"I can't see anythin' ter be glad about - gettin' a pair of crutches when you
wanted a doll!" said the famous character in Eleanor Porter's Pollyanna. Ram Babu
would more than empathize. He's in fact one step ahead in the misfortune sequence
- he can have his doll and get into crutches, too. The doll is quite capable of
doing him enough damage for that. For, ain't no ordinary doll this, no sirree!
Can't say the same of the movie, though. While local audiences might find this an unusual theme, dolls as such are as old as little girls in movie-making history. The pioneer of the dolls experiment was a Hollywood film called Child's Play, which became a massive grosser. And as is the case, our ever-prying makers have been 'inspired' by that theme, and have come up with a mishy-mashy product. Yet, it isn't something that'll bore the child in you.
'Ammo! Bomma!' starts off with an underworld don Gangaram (Satya Prakash), whose life is on a limb with the police closing on him from all sides. Surmising that his end is near, he successfully undertakes the Mrityunjay Sankalp from one Malabar Baba and becomes supposedly immortal. But it comes with a rider: he can use it only on when he is battling for his life. And in the last moments of death, if he places his hand on a person or a thing, his soul will transmigrate into that entity and he will survive.
Gangaram chants the mantra before he can fall prey to the bullets of the CID officer Mahesh (Suman) in a post office, and enters the only thing that is available nearby: a doll. Ram Babu (Rajendra Prasad), a ventriloquist who receives the doll as a present from his cousin Sowmya (Jayalakshmi) in the US, is baffled by the doll's mysterious behavior. Everyone thinks that Ram Babu is himself miming to make merry as is his wont, and that only makes things difficult for Ram Babu. The only one apart from him who knows the truth is a... er, doll.
The objective of Gangaram in the guise of the doll is to wrest control of the underworld and put an end to the CID officer, and Rambabu gets entangled in its dirty doings and lands in jail. The rest of the film deals with how he puts to an end to the doll's machinations, with the help of Mahesh.
The film's delayed release to coincide with the summer vacations is obviously a strategic ploy. What looks like a bizarre drama is quite refreshing when seen from a child's perspective. Rajendra Prasad is at his usual comical best. Suman and Jayalakshmi have some immensely forgettable songs to their credit. But it is the doll that steals the show. A nearly ideal film to take your children to this vacation.