Bendu Apparao, in true Allari Naresh style, doesn't just make you chuckle twice a minute - it makes you feel sorry you're not part of the party. And meanwhile, EVV makes a lot of forgotten quintessential symbols of Andhra seem like exotica - the fashioning of mango jelly and pootharekulu, among others.
The movie is a story of bumbling doctors, financial-cum-ethical dilemmas, good Samaritan acts and devious village headmen. Bendu Apparao is the local doctor in a small village full of naÃ¯ve locals who trust him even when he keeps swindling them out of their money. His scandalous methods of treatment never really kill, but they get him a guaranteed number of repeat customers nevertheless.
You hope there's a compelling excuse Apparao's turned out this way, and you're incensed enough when you're given a glimpse of the background - Apparao's sister is neck deep in dowry problems. Meanwhile, Apparao and his friends (Uttej and Srinivas Reddy) stumble across some money that they must hand over to the deserving owner, but the roadblocks that time crops up ensures that there's enough story to fill a full-blown post-interval half.
Bendu Apparao is an unapologetic comedy, whose priority is to tickle you rather than make you marvel at the biology of the funny bone. There's a little physical humour in the beginning but things get less embarrassing soon after. The movie also has space for a few social statements, including one on the state of school education in villages.
The lines are slapstick, ambitiously alliterative at times, and with lots of spoofs on well-known movies, and there's no energy lost in extensive distractions. Even the romance between Apparao and his lady love (Kamna Jethmalani), the daughter of an overtly generous zamindar (Ahuti Prasad), is to the point.
As for the plot twists, they're predictable from a mile away. There's a bit of emotion and a bit of villainy, too, but everything is wrapped in a comfortably snug epidermis of buffoonery.
Allari Naresh is such an authority on fooling around, he makes it look like a lost art. He's great with the jokes, and among the others, Ahuti Prasad also does well with his full-bodied role with endearing shades. All the actors dedicatedly have fun joining him in, and everyone's comic timing is intact. Krishna Bhagawan, as Apparao's brother-in-law, has a hate-able role, but the rest of the film more than makes up for the unpleasantness.
Ramanaidu's ample budget gives room for foreign locales in the songs, as well as nostalgia-inducing sights of the state's rural heartlands. Other than a few running-on-the-hillside numbers, everything about the film, including the language and the setting, is refreshingly Andhra. The songs aren't unpleasant, and a few of them are situational and provide for laughs as well.
The festive offer is on - Bendu Apparao gives you 2 guffaws for every giggle you paid for, with 3 hours to burn away those calories.