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Arjun Reddy Review

Arjun Reddy
Josh / fullhyd.com
Can watch again
Good for kids
Good for dates
Wait for OTT
There's the reality we live in, that we are very aware of, where people fight, swear, ****, and get high.

But in our films, when people fight, all but one fly and fall. When they swear, they use lame euphemisms which wouldn't even offend your grandma. When they ****... uh, no, people don't **** in Telugu films - they just stare at the item girl's cleavage. And when they get high, it's on alcohol. Because ganja is the preserve of baddies - you know, the sort that record the police commissioner's daughter having sex.

The thing with Arjun Reddy is it/he hasn't got time for this bullshit. Reddy fights Amit by pinning him down and landing calculated punches on the face. The blood is little but you'll end up worrying for Amit. Reddy swears, and if you can't hear him say "Em maatladuthunnav ra, **********" (as the censor board would have it), you'll hear the crowd in your hall cry out loud filling in the blanks for him. Reddy, ****s, of course. He ****s and he also ****s around till he gets too ****ed up. If he can't find a ***** to ****, he'll just dunk ice in his pants. And he's high. High as a ****ing bird.

When you piece these things together you figure out the wafer-thin ordinary plot of a hot-headed college youth (a thrillingly casual Vijay Sai Devarakonda) falling hard for a junior (a cute but wholly replaceable Shalini Pandey), and later, when separated, losing himself to drugs, booze and sex till it's time to wind up the film one way or the other.

However, we also gather that this isn't the film of a guy whose career plan is to churn out a template hit, chum up with a couple of stars, settle as some big household's "aasthana darsakudu", and fondly stare at his excel sheet of retirement benefits. Sandeep Reddy Vanga makes a tremendously personal and, hallelujah, a ballsy authentic film.

The chap's clearly studied in a medical college in Karnataka. He's lived this life or at least witnessed it from really close quarters. He digs deep into this experience to write scenes that feel like they organically came into being. And it isn't even just about the writing. It's not like you hand this script over to some other director and he'll come up with anything close to this film. Reddy's direction, his choice of shots (superbly composed with Raju Thota) and his use of score (both the original score by Radhan and existing pieces in Kannada - or Tulu, maybe - Telugu, Hindi and English) all come from a personal depth that hired talent can't justifiably replicate.

You get to douse in the lushness of the West Coast and the Arabian Sea because Sandeep Reddy had, too. You get to revel in the joy that is Rahul Ramakrishna's performance (as Arjun Reddy's best friend Shiva) because Sandeep Reddy understands his Telangana youth. You get to believe in your protagonist's surgical skills because Sandeep Reddy knows his medicine and, importantly, the people that doctors are. It's a world he creates, his world, that you can't help but accept (and likely enjoy). Which is why the term "Intellectual Property" is not enough to cover the creative work on hand. Sandeep Reddy owns his script and his film so intimately that it becomes his emotional property.


There's the reality we live in, that we are very aware of, where people love, struggle, and come to terms with life.

But in Arjun Reddy, when he loves, the girl hands herself to him on a platter. When he struggles, it's because he refuses to move on. When he comes to terms with life, it's because the solution to his problems is handed out to him, once again, on a platter. The convenience and contrivance of it is a tad unbelievable.

The thing with Arjun Reddy is his/its problems and solutions are unrelatable bulls**t. He loves in this brashly bratty manner which can quickly lead to harrassment charges if tried in real life (yes, even if you have the most confoundingly amazing attitude like Arjun Reddy's). His struggling is basically just wallowing in self-pity and intoxicating himself to glory. The guy, very much like Dev D, has a loving family - oh, f**k that, he has a wealthy Reddy dad. To come to terms with life, he takes off to Europe for a holiday. Bro, people here in the ordinary world get their ***es ****ed to eke out a living for a month. People don't have the luxury to kill their careers for some girl who dumped them. And those that come to terms with it grit it out. They don't simply get lucky.

But yeah, who gives a **** when you have a film - a Telugu film(!)- which you can watch over and over and still find so much to appreciate? By the time you get done with the soccer scene you've already got thrice your ticket's worth. Who cares about a little - umm, okay, copious amounts of - masturbation?
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Arjun Reddy (telugu) reviews
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  • Cast
    Vijay Deverakonda, Shalini Pandey, Kanchana, Sanjay Swaroop, Kamal Kamaraju, Gopinath Bhat, Jia Sharma, Amit Sharma, Priyadarshi, Bhuvan, Aditi Myakal, Rahul Ramakrishna, Padmaja Lanka
  • Music
  • Director
    Sandeep Reddy Vanga
  • Theatres
    Not screening currently in any theatres in Hyderabad.
Josh on 8th Sep 2017, 11:06pm | Permalink
So she gets married to a different guy. Greets people in the house with something that can qualify as a smile. She is distressed about her boyfriend abandoning her with no understanding or respect for her family. She is in agony of fending off the advances of a guy she doesn't love. She tells him that she will have nothing physical for him. And she takes off to later realise that her periods haven't come. Then she figures out she's pregnant. Then she has to provide for herself by going to a clinic. And then a random amma takes pity on/ care of her. About eight months 'stomach', a run away in her own city, with an unreliable support system, and coming to know that the father of her child is canoodling with a heroine in public and bastard even got his medical degree cancelled.

But then, one day he comes and tells her to come along. They squabble a bit and then they are back to ****ing each other (probably on a mattress on the floor). True love.
1 - 13 OF 13 COMMENTS
Can watch again - NA
Good for kids - NA
Good for dates - NA
Wait for OTT - NA
abc on 4th Nov 2017, 8:31pm | Permalink
Just caught this on Amazon. 7.5 - really? Why was TFI in awe with this. Would have been a good movie if the hero character ended up in jail for sexual assault instead of getting glorified.
Subra on 17th Sep 2017, 8:41pm | Permalink
20 minutes of sub plot in the second half is copied from the movie Flight .
Siva on 20th Sep 2017, 8:07pm | Permalink
That's exactly the scene in flight. While devarakonda was good in the movie, that scene was In flight was a master class in acting by Denzel Washington
Josh on 8th Sep 2017, 11:06pm | Permalink
So she gets married to a different guy. Greets people in the house with something that can qualify as a smile. She is distressed about her boyfriend abandoning her with no understanding or respect for her family. She is in agony of fending off the advances of a guy she doesn't love. She tells him that she will have nothing physical for him. And she takes off to later realise that her periods haven't come. Then she figures out she's pregnant. Then she has to provide for herself by going to a clinic. And then a random amma takes pity on/ care of her. About eight months 'stomach', a run away in her own city, with an unreliable support system, and coming to know that the father of her child is canoodling with a heroine in public and bastard even got his medical degree cancelled.

But then, one day he comes and tells her to come along. They squabble a bit and then they are back to ****ing each other (probably on a mattress on the floor). True love.
Swaroop Thotada on 9th Sep 2017, 10:12am | Permalink
"How dare you objectify women? They deserve respect"
"Fat girls are like teddy bears, ha ha"
Kanye on 9th Sep 2017, 6:33am | Permalink
The hero's friend does tell her that the hero never actually did anything with the film heroine and it was aimless and almost non-existent affair. And its also conveyed that the hero slipped into drugs and depression and all this sh*t and lost his medical license because she didn't get up or even look at him when he came to get her.

There's two sides to this. I see both sides and I agree with them but at least after they go through all this they end up together. So yeah, in a way, true love.
Shiva on 31st Aug 2017, 12:23am | Permalink
A bit late, but my perspective. The movie has it's faults but definitely a step in right direction (and I don't mean kissing scenes here).
It's realistic than lot of the other run-of-the-mill movies that we have to bear with. The characterization of hero has been mellowed down in some scenes to show that he too is a nice guy, but the promos just depict the attitude. He complains about the objectification of women by a character, but how he treats his love/s*x interests is nothing less, if not more. He has anger issues and couldn't control his anger for 3 mins, for the match to complete, but he could control himself to trust someone, who misbehaved with the heroine, to live up to his promise.
The songs though none of them standout, were good. Vijay is a treat to watch though and does superb justice. The standout feature for me personally is the background music - especially the score that follows when Vijay is on bike or running.
Kanye on 27th Aug 2017, 8:45am | Permalink
This was f*cking awesome movie and I already watched it two f*cking times before I remembered there's probably a f*cking good review waiting on Fullhyd. I'd like to take this chance to thank my favorite f*cking reviewer, Josh, for embracing and encouraging such a solid movie thats been thrown away by most except, of course, the youth.

And thts what's so freaking awesome is how it perfectly depicts how normal people act and react. For example, if we get into a fight, the opponent will not gather together an army of goons to take us out. Another example is when some a*shole comments on our girl we don't go hacking off limbs. When we get angry we don't start comparing ourselves to animals and shout phrases that would only anger my mom (only because she thinks its rude). We cuss, we throw punches, we yell, we cry, we be human. Not unrealistic demigods that can bring down an entire battalion of beefed up baddies.

This was an effing good movie because how bloody honest it was and how the director chose to show it how it is and not give a f*ck what anyone thought. This was an effing good movie because Vijay Devarakonda knows his potential and can actually breathe life into the character. As far as I'm concerned, Vijay Devarakonda is not Rishi or Prashanth. He's Arjun Reddy. Now and maybe forever.

The only thing I hated was the treatment of the heroine. I'm sorry but realistic how it is, that's not what you do to get girls. That's a lesser version of our typical villains trying to harass the girl into accepting their advances.
Satish Jayanti on 26th Aug 2017, 10:23pm | Permalink
Is it too much to expect a well made entertaining movie? Either we have the sort of movies where one bloke takes on an army of goons and manages to bash them all quite easily or we have films like these which glorify a reckless and obsessive lover boy!!
For me as an avid member of the audience the central idea of the movie has to be essentially appealing.
The umpteenth version of Devdas is quite frankly a done to the death theme which leaves me cold no matter how well made the film may possibly be.
Moreover the idea of pining away for a girl who has quite obviously moved on seems disgustingly spineless . Nothing exciting here.
I continue to wait for a directorial effort for a covenant that entertains and at the same time instructs and elavates!!
I live in hope!!
Kishore on 26th Aug 2017, 2:32pm | Permalink
excellent review!
KC on 25th Aug 2017, 9:58pm | Permalink
Are you for real, you said you love this movie and yet you mentioned 'No' for 'Can watch again'. Censor has certified it as A, protagonist has mentioned its for Adults and yet you mention 'Yes' to'Good for Kids'. Please maintain consistency or let us know if you are just confused and haven't fully grasped the movie.
Josh on 25th Aug 2017, 10:17pm | Permalink
Thanks for pointing that out. In the mail I sent to the editor team, they were the other way round. As in, not good for kids and yes, can watch again. Must be a bug somewhere.
fullhyd.com on 26th Aug 2017, 8:05pm | Permalink
fixed that - apologies
Hari on 25th Aug 2017, 9:20pm | Permalink
Loved your ***ing review as always. I am going to give this movie a miss though.
Not particularly interested in the story of a brash rich lout (The character that is. Nothing against the makers or artistes)

Swaroop Thotada on 26th Aug 2017, 12:21pm | Permalink
I share that feeling, Hari. Have enough self-sufficient brats around me already. Now I can't see one glorified on screen. Thats what I thought after watching the trailer. But my friends don't seem to rest until I cave. They booked tickets for me as well.
Hari on 27th Aug 2017, 12:39am | Permalink
Yes Swaroop. I too was turned off by the trailer and the entire promotion. Apparently bullying, beating people, treating a fellow girl student as personal property and throwing cuss words is attitude now. SMH.
Saw quite a few characters like that in my engineering days. Will have no sympathy for such characters and just cannot root for those. Granted my opinion is based on what I saw in the trailer and read in reviews but I do think I will not be able to enjoy this - well made or not.
By the way, one reviewer is comparing this director to Mani Ratnam. That's a tad early IMO. First movies of directors are genrally well made. I will wait to see what this director comes up with next. Let's hope it's not titled "Krishna Reddy - double the attitude" :)

Kanye on 28th Aug 2017, 12:53pm | Permalink
It's not just the attitude that stands out. Its the fact that for the first time in TFI, no shits were given and we get to see someone behave like a person we would see down the street from our house. Personally, I don't like people with crass behavior so I agree. But he's not like that in general. He's kind and loving and only switches to bratty and mean when provoked. There's these brilliant scenes in the Breakup song where he remembers his love failure and gets aggravated and yells at the patients. But in the very next cut he's seen holding their hands and apologizing. The director didn't make this dramatic or a seperate scene. They're all just snippets of a song montage. It's stuff like this that garnered appreciation. Yes, i know that's what the promotions made it seem like but that's not true.
And the director might not be Mani Ratnam, but he's bold and talented - very talented. He has the potential.
Suresh on 30th Aug 2017, 12:25pm | Permalink
Buddy, the director has shown the hero making amends to patients because he knew people would question it if he didn't. His heart lies basically in 'glamorizing' the 'anger issues' of AR, but not in the true study of the character that has such issues. After all, he could have shown Arjun Reddy getting beaten up because of his anger issues. He didn't show it. Did he? And for every meltdown Reddy was shown to have had, he had to balance that with an universally accepted ideal. No? Reddy is a topper in the class, topper in the ball, f***s women as he pleases but he only has this 'littttttle niggle'; anger!!!!!How glamorous!!!!!. That comes suspiciously close to having a perfect hero with all glamorous imperfections we dream of having. How convenient? Why can't AR stuff himself with Pizzas out of stress, get fat and get paunchy instead of drugs and alcohol? That could have been funny, No??

By the way, Director also did not give any explanation why the Arjun Reddy stood before the class and asked the students to stay away from Shalini as if he had born rights on her p***y. Even assuming that he met a character who did such a thing in real life. a filmmaker's duty is to give an insight into what can possibly prompt a person to do such a thing and how such a trait sits along with the rest of his 'great character'.

The film is just a wannabe noir sans the real elements that truly make up a noir. The director knew how to stylize the certain characters and incidents he has seen in his life or heard, through 'proper' visuals and music but lacks the depth to truly go beyond that. And in how many films have you seen a brave, angry, courageous and intelligent hero having a philosophical friend who is devoid of any ambition of his own,jealousy and judgment and only happy to see his 'dear friend' getting laid? Plenty, but only in an unrecognizable cruder commercial form.

What about the heroine? why was only the hero depicted as glamorously promiscuous? How about showing her masturbating turned on by the other men? Or she is so turned on by Reddy that she can't even think of any other men in any other way? Is it what happened or it is that typical grey area of a male director's mind filled with reflexive presumptions about the female psyche that prevented the filmmaker from exploring the possibility of making a female who had fallen in love with a jerk more nuanced??

And why on earth would you tell this story in 3 hours when true masterpieces of similar genre were told better in half the time AR consumed??.

The film somehow smacks of an unsettling arrogance that is excessively obsessed with imposing suave visuals and unstudied grace, very possibly due to filmmaker's natural higher sense of aesthetic, which however were too transparent to hide the lack of true insight and catharsis. Nevertheless, we still have to cherish the effort by the director for his loads of cinematic commonsense, as is often the case with any Telugu movie which is 'properly' made by following the least of movie basics(unfortunately) which the buffoons like Raja Mouli, Vinayak and Seenu Vaitla can't even dream of achieving.
Josh on 25th Aug 2017, 10:21pm | Permalink
But so much of it is fabulously well made, Hari. Give it a thought before missing it out on the big screen. There are some moments that are built with love and care. Indulgent as it is, it is also passionate film making.
Anvesh on 25th Aug 2017, 8:57pm | Permalink
Thats a total of 66 stars you gave the film
JayZ on 25th Aug 2017, 6:59pm | Permalink
I am looking forward to seeing this film...I am a doc and I heard that medicos and doctors are shown realistically in this film....not the kind I am used to in Indian cinema where I don't know whether to cringe/laugh/cry/facepalm at the depiction of my brethren
yearner on 25th Aug 2017, 6:42pm | Permalink
Since it is obvious from your review that you are not very impressed by the movie but gave a rating for the audience and since fullhyd insists on giving reviews only from the point of view of the audience, I suggest that either you give two ratings i.e. a 'rating for the audience' and a 'crticial rating'. Better still, you can give two reviews; an audience review and a critical review since you cannot keep saying " I dislike this in the movie but audience may like it' etc. However, you need not display the flash card on your home page for the critical review, instead, you just give a link for the same on your audience review. Either you hire somebody who soaked himself/herself with Satyajit Ray and Roman Polanski and the ilk to write your critical reviews or you make your regular reviewers do the critical reviews changing their name, if it makes them feel uncomfortable doing both the reviews with the same name. With this unique feature, you can offer two perspectives on the same movie without compromising either your "service motto" or your critical instincts.
fullhyd.com on 26th Aug 2017, 8:06pm | Permalink
who is yearner?
Yearner on 27th Aug 2017, 8:07pm | Permalink
An Yearner is somebody who yearns for something.
Josh on 25th Aug 2017, 7:14pm | Permalink
While I understand the general appeal of your approach, I have to disagree that it factors in here. This review here is one of the cases where I didn't feel the need for an alternate version (Unlike, say, Deadpool where I could write an NSFW piece and an uncensored piece.)

I'd been in feverish anticipation of Arjun Reddy right from the teaser. That anticipation was fully validated in about three quarters of the movie. That last quarter sucked for me. So I loved most of it and it also underwhelms me as a whole. This review is a reflection of the same without going into excessive spoilers. I am not sure why you felt I'm not particularly impressed.

There's an alternate way to review a film aside from the audience's point of view or a scholarly approach where Polanski and Ray are used as references. It can just be a guy/girl talking about how (s)he found the film. Albeit as a well worked piece of prose.
Yearner on 27th Aug 2017, 8:06pm | Permalink
A movie does not work in parts. I never understood somebody enjoying only a part of the movie and still rating the movie high. For example, if a woman had an orgasm having sex with you and subsequently you came to know that she faked it, you wouldn't say 'it's alright, I enjoyed her cooing part hence I don
Portuguese Man-of-War on 28th Aug 2017, 12:35pm | Permalink
You may have your own definition of a movie, but hopefully you will agree that there are several. And that for the overwhelming majority of audiences, it is entertainment and escapism. You can't grudge all of them for it ("abusive audiences"). You can't realistically expect all movies to be made according to the tastes of a small minority. Or that films will be condemned because they were made for the tastes of the majority.
Josh on 28th Aug 2017, 7:45am | Permalink
Well. Thanks for the opinion, I guess
Siva on 28th Aug 2017, 7:51pm | Permalink
Lol..I was feverishly scrolling down to see how you would respond to a comment which ranged from sex to sensex and finally to scorcese :-D
Josh on 25th Aug 2017, 5:34pm | Permalink
Full disclosure : I have an uncle who is associated with this film and my aunt appears in a scene too.

I, however, have no interaction with any of the cast or crew apart from these two. And I don't believe any of that influenced my judgement. If anything I hope my uncle doesn't stop buying me the occasional beer after reading this review.
Siva on 27th Aug 2017, 5:18pm | Permalink
Oh.. Stop showing off your connections in the industry :-P
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