It’s hard to feel gung-ho about something from the stable of Usha Kiron Movies. The label has unfortunate pointers within your head: low-budget casting, social themes, zero slickness, continuous deafening advertising on their captive media until you shudder in aversion (even if the film is now showing in just one theater in Hanumakonda), and films generally targeted at your parents, not you
Yes, films from Usha Kiron usually belong in the same sentences as ETV and Eenadu – not for the cosmopolitan urban populace, and mostly out of sync with the youth of the metros. You can’t see a Bommarillu
or a Pokiri
coming from there.
Veedhi seems to be an effort to break out. It bears some sepia-and-tint gloss here and there, bringing in a degree of slickness in editing and presentation rarely seen in works of the group. Even the posters and the movie’s logo look contemporary. Indeed, at first sight it looks more like a film that might have been made by Just Yellow rather than by Ramoji Rao.
Unfortunately, most of it seems to end there. What the film can make up for in the editing room, is much lesser than it’s lost on the drawing board itself.
Veedhi has some of the more illogical scripting seen in Telugu films, which makes it past the proofreaders (if there were any) in the guise of comedy. So there are 4 youngsters living in an apartment complex, who extort money out of the vendors in that complex in such a ridiculously impossible way, the director must assume you possess enough credulity to suffice a hemisphere. And this one is apparently based on a real story!
This is just one of the problems plaguing Veedhi – it cannot decide whether it wants to be a nonsensical comedy where you leave your brains out, or a serious crime thriller, which it primarily aspires to be. If you aim to be the latter, there must be at least a smidgen of plausibility to your key characters’ special skills. Just nobody on earth can pull off, month-upon-month, what the key foursome of Veedhi seem to have made their regular source of income.
Another example of the implausibility of the plot is the hero being madly in love, right from childhood, with a girl who lives in the same complex, but who’s actually married now with a kid too – and he doesn’t even know that, though she’s been living in that complex all through. It’s intended to be comic when he finds out. You should take your kids along – at least some representatives from your family will laugh. If you don’t have any kids, don’t bother – it is not worth that
Into this complex comes Mahi (Gopika), in the guise of a naïve Amalapuram girl. Surya (Sarvanand), the smartest of the four, and the hero, starts taking her out on his bicycle right from when she lands, even if they can’t stand each other. Soon you learn that Mahi is actually some kind of a sting journalist (though she is made to look like she has the powers of a secret service agent), out to uncover the identity of Sivanna, a ruthless smuggler who operates from Sivanna Veedhi. Sivanna kills anyone who tries to unearth his identity, including several cops, and is dreaded.
Mahi quickly makes Surya realize that she is not a country bumpkin, though it’s hard to understand why she trusts him with that, or why all the alter identity in the first place. Nothing much happens for a long time, and late into the second half, Mahi asks the four to join her in unearthing the criminal.
The film has lesser logic than a bowl of goldfish – what lend it some platform of watchability are the performances. All lead actors are newcomers, but perform pretty well. Sarvanand should see better roles coming his way. Some of the comedy is good too.
If we had to try hard to say some more good things about Veedhi, then well, at least there won’t be a sequel.