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?