If you are an average person (and face it, you are!), you’ve probably seen every cliché that Telugu films have to offer by the time you are 12 years old or 6 years old, whichever comes earlier. To simplify the process even further, Style is an attempt to put them all in one movie for quick reference – the only thing missing is an index at the end.
Yes, Style has so many clichés, we had to watch it 4 times to count all of them. The movie is basically a filler between its beginning and end, and looks like it’s been written by a student for a college creative-writing competition – a kid who’s just discovered that there are patterns in films’ stories, and who’s thrilled he’s able to write just like that.
The story starts with Ganesh (Prabhudeva), a totally talented dancer, getting his legs amputated in an accident, and getting jeered by his vicious competing dancer Anthony. Now someone once said something about situations like this, though who or what we cannot recall right now. Ganesh cannot either, and so he decides to commit suicide.
But just in the nick of time his sister Priya (Kamalini Mukherjee) intervenes and tells him that it’s easy to commit suicide but the real challenge is to continue living – something you experience first hand as the film progresses for 2½ more hours. So they decide that he should tentatively continue staying alive so they can search for a disciple who will take Anthony on in the National Dance Competition instead of Ganesh.
This turns out to be Raghava (Raghava Lawrence), a brilliant dancer who has to work as a sweeper at a dance studio located at Vizag. If you are wondering why, well, it has to be located somewhere, right? One day he is fired from the school by the teacher for stopping a student Shruti (Charmme) from going topless in public. This is one scene where the audience are totally moved and involved - they whole-heartedly support the teacher.
Anyway, Raghava then decides to start his own dancing school in the complex where he lives, but soon it is demolished by government authorities as part of road-widening, leading to major heartbreak for him. That is the only important moral of this whole story – that you should not start a dancing school before it gets demolished.
Luck however favors him when he is featured on Dance Baby Dance on TV and is seen by Ganesh, who immediately takes him in as his protegé. In between, there are two totally irrelevant sub-themes, which blend as much into the story as… actually, the way the screenplay has been handled, anything would blend into this story, including the early adolescence and pimple problems of King Kong. One sub-theme is a flashback involving Raghava’s mother, and the other, some ill-fated flirting with him by Shruti who’s actually in love with Raja (Raja).
The high point of Style – indeed, its raison d’etre – are the dances. Lawrence’s choreography and his own dances are simply awesome, with the song where he impresses the residents of his complex, and the last one, being special highlights. But everything else about the movie is terrible.
The comedy is extremely wannabe and copycat, especially in lingo, of mainstream Tollywood fare. The sentimental fare and the dialogues are so clichéd and trite, it looks like they are making a spoof. You are almost reminded of Dharmavarapu Subrahmanyam and his Anando Brahma. This is not a movie – it is a series of brilliant dances that must be in some proper movies.
Lawrence is perhaps even a good actor – with script and screenplay, however, he is clearly out of his depth. Prabhudeva, Raja, Charmme and Jayasudha have no significant roles, though they all do well. Kamalini Mukherjee looks good and gracious. The music is average – there’s no song that stays with you.
There are special appearances by Nagarjuna and Chiranjeevi that add all the more to this one’s tattered script. And the pandering to Chiranjeevi all through the film looks like Lawrence is desperately trying to butter up the big man.
The only reason you’d watch this would have to be the dances - the film itself has no soul. It’s hard to see this one making you last a whole 2½ hours.