screencaps I'll probably do whenever the dvd with subs comes out.   I loved Yuvakula, the first song picturisation right after the Hero Intro scenes. What a great way to start the movie! I also loved the the picturizations for Eyi Raja and Chinnadho. In all the songs I was really glad they weren't over edited. I hate it when there are too many cuts like in Adhurs. It takes away from the enjoyment of just watching the man move.
All in all Brindaavanam had everything I love about Tollywood movies. It was definetly worth seeing in the theater even without subtitles. But for me I think the hero made it Tarakariffic!

24 comments:

  1. Wasn't it fun! I really enjoyed it too - and our crowd went totally wild when they saw Brahmi's bald spot! I actually prefered Kajal in this, but thought Samantha did a good job too. I'm a huge Ajay fan, and loved seeing him be the 'bad guy' here. Can't wait for the DVD - will be great to get some of those dialogues explained. But so worth seeing this in the cinema - Tarak was awesome!

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  2. It was certainly fun, and like Heather I preferred Kajal's character in this. I just didn't think Samantha was given much to do so as a result she had little impact. I loved the fight scenes - Peter Hein is amazing! But I did find the constant freezing of the action and the slo-mo villain-throwing lost it's impact towards the end as the effect was used on every fight. And Heather is right - the biggest reaction of the night went to Brahmi, equalled only by Tarak!

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  3. Seriously an awesome movie....Tarak has prooved once again that he can do any type of roles...

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  4. Tarakariffic review! I have to wait for the dvd, alas.

    "I did my usual peeking at reviews so I can get an idea of the basic story going in, so I knew that the first 15 minutes would have a fight and a song."

    This cracked me up! Isn't there ALWAYS a fight and a song in the first 15 minutes of a Tollywood movie?

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  5. The plot of this movie sounds similar to the Ram-starers I enjoy so much. Too bad I won't get to see this on the big screen, either (like Khaleja). Thanks for the review, J, to tide me over until the DVD is available... many, many months from now ;-)

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  6. Thanks for visiting everybody! The audience erupted for Brahmi and surprisingly or not also let out a good cheer for Mukesh Rishi who played Tarak's rich father.Margaret and Simran_Singh I am sorry you are missing it. Maybe we can hope the dvd will come out Dabangg fast. In the meantime I will go see it again for both of you! :-)

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  7. Tarak was soooo gorgeous on the big screen. He really pulled off the boyish charm of a pampered, lovable rich kid. Without subs, I didn't understand a word he said, but his face and intonation expressed a lot.
    I'm new to Tollywood films, but that guy Venu is the funniest person to watch. I smiled with every waggle of his eyebrow. He cracked me up. Cannot WAIT for the subtitled dvd. Thanks jjake for taking me! Same time, next week? What's playing?:-)

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  8. Hee-Hee Marcia you are so hooked. I'm glad you came with to enjoy Tarak on the big screen! Movie is at my house this weekend (unless you want to see Brindaavanam with me again on Thursday) If you think Tarak is gorgeous,and I'm definetly not disagreeing with you, then I think I'll throw Mahesh or Prabhas or Bunny at ya next time. I wonder if you'll survive? LOLS

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  9. I want to see this!!

    Great review - I wish my local theater had it instead of boring artsy Hindi films. :(

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  10. I saw it last night, with a fairly subdued crowd (at least 3 kids sleeping in strollers in the aisles.) My two favorite things in the whole movie were the very first chase-fight and Chinnadho. Also, I like to think that if he did end up with both of them, that after a few months, Indhu took Bhoomi on a trip to Singapore, and "accidentally" lost Bhoomi's passpost.

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  11. @Filmi Girl I'm sorry, I feel lucky I even get most releases here, although Dabangg never played here >:(

    @dustdevil Liz Yes I definetly prefered for Krish to get Indhu. I like your idea of a trip to Singapore to get rid of Bhoomi though :-)

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  12. Good review. Can imagine the excitement in the auditorium :). As for your doubt as to why Prakash Raj wanted to marry Kajal to Ajay: He gives his word to Ajay's mother (Prakash's sister) on her death bed that he'll get Kajal married to Ajay. Still not a very convincing reason to ruin his daughter's future but that's how it works in Tolly :P

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  13. Thanks for the info Sudheer! It makes filmi sense now!

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  14. hey j! i finally watched the movie in the theatres last night and I LOVED IT! I must confess I was never a Tarak fan and always found him a bit too plump and 'massy' for my personal taste (pls dont kill me!) :D but i absolutely love his makeover starting from Yamadonga and he seems to be jus getting better! I absolutely adored him in Brindavanam and thought he did an amazing job in every dept. For someone who has watched so many masala Tollywood films, i stll enjoyed every minute of this flick and was falling off my seat laughing at all the comedy scenes :) Here's hoping Tollywood keeps churning out such good stuff!

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  15. PS - Also to add to Sudheer's explanation, Prakash Raj admits at one point that he wanted to keep his daughter as close to him as possible. Since he has lost all the people he loves in his life (his wife, his father to his step brother), he maintains an emotional distance with his daughter, but at the same time thinks that getting her married her to her cousin Ajay will keep her in the same town and close to him and the family.

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  16. I am so glad you liked the movie Swati and thanks for the added insight. I always tell people new to watching Tarak's movies to watch Post Yamadonga first. His pre Yamadonga are primarily violent revenge flicks and if people aren't used to Southie violence its not the best introduction to him. Personally I like the Chubby Tarak just fine, but I have to agree with my friend Marcia (and my 15 year old daughter) that he is looking gorgeous right now. For me it was so much fun to watch him finally in the theater instead of on my 17 in computor screen.

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  17. The importance of Telugu Songs is increasing day by day in the Tollywood Film Industry. The Audio of a film plays an important role in the success of that film.

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  18. Preethi, thanks for visiting. I agree about the songs as well as how they are picturised is a major drawing force for eyeballs and ears in the theater. Brindaavanam soundtrack is on permanant rotation at my house at the moment. I love all the songs!

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  19. Great write up Jill. :)
    I loved this too: "Seemed like all his dialogs started with "Rey!" and were said in an echo chamber." Also, I agree about the need for dance sequences not to be over edited so that we can actually see more than a few step strung together. Tarak is a great dancer,a Tarakariffic dancer, but I did think some of the dance sequences needed to be seen with many fewer cuts to actually show more of his talent, isn't it? Fun seeing the film with you. Who needs subtitles anyway? :)

    All the best!
    Sita-ji

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  20. Thanks for the blog visit and the company at the theater Sita-ji.

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  21. HI JJake, I know this is totally the wrong place for this comment, but I saw your post about Allu Arjun's supposed marriage on Bollywhat and wanted to clarify. The youtube video about Allu Aravind's comments, as well as the article in Deccan Chronicle, both say only that there are "talks" (or negotiations) going on between the two families now about a proposed match and nothing has been finalized. In fact, the girl's father in the DC article sounded quite testy about the publicity, and Allu Aravind's statement said that not only is it premature for all the TV channels to carry on as if an engagement has been fixed, but it was highly inappropriate for them to circulate the girl's photo as well at this early stage, and that it was very disrespectful to her. I wouldn't be surprised if the "talks" break down over this overzealousness on the part of the media, as the girl's family might just conclude that they wouldn't like to live life in this kind of a fishbowl. (From Allu Aravind's statement, it seems as if the photo of the girl, and maybe the news itself, came from one or more friends of the girl.)

    (I'm the erstwhile Wannabe from BWhat)

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  22. Thanks for the info Wannabe and also I am so glad you have visited my blog! Thank You!

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  23. Gauri Radha गौरी राधाNovember 14, 2010 at 9:13 PM

    Nice review Jill, another one I ought to check out one of these days.

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