Naxalites are by now used to the repeated calls for joining the mainstream.
But filmmaker Dasari Narayana Rao has a different message for those who have
taken those calls seriously - take up arms again and go back to the jungle.
His point is that no purpose is served in giving up a good fight. (Interestingly
the much delayed film was launched by none other than Union Home Minister L K
With a predictable storyline - an innocent flower of the forest is wronged
and her rage spreads like wildfire, annihilating the baddies, down to the last
man - Dasari rolls out a violent film with strong doses of social messages, through
the help of stark black-and-white characters such as a cruel landlord, a helpless
tribal girl and an upright forest officer.
Despite similarities with Osey Raamulamma, the film holds its own on
the strength of the narrative and a host of interesting characters, rather than because of any novelty of subject. However, the predicament of an extremist wanting to
shun violence, and the circumstances that pull her back, have perhaps been touched
upon on celluloid for the first time.
Vijayashanti as Shanti - a very homely person who is forced to re-emerge as
her former self, Adavi Chukka, a vengeful fighter against injustice -
is convincing even under the most contrived situations. Having suffered repeatedly
at the hands of an evil landlord, who claims the whole forest to be his, she
decides to stand up against him with the help of an honest forest officer (Suman).
When the villains kill him she takes the matter to the court, and when the police
try to shield the Dora, she takes up arms and starts calling the shots in the
jungle, quite literally.
Prakash Raj as a shawl-wearing, beard-sporting Marxist revolutionary is impressive, and comes as a relief, because Dasari normally reserves such roles for himself. The film boasts of a rich cast - Charan Raj (a caring police officer), Giribabu, Devdas Kanakala and Ranganath (all trecherous cops), and Rami Reddy (a city goon). Prithvi makes a surprise appearance in a song sequence.
When Rami Reddy's father is dead, he seeks to end all Diwali celebration in
his locality. Any similarity with a similar episode in the Rajasekhar-starrer
Okkadu Chaalu could only be purely intentional. You know that these guys,
besides copying from Tamil films, also copy form each other. Although it is
difficult to say who flicked from whom.