While Kalyan Krishna was basking in the glory of his debut
, he got a call from Nagarjuna one fine afternoon. Nagarjuna wanted Kalyan to direct a film for his son. Being the dexterous entrepreneur that he is, Nagarjuna figured out that Chaitanya was at that juncture in his career where a "wholesome family entertainer" like Ninne Pelladatha was long overdue.
And being the loyal person he is, Kalyan accepted the offer. A dozen coffees and cookies were devoured and a case of beers were obliterated, but Kalyan couldn't quite pin down in his mind what worked the magic in that '90s crowd puller. After hours of excruciating brainstorming, a brilliant idea sprang up in his mind. Why make something like Ninne Pelladatha? Why not make Ninne Pelladatha itself?
"Surekha" cried out Kalyan in exploding excitement (Eureka morphed to reflect the much needed Telugu-nativity - hope the readers don't mind). And the rest is history. And physics and chemistry. Except, the physics is derived from Telugu movie-verse where the flight of the bouncing fighters is directly proportional to the plight of the hapless audiences whose only sin is to expect a pinch of entertainment. As the film is about to crashland, the "chemistry" somehow comes to the rescue and just about veers the film away from being a total disaster, thanks to its lead pair.
Rarandoi Veduka Chuddam pretends for a while that it is a chronicle of the travails of a self-centered and naïve village girl Bhramaramba (Rakul Preet Singh) and her enduring boyfriend Shiva (Naga Chaitanya), and that works to an extent. Evidently, much of the thought has been dedicated to carving out the Bhramaramba character, and it shows potential, but when the film comes to reap from that, it employs tedious melodrama that is not helped by the overtly theatrical performances of the supporting characters.
Chaitanya oozes confidence and Singh takes quite a bite off the meaty role she is given, and just as the two are about to breathe some life into the plot, the film nips them in the bud and ditches this thread to fulfill its Ninne Pelladatha aspirations. That's a shame because the movie could have been its own story had it stuck to tell what it started to. You can see how the film at its heart is about a deluded girl who has been waiting for Prince Charming while the guy who truly loves her is by her side all along, waiting for her to get off the high horse.
The pivot results in the rest of the film turning a disjointed affair devoid of any rhyme or charm. The first hour mostly badgers you with stale humour from hyperventilating comedians and a story that goes nowhere. Having no clue of how to pull it all off, the film employs every trick in the book and imports every known comedian and character artist, and finally ends up cluttered with clichés.
The only saving grace of the film turns out to be a scene in the second hour where the leading pair vent out their mutual displeasure at each other after a prolonged silent suffering wears them off finally. This sequence walks a tightrope where it has to be hilarious and purposeful at the same time, and Naga Chaitanya and Rakul Preet Singh nail it, soaring above the mediocre plot and unremarkable narration. Sadly, it is the only part that stands out in this hodgepodge.
Devi Sri Prasad seems to have dusted off the tunes his previous directors rejected and tried his luck making money off them. Only one song is decent, and the rest hope you are a smoker. The effervescent color palette, the boisterous guitar riffs passed off as heroic soundtracks, the exaggerated expressions passed off as lively acting and a half-baked story masquerading as family drama are all in sync with the mediocre spirit of the film. Sampath Raj as Bhramaramba's father and Kausalya as her mother deliver the usual melodrama, and Jagapathi Babu as Shiva's father tries his best to stand out.
It's a bad idea to remake a classic. It's an even worse one to freemake it.
Rarandoi Veduka Chuddam doesn't quite warrant the ridicule we regularly mete out to mediocre films, for it had a heart after all. But there are not many good things you can say about it. And that makes writing a review so difficult and monotonous, as you need to resort to a tedious description of the film's promises and failings. Perhaps that way, this review is in solidarity with the film. Now you can make your decision.