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Puttintiki Ra Chelli Review

Puttintiki Ra Chelli
Deepa Menon /
Can watch again
Good for kids
Good for dates
Wait to rent it
When asked what his next film was going to be about, Kodi Ramakrishna replied, "A story about a wonderful brother-sister bond. Those always work." And then he earnestly set out to disprove his own theory, and PRC is the stomach-churning result.

Arjun and Swathi are the most devoted siblings you ever saw. If one is wounded the other bleeds. When one is happy, the other one smiles. When one takes a sleeping pill, the other one gets drowsy. You get the idea.

Arjun is the older and he takes his role as his sister's caregiver very seriously. He cups his palms over her ears when a storm rages, he spends his childhood working so he can give her an education, he promises murder to anyone who so much as sneezes at her wrong. But then, inexplicably, he goes and marries her off into the family from hell.

To be fair to the guy, he doesn't know what a truly horrible lot his sister's in-laws are till a few days after the wedding, when they randomly cast aspersions on her character and kick her out of the house. They convince their idiot son that his wife's been carrying on with the driver. Their son, being the true idiot he is, believes this and whole-heartedly joins them in beating up his wife.

While harassment at the hands of in-laws is a very real issue in our country, this movie dispenses with all sensitivity and just gets down to the wham-bham. About 40% of the movie consists of various people hitting the poor girl. We're not exactly sure what this accomplishes and by the end of it, even the girl is beginning to look bored as she's being slammed around, but there's no changing the director's single-minded vision.

The general motif - let's milk this whole violence-against-woman thing for all we've got, interpersing it with throbbing, red-blooded speeches questioning the sexual potency of a man who hits a woman. But the latter is just for the claps and whistles and there are very few occasions for either during PRC.

In the meanwhile, the brother cajoles, pleads and otherwise begs his sister to come back home. But she won't. She decides not to leave her husband's house till her moral value is recognised and her name cleared of all allegations. This girl seems to have a remarkable capacity for self-torture, and the director makes her out to have about as much spine as a bowl of jelly.

Then the sister gets pregnant and the movie reaches new heights of atrocity, in language and action. Finally, thankfully, the driver who started the whole mess is uncovered by the brother, and he tells all. The sister's name is at last clean and pure and shining. But it's too little, too late.

And if you think all this is depressing, you should watch the comedy sequences - crawling with innuendos and jokes that you're glad you don't understand, these bits almost make you wish someone would start slapping the girl again.

Completely ugh, in every sense of the word.
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