Farcical comedy, as a genre, is an artefact once perfected by Telugu cinema. Jandhyala's movies certainly had farcical characters even if the plot showed a semblance of sense. From there, things got even more exaggerated (which is welcome in a farce), and we started watching films with hyperbolic plots involving a man pretending to be a woman for the sake of accommodation (Chitram Bhalare Vichitram), a man whose lifestyle and passion were small loans (Appula Apparao), and a pair of twins who not only looked alike but also compulsively moved alike when in proximity (Hello Brother).
These movies were all hits. To this day, you can't help feeling tickled about these scenes (Brahmanandam is an absolute riot in each of the above-mentioned movies). Yet, the Telugu farce from that zenith somehow moved to a region of underwritten scripts, spiritless parodies and half-baked jokes (some hits and mostly misses). The farce, it now appears, is the filmmaking rather than the film itself.
Eedo Rakam Aado Rakam (ERAR) is a farce which doesn't even compare to the earlier films, but is still satisfying given the context of contemporary Telugu comedies. The film is much of the same when it comes to execution. G Nageswara Reddy gives it a very straightforward treatment and almost makes you feel you're back in the nineties. The performances are exactly what you'd expect. Vishnu and Raj Tarun are pretty good, Badhoria and Patel try, Abhimanyu Singh has no work up north, Ravi Babu and Satya Krishnan are dependably funny, Posani is wonderful, and Rajendra Prasad is exquisite.
The music and the production values are again exactly what you'd expect. Like in any other Manchu film, there's a certain quality which isn't bad but not memorable. Despite all these departments being exactly what you'd expect, Eedo Rakam Aado Rakam manages to be much better than what you'd expect. And that has entirely to do with the plot and the screenplay.
Arjun (Vishnu) and Ashwin (Raj Tarun), like other self-respecting Telugu heroes, are jobless and proud of it. Arjun's lady love Neelaveni (Sonarika Bhadoria) and her brother have this strange requirement that her husband has got to be an orphan. In a twisted turn of events, Arjun gets married to her under the pretense of being an orphan although he has a father (Rajendra Prasad), brother (Ravi Babu) and sister-in-law (Satya Krishnan).
A day after the wedding, the couple chooses to move to a rented house, and unbeknownst to Arjun, Neelaveni pays the advance to stay in the top floor of a magnificent villa owned by an advocate who stays in the ground floor with his family. The soup thickens when the said advocate happens to be Arjun's father dearest, and the villa is his own home. Now Arjun endeavours to keep the oblivious family and the oblivious wife as oblivious as possible all while staying in the same house. For this he enlists the services of his dear friend Ashwin.
It isn't even a devilishly intelligent plot. It's just better than what you're used to. The simple fact that someone put in an ounce of creative thought into this makes it so much superior to the tired rehashed unfunny material you come across regularly. The lines are often funny and will make you chuckle - however, it is the complications meted out to the characters that are riproaringly hilarious. As each sub-plot pans out you might find yourself laughing out loud or watching yourself to avoid laughing out loud (the jokes aren't entirely clean).
Making use of this juice in the plot are the actors. Rajendra Prasad is back in the genre that raised him, and it is so satisfying to watch him give an effortless and jolly performance. Like we said, the execution is tepid, and so you notice a number of loopholes in the proceedings, but you don't really care when you have good actors taking care of these matters - they can suck you into an empty stage and make you invest. As Prasad and Posani are superbly aided by the leads and a host of other comic actors, you'll find that Eedo Rakam Aado Rakam is pretty close to what you hoped it would be.