Dhairyam starts with a UG college setting, where the lecturer asks this question of his degree students: If the Kakatiya Express is going at 120kmph, in how much time will it reach Chennai, which is 600km away?
Obviously, if degree students need to be asked this question, they must need help, too - at least a few alternatives to choose the correct answer. So here are some options, as a humble contribution from fullhyd.com:
- Is it going by bus, train or flight?
- Does it have the habit of stopping to ask for directions, or is it over-confident?
- How important is this question, in the larger scheme of things?
- Okay, wait, I know this - I got it right just yesterday
- 5 hours
- This is a Teja movie - it can be anything
The correct answer, of course, is e. (To all those who answered f: we feel a joke is a joke, and a lawsuit is a lawsuit.)
In many ways, Dhairyam is a typical Teja movie - illogical and depthless, with script concepts that you thought went out of fashion before the Buddha was born, but with the mass element. You at least gotta give it to him for knowing what people, especially the front-benchers and the students, want, and caring two hoots for class, creativity or originality. This, for instance, is a poor-boy-rich-girl-parental-opposition story. Now which movie in Telugu do you know that was last made using this?
Nitin is the son of Tanikella Bharani, a municipal cleaner, who, as you are remorselessly reminded, is an excellent prop for spouting several dialogues about how dignified the 'labour' class is. This was first done in a Telugu film around 675AD, and even the most cliché¤ Telugu films have abandoned this now. Anyway, Srinivas is a student in a college that has no one serious about studies or respectful towards the faculty, and where girls come in mini-skirts and bare-midriffs. The film was clearly not made for the discerning.
In here walks Raima Sen (in a micro-mini, just in case), the woolly-headed daughter of extremely rich and arrogant parents, and Nitin is immediately in deep love. An advantage of teen romances is that there doesn't need to be any careful buildup to a romance - the characters are so naï¶¥ that the script can make them do anything and pass it off as a teen thing.
The first half is boring - Raima's character has absolutely no depth, the romance is completely without fizzle, soul or tenderness, and the college humor is quite banal several times. This is when things start to change: they get worse or gripping, depending on which side of the evolution divide you are on. Raima's parents start using money and muscle power to get rid of Nitin, landing him in jail and forcing Raima into a marriage with someone else.
Needless to say, there are several dialogues telling you how "Dhairyam" can overcome all hurdles, and how then it's all about how Nitin, a 21-year-old with no formal training or experience in any form of combat, gains superhuman strength to single-handedly overpower a dozen machete-wielding hugely-built tough men, dodges magazines of bullets from less than 10 meters, and beats up a posse of cops. It also keeps reminding you of some supremely illogical Jayam
moments - like when Nitin is constantly keeping track of the villian at the marriage-venue in the end without being seen, and "how" is too frivolous a detail to be explained later.
In a way, Teja's films are like how we used to like our movies when we were kids - just make the hero triumph, we will not ask questions. His is a new genre of filmmaking - take the oldest and most unoriginal of stories, and do it all over again. From the success he got with Jayam, it obviously works.
But then, the guy who makes money is ultimately the guru. He's probably teaching lessons.