This one has been in the news for being one of the most radical films ever, shot as it has been with a zero-budget and a bare minimum of resources, over a super-brief 5-day period.
Being a Ram Gopal Varma experiment lends this film an eccentricity you've come to expect from his work. We're not saying that's a bad thing, but whether you like Dongala Mutha or not depends largely on whether you care enough for unconventionality for its own sake - most audiences are unlikely to be excited by a mere dare to be "different", if the end product isn't overwhelming enough.
Plus, it depends on whether you're in general an RGV fan.
The film is a suspense thriller set in a shady run-down resort in the middle of nowhere, where a husband and wife (Ravi Teja and Charmme) check in after their car breaks down on the highway. Compounding the couple's existing set of problems - that include an all-too-obvious strained relationship - is the presence of 3 thoroughly weird and dangerous-looking thugs (Subbaraju, Supreet and a hilarious Brahmaji) "managing" the resort where the caretaker should have been.
There are, to the movie's credit, some neat thrills, and superb performances across the board. Ravi Teja, of course, is as charged-up as he always is. Primarily, his characteristic on-screen impatience and high-decibel sarcasm in the face of the utter dumbness of the 3 creeps running the resort makes for a rather humorous watch.
The thrills and blasts of excitement, unfortunately, turn out to be red herrings planted on a scanty script. Indeed, the name Amar Mohile might not ring a bell right now, but this film should ideally have 'em clanging endlessly from here on. The man deserves much credit if you do find Dongala Mutha engaging, because it is essentially a film that is lent much of its character through its soundtrack. The music creates more tension than there actually is, and this fact becomes quite apparent as the plot gently reveals its wafer-thin self.
A foolish chase dominates the second half of the flick, which is where Prakash Raj and Brahmanandam are brought in and criminally wasted. That goes double for Sunil, who is not made to do a thing other than wear a hearing aid and nod stupidly. However, Subbaraju and Brahmaji spark off quite a few unexpected sniggers with some of the lines they're given.
Lakshmi Manchu puts in a few fights, in which she kicks more butt per airtime than the average Tollywood hero, but doesn't make much of an impact otherwise.
Also, while Charmme's self-delivery of dialogue and her increasing readiness to wear no make-up are commendable, we don't know why the cameramen chose the most unflattering of places of her jeans-clad self to focus on - with the Bal Hanuman keychain hanging at her waist being a poor excuse to do so. She acts well, but her diction is, obviously, imperfect - making her character less shrill might have helped.
The jerky hand-held cameras make this look and feel like a home video, a completely no-fuss approach rarely seen in Telugu films these days.
It isn't too long a flick, so grabbing this one might not hurt too much, unless you're very particular about your choices this week.