Bheemili is the kind of film that you can't diss for lack of enthusiasm. It has a theme, the cast is tuned into the fact, and it faithfully follows its train of thought till the end. Sadly, creative bankruptcy is what does it in.
The problem starts off with how formulaic a sports story this is, and how it just isn't ambitious enough. Bheemili is about your every day flop sports team that never wins, and that has all the qualities of a loser. Its ride to success, overcoming its weaknesses and other obstacles, is what forms the thread of the story.
The Bheemili kabaddi team has never won a game in its entire existence, and constantly invites brickbats from the local populace. Helplessly staring from the sidelines at this team of sour, bickering players, is the underdog Suri (Nani). Suri is a servant at a rich zamindar's home, and is never really taken seriously by the kabaddi team, relegated to being an attendant.
Suri, meanwhile, has a romance of his own going on. He falls in love with a girl (Saranya Mohan) at his local village fair, and they coyly and silently court each other for a while, before she returns to Rajahmundry.
Among the film's positives is its out-and-out rural flavour. Though not entirely authentic in terms of dialect and tone, the way the film is unapologetic about its visual theme being completely rustic is what makes it refreshing. Then, there's the love track, which has been built up using just the actors' expressions - bringing back a rather '80s / K Viswanath feel to the whole romance.
However, the cardboard-ish nature of the story isn't helped by the fact that it is tediously told. Interruptions like lengthy and ineffective comic conversations among the hero's friends, and the contrived villain track, make it a rather uninteresting watch.
For the genre this is in, there's no rush of adrenaline either. The kabaddi team simply keeps losing all the time, and when it enters a state championship simply by fluke, it runs into a coach who spots its talent and reels off SRK's lines from Chak De
to spur it on. There's no insight there, no rousing dialogues, and simply no action that makes it feel like it's your
story - something that sports movies usually are good at.
And why the makers should have chosen a gifted actor like Nani and not have him act at all is a looming question. He's easily the most spontaneous and intense of the entire cast, and yet, his skill set is used mostly just in the silent courtship track. As for Saranya Mohan, she has about 6 dialogues in all, and is just needed to grin through the entire flick. The rest of the cast is pretty good, but no one is given any memorable lines or comedy.
The soft romantic number is pretty lilting - it is carried throughout the movie's running time - and adds to the watchability of the love story. The action scenes, however, could have done with some powerful music.
In all, watch it if you absolutely must, but don't count on being able to sit through all of it.