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Poru Telangana Review

Poru Telangana
Deepa Garimella /
Can watch again
Good for kids
Good for dates
Wait for OTT
Some movies don't just stop at being banal, slipshod or boring. No, they go stretch boundaries to become all-out assaults on your senses. Around 4 days long, Poru Telangana is just such a piece of art, and is a cross between a DD teleserial and a sleeping pill. Watching it is the kind of experience that makes you want to think about your whole life all over again.

But wait, you're thinking, is being too harsh. Surely the film has something to offer those who sympathize with the Telangana cause? There must be someone the movie might appeal to? Other than the politicians that it is shamelessly trying to score with?

We're thinking - no. Poru Telangana is a portrayal of the Telangana issue and its various threads in the shabbiest way possible. Telangana was just an excuse - there could have been any subject at the centre of it all, and the film would have sucked just as much.

A jaded Narayana Murthy plays Jitender Reddy, a vocal Telangana activist who seems to be related to every Telangana suicide victim in the recent past. He tirelessly takes up the cudgels for every atrocity meted to people of the region, with his raspy-voiced demands of "aapundri" whenever he sees injustices taking place.

There is no structure to the plot, really - the movie is just a montage of events centred around Telangana in the past 2 years, with an introduction to the 1969 agitation. The makers (all one person, Narayana Murthy, apparently) felt like talking about everything possible, and so you have in the story student protests at Osmania University, suicides purportedly for the Telangana cause, politicians' statements, Clause 14 F, fee reimbursement, weavers' problems, Nalgonda's flourosis curse, and minorities' lands.

If you've been reading the papers even just once a month, you probably have a deeper understanding of the issues than this movie has. If you haven't, and this is how you had to find out about them, then we're sorry for you.

Poru Telangana fails both as a social commentary and as a movie. Its analysis of the Telangana stream of thought is one-dimensional. The udhyamam that everyone in the film is shrieking about is largely shown as a class struggle, rather than a result of regional discord, and completely lacks soul in the first place.

Indeed, 3 hours of teenagers and others screaming themselves hoarse does not a socio-political film make. The characters are all in convenient blacks and whites, with the people of Telangana being perpetually shown as hapless victims of various mind-games that the people in the rest of the state play.

The performances are hopelessly amateur, except for those of a few senior (but unfamiliar) actors. A bunch of real-life students have clearly been talked into this film with the pretext of this project being part of a "social cause" and all, and none of them can act.

Narayana Murthy should have stuck to the songs for this one. The folk numbers are quite inspiring, and soul-stirring, even if they're a little loud. The background music is tiresome, though.

Poru Telangana was clearly made on a laughable budget, and this is where the film's teleserial-like characteristics unapologetically come in. Going by the tone of the film, just be happy the makers haven't blamed you, yet, for it.

Well, we came out of Poru Telangana, but not wholly unscathed. And we aren't sure you can make it as far as we did. Stay away.
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