A whiff of clear country air raises the curtains to Allari Naresh's latest jaunt. Betting Bangarraju opens with coconut trees, paddy fields, men loafing around in multi-coloured lungis, and Allari Naresh - in short, with the promise of neutralizing some of what that unblinkingly raging summer just scorched. What you get eventually isn't exactly the most chilled out of comedies this side of global warming, but a mild something to keep you in away from the sun for a good 2 Â½ hours.
This one pretty much follows an Allari Naresh formula, to a slightly watery effect. Bangarraju (Allari Naresh), the son of a highly respected father (Giribabu), is an outright loafer in his village, and makes money by swindling people off random bets.
A couple of incidents convince Bangarraju that becoming a city slicker is the only way to land a babe. He sets out to Hyderabad and puts up with a bunch of friends (Krishna Bhagawan, etc.). There, he falls in love with Divya (Nidhi), your quintessential miss goody-two-shoes. Bangarraju's adventures in courting her, and his antics with his roommates make up the first half of the movie.
It turns out that 3 other men have already fallen in love with Divya, and what she now wants is for all of them to live at her home for a week and let her elders (Chalapathi Rao, Kota Srinivasa Rao, L B Sriram) decide whom to pick. How Bangarraju keeps getting himself shortlisted down to the end is what forms the rest of the story.
Well, this flick has its moments, but its problem is that there just aren't enough of them. The comedy is clean, suitably mindless and is executed well, but the funnies are too few and far apart. This is true even in the presence of the raucously hilarious Raghu Babu in the second half.
The disjointed script - first set in the village, then in the city and then in the heroine's home - also seems to have needed some ironing out. Then, there's the issue of too much melodrama towards the end, threatening to take away memories of those few instants of sheer thigh-slapping hilarity.
Allari Naresh carries this film on his shoulders as usual, and keeps shooting up the energy levels of even the most insipid of scenes. The heroine doesn't really need to emote, but it's pretty unnerving to watch her sport the same expression throughout the flick. Like we mentioned, Raghu Babu is a good take-away from the film, and then there are Krishna Bhagawan and Kota Srinivasa Rao to watch out for as well.
Technical values aren't snazzy or gripping, but they're enough to carry the story along. The music has been well-composed, and the romantic number Neeli Megham deserves a special mention.
Over-deliberation on this movie might just be a killjoy. Watch it without expecting a circus, and you'll get your chuckles.