Monday, January 24, 2011

Anaganaga O Dheerudu (2011) dir. Prakash Kovelamudi

I am not a huge Disney fan, but when Disney issued a subtitled trailer for Siddharth's new movie Anaganaga O Dheerudu I couldn't ressist. Check this out!

I was so hopefull that I would see subtitles at last on a Telugu film. I even waited for  the 21st when the international subtitled release was supposed to happen. But no such luck, Minneapolis didn't get the subbed version. (Did anyone?) The movie is a visual treat so I found it well worth the price of the ticket.
     In most ways it was a very typical Disney type film. There was a superbly wicked evil queen named Irendri played by Lakshmi Manchu. She had the best evil sounding dialog delivery and they saved the best effects for her awesome moving snake hair. I was so enthralled by her hair. I kept wishing I had hair like that. (Not scary snake hair but really cool soft and silky independently moving hair) It would be such a cool effect when I'm trying to get my students attention, to have my hair suddenly move on it's own.

The movie had a Hero named Yodha, played by Siddharth, tasked so save the people from the evil queen's spells. It was great to see Siddharth in an action role. He had a lot of cool sword fights and I loved the long hair, although sometimes it looked too much like a wig.

Yodha is a blind warrior sent to escort a little girlwith special healing powers, named Moksha, played by Harshita, to a village that had all the children stricken by Irendri's poison. During a flashback we find out how Yodha loses his sight. This is where he meets Priya, played by Shruti Hassan. She is a gypsy who he falls for and in the process beats up and humiliates a bad guy who had come to disrupt the gypsie fair. The bad guy returns to burn the fair and catches Yodha and blinds him. The last thing he sees is Priya surrounded by fire. I'm guessing he assumes she is dead at this point.
    Meanwhile we find out Irendri needs the blood of a prisoner she is keeping in order to stay powerfull. It's not hard to guess the Priya is the prisoner. In a series of shorter flashbacks we discover the connection between Priya and Irendri and the role Yodha and Priya played in Irendri's rise to power.
    There are several fights scenes as Yodha escorts Harshita to the stricken village. Some of them were awesome. I really liked the Crowmen and the effect of the crows attacking. Other times I was abit let down. Once  the suspense built up as Yodha and Moksha's pursuers were closing in. They were amongst the ruins of an ancient town and you could imagine the fight that was going to take place as they drew nearer. But then no fight, the bad guys just ran past, didn't even see them even though they weren't hidden very well and it was broad daylight. I really wanted there tobe a fight in that scene. The end fight was fabulous with Yodha  flying through the air (I bet Siddharth had fun doing all that wire work for a change) and eventually Irendri's true self is revealed and she turns into a really scary snake monster. (Disney is expert at scaring the bejeezus out of really little kids.)
    The movie ends with a typical happy ending. The children are cured, the village is rid of Irendri, Priya is saved and the Hero gets his sight back. Like I say it is pretty standard fair for a Disney film. Except for the standard Telugu comedy track. I mean you just won't see someone like Ali in drag, with a Carmen Miranda fruit hat and  pinwheels over his nipples that spin like crazy everytime he sees the Hero in your typical Disney film.

I have to admit I laughed like crazy everytime those pinwheels started spinning! But then I have a pretty low sense of humour. Brahmi was in the film too in a short scene in a bar where Yodha cons him out of his drinks.
    The music and song picturizations was just OK. Nothing spectacular. My favorites were the Ninnu Chuudani

and Pralaya Kaalabheela Damshtra picturised on Lakshmi Manchu.

    I  have to say I liked everything that focused on Lakshmi Manchu the most. She definetly had the best part in the film. I am really looking forward to seeing her in more films. 

    Anaganaga O Dheerudu is the debut film for both Lakshmi Manchu and Shruti Hassan. Both of them are the children of huge stars. Lakshmi is Dr. Mohan Babu's daughter and Shruti is the Tamil legend Kamal Hassan's daughter. Shruti didn't have as much to do as Lakshmi did. She mostly was in the romantic song picturizations with Siddharth. Siddharth was great. He's definetly one of my favorites and I had fun watching him in such a swashbuckling role.


  1. I'm so jealous that you got to see this - my theater just had Dhobi Ghat and the Deol Khandan film. It's good to hear that Siddharth managed the sword fighting okay. :) And I saw rumors that Lakshmi was in the running for Krrish 3 but who knows...

  2. Here is an analysis of why the story of the movie didn't work!

  3. @Filmigirl woah Lakshmi in Krrsh 3 could be good. I kind of see her as a villainess now, she was sooo good at it.
    @Danny Archer Thanks for visiting. I read the post you linked. You (or Vinay?) make some good points especially Yodha never having direct conflict with Irendri untill the end fight. I hesitate to write reviews delving too much into whether the story works or not because I am a non Telugu speaker watching an unsubbed film. It woulldn't be fair really. When I get the chance to watch with subs I will see if I agree with your critique of the story.

  4. Not sure many knew - There is a Malayalam classic "Yodha" starring Mohan lal and Madhubala with music from AR Rahman. I won't say remake, but the plot and some other aspects in this movie are taken from Yodha.

  5. @prabhakar Thanks for the info! I will definetly try to check "Yodha" out.

  6. I m in India and still waiting for Subtitle release of this film !!!!


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