Student No. 1 ends with Kota's leg being trapped in the door of a collapsed
car, and Brahmanandam and Ali debating on whether the best way to get it out
would be sawing the leg off the car or the car off the leg. Most of the crowd
thinks that this is just a joke and politely laughs, but we are the indomitable
reviewers whose only fear is that our profession will fall on our heads, and
make valiant attempts to detect profound messages. So here's the moral of the
- Movies are like cars. When they crash, several innocent people can get hurt
along with the driver. Ouch!
- Movies are like legs. They're nice when they work, but if they're getting dragged
then it's not too much fun.
- Movies are like saws. Even when they rub you the wrong way,
it is you who has to suffer the pain.
There, that's the weekly dose of learning for you. But you have probably wandered
in here also wondering what this film is about, so here goes.
Aditya (NTR Jr) is a student of the RNR Law College, a brilliant figment of
someone's imagination. The college has an awful reputation, and yet attracts
the most curvaceous of women. The lecturers firmly share the students' belief
that classes end after attendance, the library is also a disco (rather, just
a disco), and the bully and his cronies beat up students 'discovered' studying.
Aditya is your run-of-the-mill Tollywood student - brilliant, eloquent, excellent
at dancing and fighting, and complete with an out-of-the-earth flashback. He
desperately wants to study, for some reason consistently undisclosed to us (what
all things you have to justify these days), but the bullies won't let him. They
even beat him up, but somehow he won't respond. Of course it isn't helplessness
- what normal Tollywood student can't beat up a few dozen goons?
Add these to his lack of any tangible recognition of the romantic overtures
of Anjali (Raji), his pretty classmate, and his stalling her advances with profound-sounding
statements, and you realize that the scriptwriter is trying to make you eagerly
look forward to some flashback. Whether you oblige or not depends purely on
how sympathetic you are to people who try hard.
The flashback hits you anyway, with Aditya narrating his traumatic experiments
with his dharma to an entire college after a superman scene. They are all in
tears, and you are in suspended motion. The rest of the film could have been
an experience in and out of personal trauma for you, but a very unusual man
salvages it - Kota. Kota is brilliant in this otherwise less than mediocre drama,
and shows some of the genius of his Satruvu and Gaayam essays.
Student No. 1 could have been a good movie with a better script, better lead actors,
better music, better comedy and better ticket prices. NTR Junior fails to give
any distinctive personality to the character he enacts, and is poor at dialogue
delivery. He simply doesn't have any flair for comedy. And some scenes comparing
him to his grandfather are just cheap tricks to arouse some ill-befitting nostalgia
- grandfather was nothing like this at any stage of his career. Like demonstrated
Junior is surprisingly good at the dance and stunt sequences, though, for a man
his size - he's grossly overweight.
Raji is just about okay, and has nothing to do apart from falling in love with
her man and staying that way. The comedy is poor, especially that involving
Brahmanandam and Ali. Kota is the saving grace of a movie that lacks in nearly
every department of filmmaking, starting right from the script.
The artificialness of the script stands out - no dad would treat his distraught
son the way Aditya's does, no person would do to another what the father of the
girl Aditya saves does to him, and few college bullies would be as immature as
the one Aditya keeps fooling. And things like Aditya being struck by misfortune
just because his sister doesn't cross his path on the fateful day just make you
want to say, Mr. Rao, please make films for audiences of this era! Yes, this is
a film from K Raghavendra Rao.