There are certain things that you cannot help. Like calling a movie great because your shadow appears in a song. Like calling a movie great because the producer donates regularly to your help-the-ugly-leave-earth club. Like calling a movie great because the heroine's always in her b'day suit.
Then there are certain things that you want to do. Like calling a movie great because your girl might make you sleep on the couch. Like calling a movie great because you loved it (har). Missamma cannot be called great on either of these accounts. It can be called great because of the sheer audacity of its makers. Their guts to present something totally unfamiliar to our audiences.
Office politics feebly touched the silver screen in Manmadhudu
and Ela Cheppanu
. Missamma takes a cynical dip, head and shoulders, into the hardships of an office Joe. Sivaji is this struggling accountant with a lovely little family. His angst is that he's done a thesis on business management but nobody ever notices his potential. All that changes with the arrival of his boss, Bhoomika.
Bhoomika is the debonair chairman of a huge business empire. She's got this reputation of being rather cracked up when dealing with talented youngsters in her company. Supposedly a sadistic female psychopath. By the way, that's how most men describe their girlfriends - 'supposedly sadistic female psychopath'. Women describe their boyfriends in almost the same fashion too, except, of course, without the word 'supposedly'.
Anyway, our CEO Bhoomika comes visiting to the branch where Sivaji's working. In his eagerness to impress the big boss, he hands his thesis to her and consequently ends up in the 'talented youngster' bracket. And then begins the game Bhoomika just loves to play...
The very first thing to notice about the movie is its sense of purpose. All the frames in the movie seem to propel the plot ahead. A feature totally alien to Telugu cinema. The next thing to notice would be the timely-peppy background score. It makes the ambience all the more slick. And then of course there's Bhoomika. She's landed a role that any actress, living or dead, would give an arm and a bone for.
Right then, Bhoomika first sacks Sivaji. Then offers to give him a much higher post if he can pass the tests - including tree climbing, ironing, cooking and other important qualifications for a General Manager. Sivaji as the eager, pathetic office guy moves as his strings are pulled by her. The satirical comedy breezes this part of the movie through.
Then comes the nasty part. Bhoomika forces a rift between Sivaji and his wife (Laya), posing as the other woman in his life. And when he threatens to quit, she accuses him of rape and other sleazy stuff. He's then forced to marry her while Laya is camouflaged all the while with the idea that it's all Sivaji's plan.
Just why is Bhoomika ruining his life? Is she really a psycho? Is she making people sweat or is it global warming? It wouldn't be fair to answer these, but in the end it isn't quite what you expect it to be. Yes, a twist in the tail.
The movie's like a marathon: it starts off huge, slows in the middle, and when you expect the final sprint, it just doesn't come. The encounters between Sivaji and Laya add to gluing the film tramp down. On the whole, the characterisation is the winner. It would bring out the best in any actor. So, a great first half, a not so great a bottom-half, and a lot of experimentation - that's Missamma. That's Yasmeen Bleeth too. Finally, a novel idea with decent execution.