It’s a pity when a movie that appears like it holds so much promise and potential finally fizzles out into just another statistic. Fortunately for Aata, it doesn’t hold any promise or potential whatsoever, and so you don’t have to feel any pity for it. It’s just another showcase for Tollywood’s find of the decade – Ileana’s… well, let’s say acting talent. And it does it so unabashedly, you are glad that there are at least some movies that fearlessly stand for what they believe in.
Srikrishna (Siddharth) grows up like most movie heroes – without any decent education, and quite proud of that. Being the son of a cinema projector operator (Sarath Babu), he watches just about every Telugu movie ever released, and that has the natural effect on him – he comes up with ridiculous ideas all the time to get out of trouble, that work only in Telugu movies.
Satyavati (Ileana) is running away from Vicky (Munna), the son of the home minister (Jayaprakash Reddy) – Vicky’s after her blood since she’s raised a storm over his raping and murdering her friend after a party, landing him in court. She runs into Srikrishna somewhere in interior Andhra.
It’s love at first sight for Srikrishna, and he starts helping her in escaping from the goons (and cops) chasing her. Protecting a woman from goons has positive side-effects and negative side-effects. Negative side-effects mostly involve you getting killed. Positive side-effects involve insurance money. Okay, maybe we are being overly pessimistic. Only, optimism involves thinking that a handful of marbles can stop an army of a hundred goons dead in their tracks. No, don’t even ask.
Indeed, the main problem with Aata is the ridiculous script. Yes, movies are make-believe, but that doesn’t mean we went to watch the Tom & Jerry show. The whole second half has a plot that careens on the thin line between movie script and creative bankruptcy. For a movie that showcases its hero as an ideas man rather than as a superhero, there’s not a single wow idea – almost everything is unrealistic, concidence or unexplained. If there were a mathematical formula that correlated the cumulative improbability of the events in a movie to how much audiences will like it, well, you really wouldn’t need it in this case.
The first half has nothing in it, and the second needs you to be credulous rather than judgemental. And both of them need you to be male. Yes, there’s Ileana, pretty in-your-face with her famous …er, acting talent. And it is not just the songs, either – the references are all over the place. It’s good that Siddharth has a talent for acting – he manages to pass off the goofy grins as only what the script demands.
There isn’t enough comedy to make you forget your sins for a while either. Brahmanandam looks like he overdoes it in the first half in a mostly cameo role, but that’s because the lines are sad. Sunil’s comedy is loud and unimaginative – again, due to poor writing. The music by Devisri Prasad has 1-2 good numbers, but they are likely to go the same way as the movie itself.
All performances are decent, though nothing stands out. The film has some life in the second half, but unless you really need to watch everything that has some life in the second half, you can skip this one.