Some days the ESP decides it's time to catch up with the other senses, and you get these intuitions. But deluded humans that we are, we prefer to act sensible. Hearing the audience walking out after the morning show mutter "Aaltu Faaltu" should've warned me off. It didn't, and this review is a testimony to the agonizing experience that followed.
After the freak success of Hanuman
, comedy is the in thing. Debutante director Devi Prasad makes sure
he puts in all the elements required, even replacing the notoriously uproarious
cow with a rickety bus. But carried away by the enthu, he loses track of what
he was trying to do in the first place, and the result makes the viewer introspect
for traces of masochism.
So let's look at what else goes into the movie apart from the bus. Gone are the Herby days, and now buses need drivers (this one also needs a miracle). Gopi (Srikanth) and Papi (Sunil) fill in the vacancies. Then enters a Lambada girl, Vasantha (Gayatri). If the accent she sports is authentic Lambada, then my matrimonial options just went down by one. And if it is not, then she's gonna get sued.
Cupid throws a wrench in, and Gopi and Vasantha fall in love. A few reels, pointless songs and pathetic attempts at locating the elusive rib follow, after which Vasantha is revealed to be Gayatri, the daughter of an impotent bank manager. Doubts can be addressed to the director.
A few more songs (still pointless) and a few attempts at comedy later, the girl is revealed to be Gayatri again, this time the daughter of the Tamil Nadu CM (male CM... any resemblance is coincidental, cause a satire is beyond the director's capabilities).
Then background depiction happens, showing the father CM wanting the daughter to become CM after marrying the opposition minister's son...
((This space is for recuperation in case this novel concept leaves you gasping
The daughter, uninterested earlier, agrees to the matri-political arrangement if her present beau Gopi is given Rs. 5 followed by five zeroes to start a mobile canteen. Deal accepted, the girl is carried off for marriage, and the losers in the bus get five lakhs. Would've been a great ending! But alas! It ain't over yet!
The losers decide they want the girl and not the money (crazy, considering the
girl suffers from a serious id crisis), and the scene shifts to Chennai. The money
is returned, followed by a climax strongly reminiscent of DDLJ
- only, replace train with bus, and make heroine run after bus to let hero help
her aboard. Why doesn't the bus stop? Elementary, my dear Watson! Sunil at the
wheel is trying to get away while the going is still good. But unfortunately for
him, the movie ends tragically with the girl making it and his friend succumbing
to matrimonial doom.
Sunil is the only guy in here who is anywhere close to funny. His deadpan expression
is a scream, especially when it's directed at the lovelorn antics of his friend.
The others are just baggage, and Srikanth and Gayatri try to make up by shaking
a leg every now and then. But with some ordinary tunes to shake to, that doesn't
help either. Brahmanandam as a Madrasi cop, D Subramaniam as a Gulti cop and Tanikella
Bharani as the impotent supposed-to-be dad are loud enough to drown out the funny
lines (assuming there were some). Haphazard shots, ordinary cinematography and
a bus that is nowhere close to its bovine competitor... I guess Aaltu Faaltu says