At the end of the second act of Sailaja Reddy Alludu, a random group of bad guys throw down an impotent monologue and get themselves ready to attack, and subsequently murder, Sailaja Reddy (Ramya Krishnan). To her credit, Madam Reddy stands her ground, tucks her pallu in and promises to unleash the wrath of hell on these brutes. We genuinely thought this colossal slog-fest of a film had a scene where Ramya Krishnan would kick names and take ass. We were primed and ready, with blood coursing through our veins and hands clutching our armrests.
One nameless henchman came close to Mrs Reddy with a sickle in hand. However, our wide-open eyes were not treated to what was promised. Instead, a brick flew into the frame and crashed against the henchman's head. As the brick crushed the henchman's skull, all the sins of this film came rushing back to our memories almost aping a cheap plot point from a subpar amnesia storyline in Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi. Our eyes were subject to Naga Chaitanya walking into the shot in slow-motion, and right behind him was some lighting equipment the director and DOP forgot to block out of said shot.
"Why?" the movie asks. "Why did you expect any better from me? Are you a masochist? Do you enjoy having your heart is broken and soul shattered until it is nothing but fine powder?"
"I don't even want to toe the line of the status quo let alone surpass it," the movie continues. It boldly declares, "I'm here to worship heroes, objectify heroines, wildly misfire when it comes to my primary themes, and wrap all that up in a film so technically inept that I have a scene where my heroine sits in the rain but doesn't get drenched."
And yes, dear reader, that last part actually happened.
Set in both Hyderabad (first half) and Warangal (second half), Sailaja Reddy Alludu follows the life and times of Chaithu (Naga Chaitanya with a character name as original as they come) as he attempts to woo Anu (Anu Emmanuel running a twofer on originality) and subsequently convince both sets of parents as to why the two of them are meant to be together. The catch here is that the trio of Anu Emmanuel, Murali Sharma and Ramya Krishnan are all egotistical. Chaitu remains the one true believer in the goodness of humanity. He scratches, claws, fights and delivers multiple monologues (each one more unconvincing than the last) as he endeavours to help his loved ones understand the errors of their ways.
We are here asking you how his film is any different than the slew of other alludu films that have graced our screens in the past. What ground does this film cover that hasn't already been trodden on by Alluda Majaka, Alludu Seenu
, Naa Alludu
, Rowdy Alludu, Police Alludu, Peddinti Alludu, Maa Alludu Very Good
, Allari Alludu, Goppinti Alludu
, Bhale Alludu, Adhirindi Alludu and Mechanic Alludu?
The heroine is a pain in the ass because her mother is one, too. The hero employs garden variety ploys like helping poor people and hitting on the heroine's maid to woo said heroine. Once target one is acquired, he employs much more elaborate plans to warm himself up to the mother. However, in Sailaja Reddy Alludu writer/director Maruti Dasari uses the word EGO 1,398,265 times in a vain attempt to mask his ineffective screenplay and to set himself apart from the slew of movies we listed out earlier.
In a cruel twist of fate, one soon comes to understand that the director has no clue as to what Ego actually is. He seems to think that it's more contemptuousness than chutzpah. He hypothesises that it is more to do with pride than hubris, and he concludes that it's more stupidity than self-importance. Truth be told, we didn't expect much more from a man who used his flawed understanding of OCD to craft Mahanubhavudu
Flawed understanding of the basic tenets of writing aside, one would hope that a mid-budget, star-kid-powered production would have the basics of filmmaking down pat. Well, if you were one of the unlucky souls who watched Naga Chaitanya's Yuddham Saranam
, you'd know better. You know that he can't put in a decent performance without the aid of a director with a strong vision. This film contains scenes where we uncomfortably watched the leading man literally struggle to stand firmly on his own two feet. The direction given to him is so haphazard that his character moves from scene to scene with no discernible motivation whatsoever.
Anu Emmanuel, too, is seemingly incapable of mustering up a good performance in any film that is not titled Thupparivalan (Detective
). Her two modes of operation are resting b***h face and unimaginative in-love face. Murali Sharma is a straight up cartoon character, and the film's mishandling of Ramya Krishnan might be its biggest sin. Having her dole out "mass" lines with a loud voice and gaping eyelids does little to mask her character's cancerous idiocy and ineptitude.
Ineptitude is also how one may describe the film's presentation. Terribly photoshopped images, poor CGI, lighting equipment scattered across multiple scenes, student-film levels of camera blocking and staging, blatant thievery of the Marvel logo, a beggar with an iPhone in his pocket, a despicable reuse of that iconic musical cue from Hello Brother, songs that pop up because the script said so and the distracting ADR all combine to make the experience of sitting through this movie a punishing one. There is so much caution thrown to the wind that we expect it to pollute the atmosphere before the exhaust fumes coming off our vehicles.
In conclusion, if all that we said through the course of this review aren't enough to adequately convey the quality of this cinematic equivalent of a dumpster fire, we may be as bad at our jobs as the makers were while rendering this film. Here's hoping our message gets through. Treat yourselves this Vinayaka Chaturthi by not watching this cash grab.