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Madhumasam

The guy starts believing in love and the girl is disgusted with love. To find out the details and what happens in the end, people will have to watch the Madhumasam. And the details are interesting, so people will be better off watching it.

It's time to heap praises on the director and producer of Madhumasam. This is a clean movie with very little violence. So it's strongly recommended for family viewing. The romance is also clean without any vulgarity. Hats off to the director and producer for making such a fantastic movie that never makes you wince in the presence of your family.

Thanks to Sekhar Kamulla, Sumanth has earned name as a hero who can enact romance scenes in a realistic manner. This is tougher than portraying romance where the heroine is expected to fall for the hero in 15 minutes after the start of the movie and all they do in the name of love is to dance in Thailand or Switzerland. There is plenty of acting involved in Madhumasam that require genuine expressions. He does full justice to his role as a hard hearted practical guy that makes a volte-face on love.

Sneha on the other hand has emerged as a very competent actress. She is the perfect girl for the role of a working girl with full of mushy notions of love. From a very optimistic and positive girl that has dreams about life she turns into a hard hearted girl who clams up with the very mention of the word love. This she has done beautifully.

The comedy track keeps the rhythm of the movie intact. The highlight of comedy is Siva Reddy who imitates all the heroes of yesteryear. And the songs are good too, especially the first song that is shot like the songs of 1950's.

Director: Balabhadrapatruni Ramani
Producer: Dr D Ramanaidu
Cast: Sumanth, Sneha, Parvati Melton, Seema, Giri Babu, Naresh, Chalapati Rao, Sudha, Siva Parvati, Kavita, Bangalore Padma, Rajita, AVS, Ahuti Prasad, Dharamavarapu Subramanyam, Kondavalasa, Venu Madhav, Venkat, Surya, Ravi Babu, Ravi Kondala Rao, Asmita, Deepanjali, Siva Reddy
Music: Mani Sharma
Cinematography:S Yekkanti
Editing:Marthand K Venkatesh
Screenplay:Satyananda

Notebook

Notebook is the darkest and the most depressing movie of this year. Stay away from this movie.

Chandu the director of "10th Class" has come up with Notebook that features a small real life incident. The movie is not based on this incident as the director has claimed elsewhere. He includes the incident of a girl giving a love letter to her boyfriend on one side of the page and asks him to give his opinion on the other side of the page. This is an interesting incident. Let me repeat it's the only interesting thing in the movie Notebook. But the movie Notebook is far from interesting. Notebook is based on two suicides. Chandu has nothing to shock or titillate the youth in Notebook.

The story is the same old stuff that thousands of movies have been based on earlier. A rich girl loves a poor boy. The poor guy is not only poor but he is a servant of the girl's family. The poor boy doesn't respond to the love of the rich girl. He is afraid of the girl's father. The girl writes in a diary about her feelings for the boy. When her marriage is about to be fixed, she gives the diary to her lover. The boy now summons all courage and expresses his feelings too in the same diary. But then it's become too late. The girl commits suicide. Unable to bear the separation the boy also jumps into the funeral pyre. Depiction of cowardice in the name of love!

What a morbid story! No other story can be more repulsive than this in this age when people want to enjoy life. Not even the person with the lowest IQ would like such an idea.

The director reveals about the tragic ending of the love in the beginning of the movie, so there is no real suspense.

In this age and time such stories really do not go down well with the public. Suicide sends a wrong signal to the public, especially the young ones who are not matured enough to decide between right and wrong.

We have always strongly condemned movies that are based on life negating and suicidal scenes. Life is too precious to be taken away for love and other trivial reasons. There is no glory in suicide, whatever being the reason. Suicide is an act of cowardice.

Try to live happily. Celebrate life. Avoid such dark and pessimistic movies. Do not watch Notebook. Wait for the release of the next good movie.

Director: Chandu
Producer: Yelampalli
Cast: Rajiv,Gayatri
Music: Mickey J. Meyers

Maharadhi

The movie Maharadhi opens with a serene scene in Nainital. And you begin to wonder perhaps this movie is going to be refreshingly different from the rest of Balakrishna's movies. But any such hope is speedily smothered to the ground by the sheer appearance of Balakrishna. He takes away any false hope of the movie being as cool as the locations it's shot in, the direction of Vasu not withstanding.

Director Vasu needs no introduction. He is the one that directed Chandramukhi. Vasu also directed Balakrishna's maiden movie Sahasame Jeevitham in 1984. There was a high level of expectation from the movie Maharadhi. But Vasu has created a movie only for the fans of Balakrishna. Other than them nobody else would like Maharadhi much. It's a bit too much to tolerate the ranting and raving of Balakrishna, unless you belong to his fan club.

There is nothing novel in the plot. The director tries to woo the masses with dialogs and songs eulogizing the labor class.

Balu (Balakrishna) is a singer working in the college owned by Chaudhuri (Naresh). He acts as if he is very dedicated to Chaudhuri but joins a competing college run by Jayaprada. There he works as a dance coach with another identity: Kishna. Chaudhuri's daughter (Meera Jasmine) returns home after finishing her education. Jayaprada wants to beat Chaudhui's college in competition. Jayaprada asks Krishna to get Meera Jasmine to learn dance in her college. Krishna, who is also Balu, plays a love game. He seduces Meera Jasmine as Krishna with his charm and as Balu he prompts Meera to love Krishna.

Things become so intense that finally Chaudhury comes to know about his daughter's love affair. He is incensed that his daughter has fallen in love with his rival's dance master. But Meera Jasmine is firm in her love. So the hapless father goes to meet his rival Jayaprada.

Then surprise and a small flashback # 1: Naresh and Jayapada were husband and wife once. To protect their daughter's interest they both confront dance master Krishna. Surprise # 2: Krishna who is also Balu has done all this purposely. The reason: flashback # 2 that forms the entire second half of the movie.

Balakrishna as usual dramatizes every scene that he acts in. Sneha and Meera Jasmine have done their jobs well. But the lady who steals the show is Jayaprada who returns to the Telugu screen after almost a decade. She has mellowed with age and looks as gorgeous as ever.

Music is average and with Balakrishna around nobody else gets a chance to do any comedy. Maharadhi has nothing new to offer other than a fresh looking Jayaprada and flashes of brilliance in direction by P Vasu.

Director: P Vasu
Producer: V Appa Rao
Cast: Balakrishna, Sneha, Meera Jasmine, Jayaprada, Naresh, Kovai Sarala, Jayaprakash Reddy, Pradeep Rawat, Venu Madhav, Ali, Sutti Velu
Music: Guru Kiran
Screenplay:P Vasu
Story/Writer:T Madhu

Pagale Vennela

C V Reddy conceived this movie five years ago and narrated the story to Saundarya. Saundarya, the then reigning queen of the southern film industry was so excited with the story that she wanted to direct it. But a tragic accident snatched her away from all leaving C V Reddy to direct the movie. C V Reddy writes, directs, and produces the movie in memory of Saundarya. This is a great gesture from a movie maker. But there is nothing great about the movie.

Balu (Shivabalaji) is in search of a decent girl to love and marry. His search ends with Swapna (Mythili). He meets Swapna in a temple and gets bowled over by her looks (but we don't). After going through the routine ritual of denial and reprisal from the girl Balu finally wins her heart. Balu bashes up a guy trying to throw acid on a girl because the girl turns down his love. This happens in Swapna's presence. In a typically filmy fashion Swapna makes a 'U' turn and starts adoring Balu. They finally marry. Balu has long been planning to go on a honeymoon. He saves regularly for that in a bank. The bank closes down taking down the deposits of thousands of people, along with Balu's hard earned money. Will Balu and Swapna go on a honeymoon now? Find out in Pagale vennela.

The comedy track separately directed by Relangi Narasimha Rao is partly brilliant and partly outlandish. The Chinese get up of M S Narayana as a psychiatrist is outlandish. Brahmanandam and Kovai Sarala comedy track looks like an old wine in a new bottle. While the row between Sunil and Mada Venkateshawara Rao is side splitting the demotion of a DSP as a result of the plotting of Dharmavarpu is hilarious.

The acting of Shivabalaji is nothing to rave about. Mythili fails to impress both in the looks and acting department. It's because of the comedy track one could sit through the movie.

Ah, yes, C V Reddy does a mini K C Bokadia stuff. A dog is there in the movie doing things like bringing tea and switching on TV. Yet the movie doesn't work.


Director: C V Reddy
Producer: C V Reddy
Cast: Siva Balaji, Mythili, Brahmanandam, Dharmavarapu Subrahmanyam, Jayaprakash Reddy, Sunil, Raghubabu, Venumadhav, Kondavalasa Lakshmana Rao, Tanikella Bharani, Mallikharjuna Rao, MS Narayana, Kovai Sarala, Sana, Apoorva
Music: Vandemataram Srinivas
Editing:K Bhaskar
Story/Writer:C V Reddy

Poramboku

Poramboku is another run-of-the-mill story. Karteek (Navdeep) is a village lad who dreams of becoming a movie actor. This being a highly unpredictable career his father (Dharmavarapu) is skeptic about his choice of career and has no hopes from Karteek. Chaitra (Ekta Khosla) is a girl on the run. She runs away from her home and lands in Karteek's village. An orphan and heir to a huge property, she is raised by her aunt. She loves and trusts her aunty very much and calls her mummy. But the shocking truth is: her aunty is plotting to corner her wealth by getting her married to his brother who is doing time in jail.

Kartik is unaware of Chaitra's background and arranges for her stay in the village guest house. People looking for Chaitra come searching to the village. Chaitra who by now has become close to Karteek and his friends, runs away without informing them. She doesn't want Karteek to be harmed. Karteek and his friends are surprised by the sudden disappearance of Chaitra. But Karteek moves on with life and goes to Hyderabad to pursue his dream. With a saving of Rs50,000 and some gold ornaments given by her sister he lands in the city to become hero in the movies. He does get a chance to become the hero of a movie. But there is a condition attached to it. What is the condition? Will it pevent Karteek from becoming a hero? Rest of Poramboku is all about that.

Navadeep's acting is good. His costumes need special mention. He wears clothes that are youthful and vibrant in color. Ekta Khosla has a sculpted figure and can act too. But what she cannot do is change the fate of the movie at the box office.

The comedy track is below average in the movie, the music is good though. The Kidney removal scene involving Venumadhav and Brahmnadam's 10+10+10 = 30 years doesn't really set the theatres bursting with laughter. The only saving grace is the scene where Ali is performs as an acting coach.

Poramboku finally leads to a choice between love and career. Hence, the director should have done well to bring the romantic angle to the movie to the fore. But then Poramboku doesn't want to make any tall claims. It seems to be happy with an 'average' tag.

Director: Srinivas
Producer: Krishna Reddy
Cast: Navadeep, Ekta Khosla, Suman Setty, MS Narayana, Raghu Babu, Vadivukkarasi, Kavitha, Neeraja, Dharmavarapu, Brahmanandam, Venu Madhav
Music: Mani Sharma
Story/Writer:Srinivas

Yogi

Yogi is actually a good movie, but it's release timing is wrong. Yogi is a movie based on mother sentiment. It's Sankranti time in Andhra Pradesh and family oriented movies should do well. But then Sankranti is also a time for joy and celebrations. Yogi has a sad ending, which doesn't gel with the Sankranti mood.

The movie ends on a sad note. The viewers have to leave the theatres with slightly heavy hearts. For busy people who get the much-needed break during this time of year will definitely stay clear of this movie. A fun filled romantic comedy is what people wish to see during this time of the year. And there is not a single movie in telugu in this genre.

Now the story of Yogi:

Iswara Prasad (Prabhas) is a young village lad who is the only son of his parents. His mother (Sarada) dotes on him. Iswara's father dies of some disease and he moves to Hyderabad to keep his mother happy by getting a decent job. He lands up in the city and searches for his friend Basha (Ali). He has dreams in his eyes that he would be earning soon like his friend Basha. But the fact is Basha is a pickpocket and a thief. Not only Ishwara fed with a lie by Basha but also the big bad city holds more surprises for him that changes his life forever. Luckily Iswara gets shelter from Chandramohan who runs a restaurant. While Iswara is keen on returning to his village his mother leaves village in search of him and comes to the city. Are they destined to meet each other? Or the law of Karma will catch up with Iswara? Yogi answers these questions.

The pluses of Yogi:
A-Strong mother sentiment
B-Good comedy track involving Venumadhav and Sunil
C-Superb acting by Prabhas
D-One good item song
E-Inclusion of a unique handicapped character.

The minuses of Yogi:
A-Right movie in the wrong time (movie with sad ending during Sankranti)
B-Romance track out of sync with the plot

So those who wish to see the movie now know what to expect of Yogi.

Director: V.V.Vinayak
Producer: Ravindranath Reddy
Cast: Prabhas, Nayanthara, Sarada, Kota Srinivasa Rao, Rajan P Dev, Pradeep Rawat, Sunil, Ahuti Prasad, Chandramohan, Chalapati Rao, Subbaraju, MS Narayana, Ali, Venu Madhav, Melkote, Fish Venkat, Mumaith Khan
Music: Ramana Gogula
Cinematography:V Vinayaka
Editing:Gowtam Raju
Story/Writer:Prem

Desa Muduru

First the good things about Desa Muduru:

The comedy track of Ali getting kidnapped and then landing up with the police, from police to Naxalites, from Naxalites to the Border Security Forces, from BSF to Al-Qaida, and from Al Qaida to the Himalayas is a very original and creative comedy work. The continuation of misery for the comic was definitely funny.

The next good thing is that a super fit Alu Arjun.

That's about it for good things in Desa Muduru...

Now, the bad things:

No great story, no great acting, and just one good song and too many bad scenes are what Desa Muduru is all about.

The analysis:

Well, Puri Jagannath has every right to come up with a super duper flop. And he claims his undeniable right with Desa Muduru. It is bad luck that Alu Arjun was part of the misadventure called Desa Muduru. While Puri Jagannath has a Pokiri and several hit movies to fall back on in times of career slumps like this, Alu Arjun doesn't have such great cushions to fall back and move ahead with his career. Desa Muduru is the first flop by Puri, whereas it's one more flop for Alu Arjun. This makes the going tough for the young star.

The excitement of Alu Arjun for getting a chance to work with Puri was palpable in every shot of the movie. He danced with frenzy and acted like a man possessed. But too much of enthusiasm doesn't help either. Sadly his over enthusiasm tainted his performance by making it senseless. The viewer had no clue to his shouting, ranting, and raving.

Puri Jagannath should not be reminded that if people want to watch bronzed bodies they would go to a gym or sit before the TV to watch a Mr. Universe competition. Alu Arjun doing a Salman Khan every now and then did not make any sense. The hero being super fit is welcome, but showing off the body time and again should have some purpose.

When a good director experiments with novel themes sometimes they don't work. One flop can hardly have any impact on his career. He has miles to go and one flop is nothing. Hope his next movie would be better than Desa Muduru.

Meanwhile viewers can definitely watch Desa Muduru once. They owe it to Puri Jagannath who has given hits like Pokiri.

Director: Puri Jagannath
Producer: DVV Danayya
Cast: Allu Arjun, Hansika, Pradeep Rawat, Telanga Shakuntala, Subba Raju, Ali, Chandramohan, Kovai Sarala, Ramaprabha, Srinivas Reddy, Rajesh, Raghu Babu
Music: Chakri
Editing:Marthand K Venkatesh
Story/Writer:Puri Jagannath

Annavaram

Annavaram is a booster for Pavan Kalyan's sagging movie career. A series of flops were not helping the career of the power star. Luckily Annavaram announces the return of Pavan Kalyan.

Annavaram is an action oriented movie which families can enjoy. Largely a sister sentiment oriented movie, Annavaram has other good things like the value of friendship.

Annavaram is a weapon maker in a small village in Andhra Pradesh. His parents die when he is a child. He raises his sister (Sandhya) and dotes on her. Annavaram is not only a brother to her, but he is also a responsible guardian who thinks of the well being of her sister first. He dreams of giving his sister in marriage to somebody who can provide all the comforts of life and take good care of her. Brahmananadam arranges for the marriage of Sandhya with Siva Balaji, a young canteen contractor from Hyderabad. But the city of Hyderabad is infested with rowdies and a spineless police force is a silent witness to the injustice meted out to commoners. Siva Balaji and Sandhya become victims of the rowdism and Annavaram is unaware of this. When his close friend Narasimha (Venumadhav) is killed by the same rowdies, Annavaram gets ready to seek revenge. He turns into Potharaju, his village deity who kills the evil.

Asin is under utilized in the movie. Songs are not too great. Otherwise the movie is good in all departments.

A good story line, commendable direction, and brilliant acting by everybody make Annavaram a movie worth watching. Scenes where the sister wears her brother's shirts fondly and packs them to take those to her in-laws place are examples of story writer Perarasu's originality. Telengana Shakuntala's enactment of a bereaved mother at the loss her son (Venumadhav) is perfect. Another highlight of the movie is the well choreographed and directed cowboy song. The way Pavan Kalyan seeks revenge by using brain and brawn is appreciable. The viewer is persuaded to believe that this is possible.

And when a director supported by the cast can transport the viewers to a make belief world, the result is: packed movie theatres.

Annavaram is going to pull crowds for another two weeks without much sweat. Movie buffs can enjoy watching Anavaram, till more good movies are released on Sankranti.

We wish all our readers a happy and prosperous new year.

Director: Bheemineni Sreenivasa Rao
Producer: NV Prasad, Paras Jain
Cast: Pawan Kalyan, Asin, Sandhya, Siva Balaji, Venu Madhav, Nagababu, Brahmanandam, Brahmaji, Sunil, Ali, Raghubabu, Ranganath, Dharmavarapu, LB Sreeram, Suman Setty, Narsing Yadav, Lakshmipati, Hema, Surekhavani, Telangana Sakuntala
Music: Ramana Gogula
Cinematography:Sethu Sriram
Editing:Gowtam Raju
Story/Writer:Perarasu

Rakhee

Rakhi breaks the recent trends in the Telugu film industry on many counts. For instance, the hero has a sense of humor and allows himself to be referred to as a fatso. First of all casting a hero who is not in the best of shape is a daring thing. This is a show of tremendous confidence by the director as well as the hero in the intrinsic strength of the story, characterization, narrative, and their directing and acting abilities respectively. Heroism lies in the heart and mind of a person not in his muscles or appearances. Jr. NTR proves this and scores heavily in Rakhi with his sheer acting power, unperturbed by his looks.



Krishna Vamsi also breaks the trend of the superfluous handling of social problems in movies. Though illegal, he gives a possible solution to a raging social problem: cruelty meted out to women in India. His protagonist doesn't look like a fake. Neither his portrayal of the police department nor the depiction of the love scenes are completely filmy. They boarder on reality yet they are filmy.

Rakhi scores on another count that it is a movie based on sister sentiment, a rare thing in Telugu movies these days.

Ramakrishna (Jr. NTR), affectionately called Rakhi, is the son of a railway employee (Chandramohan) and grandson of a railway porter (Kota Srinivasa Rao). He aspires to join the railways as an assistant station master. He dotes on his sister who is poised to get married. Tripura(Ileana) is his neighbor and works as a media reporter. Ramakrishna is in love with Tripura.

His sister gets married to a software engineer planning to move to USA. But the greedy in-laws burn his sister to make way for a second marriage of his brother-in-law for more dowry. Ramakrishna and his bereaved family knock the doors of justice. The police and the courts both fail them. An innocent girl who is burnt by their in laws is proved to be insane, of loose character, and suicidal. That's it. Ramakrishna takes the laws to his own hands.

The way Ramakrishna avenges his sister's death is unique. But this nation is full of crimes against women. Rapes are happening in police stations, hospitals, schools, and everywhere. Acid is thrown on girl students and they are hacked in examination halls. Ramakrishna becomes a serial avenger to balance the equation of terror against women.

A quite convincing story and superb acting by Jr. NTR make Rakhi worth watching. The romance scenes involving NTR and Ileana are made spicy with the use mild expletives by Ileana.

The direction is good, though not exceptional. The presence of characters like Sunil is not merely for the sake of cracking a joke or two. They have strong connection to the story. And some well directed scenes haunt after you have watched the movie.

Director: Krishna Vamsee
Producer: KL Narayana, S Gopal Reddy
Cast: NTR, Ileana, Charmme, Suhasini, Kota, Prakash Raj, Sayaji Shinde, Bharat, Ravi Varma, Brahmanandam, Sunil, Kondavalasa, MS Narayana, Uttej, Sameer, Satyam Rajesh
Music: Devi Sri Prasad
Editing:Shankar
Story/Writer:Radahakrishna

Shankar

The movie Shankar heralds the arrival of Madhu as a film director in a quiet way. There is not much of publicity for this movie, which is primarily aimed for B and C centers. Both the hero and the heroine are very little talked about, though not completely unheard of. So there is no star factor to lure people irrespective of the quality of the movie.

Shankar speaks of the talent of the director Madhu who has made the movie with a very sensible portrayal of the police department and the criminal-police nexus. This does not mean that its perfect, there are many illogical things creeping up here and there. But over all the absurdities have been kept to the minimum.



Shankar (Shashikant) is an absolutely corrupt police officer. He knows that his honesty and sincerity isn't going to yield any results in a city controlled my mafias. He also knows that neither he nor his mother, who is a collector, can bring down two criminal heavyweights of the city they live in. So he even becomes a bootlicker of Gowd (Rahul Dev), one of the two criminal heavyweights and covers crimes committed by him.

But there is a plan behind all this. Shankar wants to take revenge when the time comes and bears all the injustice done to him and his family. He joins hands with the criminals to study their weaknesses and strengths and exacts revenge ultimately.

The abrupt and impact less ending as well as the lack of strength in the depiction of the rivalry between the two main villains bring the quality of the movie down. And the setting of the movie in Hyderabad looks illogical, as these sort of things happen in Bihar. So it's difficult to digest the theory that a crime can be committed in the house of the collector and go unpunished.

Otherwise director Madhu deserves all the praise for doing a good job that includes shooting the song sequences in Rajasthan and Kashmir. A real oasis in the middle of a desert is soothing to the eyes. The plot is good. The use of tact in the movie instead of taking the mafias head on, is an indication that Madhu is a step closer to making sensible movies that can convince the viewers about the plot. Shashikant is good in the acting department.

Overall, Shankar is an average movie holding a promise for better movies from director Madhu in the future.

Director: Madhu
Producer: C Padmavati
Cast: Shashikant, Manasa, Rahul Dev, Giri Babu, Ali, M S Narayana
Music: Vandemataram Srinivas
Story/Writer:Madhu

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