Andala Ramudu raises some bold questions that few Telugu films have had the temerity to venture to address. And the most important one is this: if you had to choose between orange, yellow and green trousers to clad a dark-complexioned man, which should you go for?
The answer is, all three. After that, try even brighter shades. Then top it up with bright silk shirts with flower patterns, and shining bracelets and necklaces. The only thing they forgot was to tape a cyanide capsule to the reverse of your ticket.
The first thing that stands out about Andala Ramudu is the wardrobe of its – er – hero. It’s so horrible, it steals the show. Even as a joke, there’s only so far that you can stand something – it becomes increasingly difficult to look at the screen. For example, you saw Aamir Khan clad in 100% flourescent yellow in the 5-star hotel scene of Rangeela and had a good laugh. Now imagine Aamir Khan clad like that all through Rangeela.
Then, the reason people would go to a film where Sunil is the lead (apart from the fact that there are no other Telugu releases this week) is that they expect a 100% comedy – and this one was promoted as one, too. The error of judgement the makers of this movie make is forgetting that. By the end of the first half, Andala Ramudu turns into a serious emotional film, and stays that way all of the second.
When you do not match up to the expectations of genre that you’ve generated through your cast and your promos, you have the wrong audiences in your theater, even if your film has its pluses – it then needs to be exceptionally good in the genre it actually belongs to, to make up for the expectation-mismatch. Andala Ramudu is unfortunately just an average film in the emotional fare it actually delivers. This combined with the fact that the first half’s comedy is nothing side-splitting either, makes this one a failure in entertaining, especially the more urban crowds of Hyderabad.
Ramudu (Sunil) is a naïve village simpleton who comes back to his village after a 20-year gap since he’s sworn as a child not to return until his philandering and corrupt father is dead. He is still in love with his childhood playmate and cousin Radha (Aarti Agarwal), but she doesn’t care for him anymore, since he is too childish, and since she is already in love with Raghu.
The innocuous Ramudu is led to believe by some scheming kids that Radha is in love with him, and even believes that he is about to get engaged to her, but discovers on the day of engagement that she is actually getting engaged to Raghu. He is completely heart-broken, and hereon, the films turns completely into sentimental fare.
Ramudu’s brother Srinu (Venu Madhav) who loves Ramudu a lot, schemes without his knowledge and gets Raghu embroiled in a murder case, and arrested on the pandal. The distraught Radha’s father (Kota Srinivasa Rao) begs Ramudu to marry her, which he does. But he decides not to touch her until she falls in love with him. Soon, however, he finds out what Srinu did, and has to tell Radha the truth, which results in her suffering a huge breakdown.
The surprise package of the film is Sunil dancing. He’s almost as good as any Telugu hero ever was, with several nifty moves. You can expect to see a lot more of this now. The performances are all fine, including even Aarti Agarwal’s (even though she gets to say anything only for 5 minutes in the end).
The film is set completely in a rural backdrop, and is unlikely to strike any kind of chord with the city crowds. Also, the first hour bores you after the initial novelty of seeing Sunil as hero wears off, since the comedy is mostly physical and loud, and since Sunil is shown as a loser.
Avoid this one unless you have no option but to watch it.