Desamuduru's interval message is "Recharge". The film itself looks like an interim effort by Puri Jagannath as he recharges for another full-throttled effort later, after his last film
that became an industry hit. It appears like a realization by a successful director that it's okay not to produce stellar efforts always, that he can afford an assembly-line production or two as he waits for the creative juices to flow again.
Hey, we're not being judgmental. Some directors make movies once every 3-5 years, while some make movies once every 6-9 months. It's individual preferences. Some people consistently strive for the best they are capable of, while some need to be humbled to produce their best, and then again slack off until they're humbled again. It's individual traits. Like we said, we're not being judgmental. We think.
Desamuduru kind of reminds you of Bobby
- a love story in the first half, bloodshed in the second, and unimpressive overall. Bala Govind (Allu Arjun) is a TV reporter who can bash up goons too. The scene introducing Allu Arjun, a lead actor with quite a bit of following, is one of the more insipid ones you've seen. It's abrupt, there's no context, and there's no animosity built in you for the people he seems to be beating up randomly, which makes that whole fight fizzle out.
Anyway, the man whose goons he's taken on (Pradeep Rawat) is a big-time don of Dhoolpet, and Govind's family and friends advice him to scoot to Kulu Manali to do another story there. There he runs into Vaishali (Hansika Motwani), a sanyasini living in a cave or something.
It's lust-at-first-sight, and he drools after her even after she tells him that the human body is just mud, and that the atma and the paramatma are different. He has his own logic, which is basically that he himself is God, and so she should surrender herself to him.
It's always hard to argue with someone who believes he's God, and when Govind beats up some goons who harass her, she finds it even tougher. Plus, he likes taking his shirt off, which is a big plus when done to a woman who resides in a nunnery for a living. Add to that some 21,304 times that he proposes to her in various caves, and she finally, er, caves in.
Just as the nunnery, headed by Ramaprabha (Ramaprabha), hands over Vaishali to Govind, she is kidnapped, and by the same guys he's beaten up. The second half, then, is all blood and gore, as Govind rescues her from there. You want to see some romance and cootchie-cooing between the couple who've taken so much time to get together, and there's simply none of that. Once Govind's won Vaishali over, it's all hacking and breaking bones.
Desamuduru does not have the kind of electrifying or funda-powered dialogues that you'd expect from a guy who delivered Pokiri. That kind of work takes time. It does not have the continuity of theme or soul that you would expect from a guy who delivered Pokiri. That kind of thought and conceptualization takes time.
Basically, whatever Desamuduru does not have, takes time and passion and mental battles against creative blocks to produce. What it does have, takes a wilful, if unconscious, dilution of standards to produce. It does not look like the failure that a Mani Ratnam faces - a stellar effort that simply doesn't appeal to all audiences. It looks like the kind of failure that, say, a Devi Sriprasad faces - you're capable of better, but you simply aren't giving your best, and enough time, to each product.
Allu Arjun sparkles with energy - and like we pointed out earlier
, he packs a wallop in his fights, and like we also pointed out earlier
, he can shake and he can swing and he can jiggle. However this film fares at the BO, he ensures himself good initials for whatever will follow.
Hansika reminds you of Aarti Agarwal in her initial days. In almost all ways - similar skin tone, similar looks, and perhaps similar acting skills. Hopefully she has more up her sleeve.
All other performances are routine, but Ramaprabha does well as an all-knowing Sanyasini. And a parallel comic thread with Ali starts encouragingly, but is out of ideas soon. Venu Madhav's brief dialogue about all the fraud that TV channels show as part of audience comments on a film as they leave the theaters, is a hoot. The music has a couple of tracks that can work if the film itself does well, which seems unlikely.
Desamuduru is worth a watch for the great locations and the light-heartedness of the first half. The second half has sporadic bits of brains used with plenty of brawn, but it is primarily there since the film cannot end without a second half.