With Narasimha Naidu
so far away now and no real hit in close to 6 years, it's easy to say for several people that Balakrishna is a has-been. He seems to be making it easier for them to say that with each subsequent film. While other heroes take so much care now about the kind of scripts they choose and directors they work with, Balayya seems to be stuck with the old world filmmakers who like to play it safe by making films that you've already seen.
Indeed, there's so little novelty in Veerabhadra and so much banality, you can almost hear the marching orders for the director: lock your creativity in the closet and throw the key away, and write lines and scenes that fit our hero's image. Here is the manual, and you have until morning. There are special points every time you use the words “Molathradu” and “Meesam”.
The result, ladies and gentlemen, is another Balakrishna movie, another foot deeper into the hole.
Muralikrishna (Balakrishna) and his physically handicapped sister arrive at a colony in Hyderabad, and quickly win the affection of the residents when Muralikrishna delivers them from a local goon's atrocities. However, they realize he has a greater set of enemies when the super-powerful and super-evil Pedireddy (Sayaji Shinde) send his men to the colony to attack him.
The flashback then starts – Muralikrishna is the foster son of a drunkard (Prakash Raj) in Waltair, whose family he supports with his earnings, but who just use him for the money he brings in. He is extremely popular at the harbor for supporting and helping several poor fishermen, and picks up enmity with Pedireddy when his daughter (Tanushree Datta) falls in love with him.
When Muralikrishna's actual family, an extremely rich dynasty, finds him, they pay his foster father off to enable him come back, but Pedireddy, who's been harassing his original family for their property, kills his grandfather. Muralikrishna swears revenge and gets Pedireddy into jail, and comes to Hyderabad to finish him off.
The movie is Balakrishna all the way, of course, and that is kind of its undoing. For starters, Balayya looks haggard and disheveled, with bags under his eyes and all. Then, the film concentrates more on giving him thundering dialogues rather than on being innovative and subtle. It was clearly made for his fans rather than for the general Telugu audiences.
All performances are good, with Balakrishna, of course, standing out. His dancing talent is on ample display, too. Tanushree Datta is gorgeous. The music is very ordinary, however, and the songs interrupt the proceedings rather than ease them. The settings are mostly low-budget, with nothing grand anywhere.
The biggest problem is the complete lack of enthusiasm in either Balakrishna himself or in the makers to try anything different. Balakrishna's career's highpoints were Samarasimha Reddy
and the subsequent Narasimha Naidu
, which were completely different from what he was doing until then. He should try seeing that an indicator of how he needs to continue – keep trying different things.
It's true of everyone – it's worth noting that Chiranjeevi's only two hits in the past 4 years since Indra, were Tagore
and Shankardada MBBS
, both unique themes (even if remakes), as against his mass movies like Andarivaadu
and Jai Chiranjeeva
. NTR Jr, hot once, tried to stick to an image, and has given consecutive flops for 3 years.
Veerabhadra is just an attempt to milk Balakrishna's fan base, and can do no good to it.