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Amma Cheppindi

But can a child do anything if the mother asks' Can a loving mother ask her child to do something which normally even the worst mother wouldn't dream of asking' Amma Cheppindi holds the answer.

Amma Cheppindi is a touching tale of a child/young man, Bose (Sarvanand), whose mental growth has seized at the age of 7. He has the IQ of a seven year old and continues to study in grade 3 even though he is 21 years old. Bose's father (Pavan Malhotra) is a top scientist in a space research center. His younger brother is very brilliant and is poised to go to the USA. Bose is spurned by many for his idiocy, including his father. The only person who loves him unconditionally is his mother (Suhashini). She knows that he is a pure gem - uncomplicated and undefiled with the ways of the world. She opposes her husband's idea of institutionalizing Bose with lunatics. Bose is a gentle and harmless soul. He has a sense of humor and is an affable character for his straight forwardness. He is a good singer too and can memorize a lot of things (though he cannot put them to good use).

Bose can ride a bicycle and drive a car too but cannot pass 3rd grade. The principal of the school where Bose studies, advises his mother to take away Bose from the school and engage him in some gainful employment. So he starts working as an assistant in the kitchen and is given the responsibility of procuring ration from the city. Everybody in the space research colony knows Bose and his ways. So the security check for him at the gate is relaxed. That gives a chance to Naga Babu, an ISI hire, to plant bombs in the research center in collusion with a scientist and a security guard of the space center. Innocent Bose is used as the courier.

Sreya Reddy is an IB official who is assigned to look after the security of the space center under disguise. So she joins the school in the space center as a music teacher. She becomes a good friend of Bose for his simplicity and singing talent. Somehow the retarded boy fills the void in her life created by her departed parents. She gets close to him and even goes to dinner with him as his date.

Will their friendship blossom into love and take the shape of a full-fledged functional relationship' What happens to the ISI angle' Will they be able to blast the space center' What does the mother-son duo have to do with the bomb blasts' Watch the movie, you will know.

Sarvanand has done justice to the role of a retarded boy. He could have learnt a lesson or two from Kamal Hassan's method of acting and done better by infusing it to his role. Sreya Reddy is extremely gorgeous even in plain shirt and pants. She tries as much as possible to be tough as a cop and soft as a woman. And she does it marvelously, given the fact that it's a story of the male lead character.

Suhashini is as usual superb as a caring mother. Pavan Malhotra has done an excellent job in the limited role of a father. Suman and others too fit into their characters smoothly.

Gunnam Gangaraju adroitly crafts a poignant story of a retarded child. His dexterity is clearly discernible with the attention he pays to the details. Not a single shot is unwanted or illogical. There isn't even a whiff of ''typical filmy tone'' in the movie. Good photography by the debutant Gunnam Sandeep and music by Keeravani add value to the movie. The success saga of Gunnam Gangaraju continues with Amma Cheppindi

Director: Gunnam Gangaraju
Cast: Sarvanand, Sreya Reddy, Suhashini Maniratnam, Suman, Naga Babu, Pavan Malhotra, Tanikela Varini, Krishna Bhagwan, LB Sriram
Music: M M Keeravani
Cinematography: Gunnam Sandeep
Editing: Mohan Rama Rao
Screenplay: Gunnam Gangaraju
Story/Writer: Gunnam Gangraju
Art Direction: R Ravinder

Valliddari Vayasu Padahare

The youngsters Tarun Chandra and Devaki must be ecstatic about the release of this movie too. Tarun Chandra and Devaki are introduced to the Telugu Cinema with Valliddari Vayasu Padahare. Acting alongside greats like Jaysudha, Raghuvaran, Chandra Mohan and Suhasini they play the parts of two teenage lovers for whom the adage ''love is blind'' holds well.

Valliddari Vayasu Padahare is a love story that tries to be different. It's a tale about the duel between raging hormones of two minors and the sane advice of parents. Valliddari Vayasu Padahare doesn't condemn love per se. It disapproves the eloping of minors abdicating all responsibilities and gratitude towards parents.

It's a love story of two sixteen year olds who defy their parents. Naturally, their friends encourage them. The movie attempts to show that parents have the right to advice and guide the lives of their children. And when they are still minors this right becomes unquestionable.

Valliddari Vayasu Padahare is a movie that shocks the minor lovers with the tragic ending. Their eloping breaks an impending marriage, kills one and cripples another. By doing so the movie sends out a strong message: sixteen is not the age to elope in the name of love. The question of settling down in life and becoming financially independent comes first.

Running away from home with the lover and committing suicide in the name of love are never the advised course of action for people of any age. Falling in love at sixteen is sweet. But it has to be balanced with sanity. Studies, careers and parents should not be ignored at the cost of love. Failing to do so would prove to be tragic - that's what Valliddari Vayasu Padahare attempts to depict forcefully.

For parents and youngsters (especially between 15-18years) this is a movie not to be missed.

Director: Bhanu Shankar
Producer: M Kumara Swamy
Cast: Tarun Chandra, Devaki, Chanrdamohan, Raghuvaran, Jayasudha, Suhasini, K Vishwanath, Venumadhav, Telangana Shakuntala
Music: Kalyani Malik

Ashok


Well, Ashok is not a blockbuster exactly, but it was intended to be one. It misses the blockbuster mark by a huge margin. It's a good movie nevertheless and has been tailor made for the fans. The dialogs, songs and the plot are stitched to fit the fans' taste.

The opening shot of the movie: a baddie spewing out ketch up (sorry, blood) after getting beaten by the hero in a rain drenched fight scene, indicates how the movie is going to be. Ashok is a typical NTR movie, characterized by unquestionable machismo and staple violence. The Nandamuri clan does not know how to act otherwise and manliness is their first trait. It definitely runs in the blood, for the men from the Nandamuri stables need not act like tough men, they are tough men. They do not act macho; they are macho.

This helps the director immensely when the script demands a ruggedly tough guy as the hero. NTR, true to his lineage, sounds more serious than his role demands. It's a foregone conclusion that he would bash up the baddies to pulp. But the way he does it is what makes Ashok interesting. Peppy songs and the sultry Sameera Reddy add fizz to a *****tail of sentiment, romance, fights and comedy.

The plot is again conceived keeping NTR in mind for the role suits his image perfectly. Ashok is a righteous guy who doesn't tolerate injustice silently. He talks with his fist whenever the situation demands. On the contrary his father is a peace-loving family man (Prakash Raj). He tries to dissuade Ashok from street fighting, but Ashok does not mend his ways. For this very reason Ashok is kicked out of the house by his father. As the family head Ashok's father wants to protect his family and keep it away from the fights that Ashok picks up.

Ashok tries his level best to get back to his house by winning over his father. But he slips deeper in to the morass of violence and gore, although it's justified. And the notorious JK gang of the city crosses his path. But ultimately Ashok gets the approval of his father and his endorses his son's hard ways. How, you have to find that out.

Other than NTR its Prakash Raj who shines with his as usual brilliant acting. Sameera Reddy is nothing more than a glamorous love interest of NTR. But her role is very much de-glamorized if it's compared with her role in Musafir. The songs are good and have remained in the top five of the chart for quite some time. Except the exaggerated number of vehicles chasing NTRs's vehicle in an action scene the movie has logical action and fight scenes.

If you can remind yourself constantly that the blood you see on screen is really ketch up than you will have fun watching this movie. The violence in this movie is really graphic. But that's what is NTR's movies are about. Aren't they'


Director: Surender Reddy
Producer: Valluripally Ramesh
Cast: Jr NTR, Sameera Reddy, Prakash Raj, Sonu Sood, Rajeev Kanakala, Venumadhav
Music: Mani Sharma
Cinematography: Senthil Raju
Editing: Gowtam Raju
Screenplay: Surendra Reddy
Story/Writer: V. Vamsi
Art Direction: Ashok

Sitakoka Chiluka

The latest Sitakoka Chiluka is also a love story with a difference. Here the girl's brother-in-law replaces the brother as the villain and the brother-in-law is the one who is not only against the love union but also wants to marry the girl himself.

Navadeep and the gorgeous Sheela are students of an engineering college (these days in movies nobody is shown studying in ordinary colleges). Navadeep basically hates the idea of love, sex, and even any kind of physical contact with the girls. But he is the one who gets plenty of physical contact as Sheela bumps into him repeatedly. His friends lament that God is being unjust by showering such pleasant things on a person who is least interested whereas ignoring people like them who are almost dying for any kind of female touch.

Navadeep changes while returning home after watching a movie. He stops near the house of a married couple that is making love. Something kindles in him. He starts dreaming of Sheela whom he rudely rejected at every opportunity. Sheela also gets attracted to him and love blossoms. Fine, both are well educated and can get married. But Sheela's brother-in-law is a vile character who wants to take Sheela as a second wife. He doesn't even stop at killing his own off spring growing in the womb of his wife and killing his father-in-law to achieve his perverse goals.

Navadeep gives a solid performance in this movie. It is too bad that the he has many villains to fight against apart from the one in the story. Direction, story and music everything goes against him. Sheela is gorgeous. Prithvi enacts fabulously the loathsome character. Suhasini in the role of a helpful collector is convincing. Comedy in the movie is a dud and you have to tickle yourself to laugh. Thankfully there isn't much violence. If you keep your expectation very low may be you may enjoy this movie

Director: Raja
Producer: Hari Gopala Krishna
Cast: Navadeep, Sheela, Suhasini, Prithvi, Vijaykumar, Ali, Sangeetha, Shubalekha Sudhakar, Manorama, Dharmavarapu and Krishnabhagavan
Music: Manisharma

Amrutha Varsham

An interesting plot, melodious songs, good acting and nice camera work, nothing seems to have worked. After four days, the theatre where Amrutha Varsham is being screened, struggles to sell the front stall tickets and if you have purchased an upper stall ticket you are treated like royalty with the entire balcony to left to yourself. The fact that it's a remake of the hit Kannada film Amrutha Dhare, doesn't have any impact on the public. Even the Big B's presence does not help.

There is not a single vulgar gesture or dialog in the movie. Violence is non-existent too. The music is good and the songs are hummable. The lead pair is good looking and acts well. Everything is perfect, but the audience still does not appreciate the good work. That's truly sad.

The essence of Amrutha Varsham is: ''a meaningful life of three days is greater than a meaningless existence of a hundred years''. Sameer Dattani and Ramya are married but act as if they are lovers, with Sameer chasing Ramya. They have a good friend circle that settles their innumerable small fights. Sameer has married Ramya much against his father's wishes. His father kicks him out of the house and to that Sameer takes a vow to construct a house within one year. He saves every penny, even gets labeled as a penny pincher. And he ultimately builds a house within the promised time. A happily married young couple with realistic dreams leads a fulfilling life. But God has other plans for them.

Amrutha Varsham is a brilliantly made movie, no doubt about that. It's truly baffling that Amrutha Varsham is not a hit with the viewers in Andhra.


Director: Chandrasekhar
Cast: Sameer Dattani, Ramya, Jayasudha, Dharmavarapu Subramanyam, Sunil, Jeeva, Nigalagal Ravi, Madya Ramesh and others
Music: Kalyani Malik & Mano Murthy
Screenplay: Chandrasekhar
Story/Writer: Chandrasekhar

Nandanavanam 120 kms

Neelakanta needs to be praised for the gumption he has to make movies that are unique. All his movies are daringly different. In an industry where filmmakers avoid risk and tread the familiar route, he shows remarkable boldness by making movies that are the products of his creativity and not some tried formula.

Nandanavanam 120 kms is his latest movie that belongs to the suspense thriller genre. Nelakanta has equaled the number of average movies with the number of hit movies with Nandanavanam 120 kms. 'Missamma' and 'Show' by Neelakanta were two award winning hits whereas 'Sada me Sevalo' and 'Nandanavanam 120 kms' are two average movies made by him. But that's a pretty good score if you compare with other filmmakers.

The movie is enjoyable though it's an average one. As a suspense thriller, Nandanavanam 120 kms has many moments of gripping suspense. There are times when you wrack your brains to know as to what's happening. And there are times when feel like pulling your hair out for the slow rolling of the movie. But nothing is revealed till the end. Only the sad part is when the end comes, for which the audience is waiting with baited breath, it does not sound convincing.

Ajay Varma acts well in the lead role; after all he has experience of making serials and short movies. The highlight of the movie is the flawless acting of Kota Srinivasa Rao. There are very few actors who can put life to a negative character the way he does. Rameshwari's role is not well carved out. Rest of the cast is fits well for the roles.

Like most of the horror movies/suspense thrillers the movie bases all the action in a farmhouse named Nandanavanam, located exactly 120 kms away from the city. Is it a haunted house' Are there ghosts and a past life connection' Or is it a murder mystery' You find out. What's the fun if we give away the story'


Director: Neelakanta
Producer: Neelakanta
Cast: Ajay Varma, Manasa, Kota Srinivasa Rao, Talluri Rameswari, Naresh, Gowamraju, Surekha Vani, Kamal, Giridhar, Prabhu, Master Siddardha, Uma, Sivaram,Surya
Music: Vijay

Something Special


The quaintly titled movie has young and fresh faces. The viewers can feast their eyes on the cleavages shown in the movie. All the female actors have been generous in this regard.

The movie opens with a raunchy song, and the viewer is given hint of what to expect. The movie sincerely keeps its unwritten promise and goes on to more skin show often for the heck of it, without any taste.

Many such strip shows have come and gone. What registers strongly with the audience is a strong story line and powerful narration. ''Something special'' has neither.

The story is about two final year engineering students (heroes) who fall in love with two fresher. There are rival gangs in the college who compete to get some attention from the two new girls. The heroes belong to one such gang and they win a bet by eliciting some kind of response from the girls.

The betting continues with new challenges thrown in every time for the heroes and they succeed every single time putting their rivals to shame. They win over the girls finally by clever planning. What started as pure show of skills at attracting pretty girls turns slowly in to deep love.

Pre marital sex is also discussed in the movie. Both the boys want it and the girls are willing to wait till marriage (the parents are against such marriages, however). The boys plan again to get what they are seeking. Finally the boys get what they wanted and they reveal that everything was only a ploy to get the girls laid.

The girls start avoiding the two boys. This is where the boys realize their mistake and they also find themselves hopelessly in love. But the boys' fathers are greedy enough to arrange the marriage of their sons to different girls who are very rich.

Will the guys get the girls back' Will the lovers be able to marry their beloved' The rest of the movie deals with the answer to these questions.

There is nothing special about the movie ''Something Special'' except for the news that three songs have been sung by the Indian idol runner up Karunya for the movie. The movie claims to be a romantic comedy. Comedy is lame and evokes laughter in fits and starts. Romance is there alright, but without a proper dimension.


Language: TELUGU
Director: Ch. Srinivas
Producer: Kode Srinivasa Rao, Ch Uma Maheswari
Cast: Samrat, Aswini, Rajendra, Suniana, Mona Chopra Tanikela Bharini, LB Sriram, Ashok Kumar, Dinesh, Sudarshan
Music: Jupoodi

Astram

What' Aamir, Sonali and Naseer in "Astram"' No. They were the cast of Sarfarosh, one of the best Hindi movies of the end of the millennium. But yes...you are reading the review of Astram, a Telugu movie. Just change the names of Aamir & Co with that of Vishnu, Anushka, Jackie Shroff and Rahul Dev and you have read the review of Astram.

Astram is such a poor imitation of Sarfarosh that when you watch it you are constantly reminded of Sarfarosh. Even the scene where Sonali Bendre's chunni is blown away in the wind and ends up getting wrapped around Aamir is copied ditto in Astram.

The topic of terrorism was so deftly and realistically dealt in Sarfarosh that the viewers felt like getting a treat watching the movie. The intense Aamir as a plain clothed policeman; the reticent Mukesh Rishi with a lot of hurt and anguish in his bosom for the treatment meted out to him by his own police department for him being a Muslim; the brooding Naseeruddin Shah as a ghazal composer/singer and a terrorist mastermind; and the graceful Sonali Bendre cozying up to Aamir at the slightest opportunity still lingers in the viewers mind. The ghazal, 'Hosh walon ko kya khabar' was sung by the grave yet mellifluous voice of Jagjit Singh. The ghazal and the movie were class acts.

Astram is not even a shadow of Sarfarosh. The saving grace in the movie was the acting of Jaggu dada (Jackie Shroff). He takes the place of Naseer as KV, a singer and terrorist. Vishnu does an average job, as an IPS officer. Please do not ask for comparisons with Aaamir in the same role. Anushka is glamorous as usual and ready for a song and dance at every appearance in the movie. With her twin assets (acting talent and looks) she is poised for the big league, no doubt.

The makers of the movie let go of a splendid opportunity by not being able to cash on a topic that is still 'current' after 7 years. Terrorism by Muslim extremists is still a hot topic and many Telugu people hailing from the towns have not seen Sarfarosh. Unimaginative direction, powerless dialogues and mediocre music have cost the makers dearly.

The bottom line: Suresh Krishna is no John Matthew Mathan and Astram is a bad print out of the original. Even if you consider it independently, Astram lacks sharpness and is as useless as a blunt weapon.

Director: Suresh Krishna
Producer: Raju Hirwani
Cast: Vishnu, Anushka, Jackie Shroff, Rahul Dev, Sharat Babu, Benarjee, Raghu Babu, Parachuri Venkateshwara Rao, Rallapalli, Sudha
Music: S A Rajkumar
Cinematography: Balamurugan
Editing: Gowtham Raju
Screenplay: Suresh Krishna
Art Direction: Ashok

Vikramarkudu

If Raviteja is hilarious as Athili Sattibabu (a thief), his honesty and boldness personified in his other role Vikram Singh Rathod, a police officer. If the blow of a police whistles causes fear in Athili Sattibabu, the only fear Vikram Singh Rathod has is the fear of failure in carrying out his duties as a responsible police officer.

Here is the plot...

Athili Sattibabu is a consummate thief and conman. He along with his uncle Brahmanandam makes a good living out of cheating people. Two people (one adult and one child) change the happy-go-lucky life of Athili Sattibabu who has no qualms about fighting with aunties of his area. The first one is a grown up and gorgeous babe (Anushka) whom he starts romancing. The second one is a girl of 5-6 years who thinks him to be her father.

The girl is the daughter of Sattibabu's look alike, assistant superintendent of police, Vikram Singh Rathod. Vikram Singh Rathod is posted in Deogarh and wants to correct the vaastu of the town by punishing two big time rogues of the area (enacted by Ajay and Vineeth Kumar), for their list of misdemeanors. He succeeds partially but dies in the process. Enters Sattibabu, a la Don (old Hindi movie) style, to become the father of the orphan daughter of Vikram Singh Rathod and avenge the death of an intrepid police officer.

S S Rajamouli typically leaves his touch by making the villains as repulsive as possible. Music of Keeravani can be best described as pedestrian. The high points of the movie are the flawless acting of Raviteja and the lusciousness of Anushka. Raviteja has got all the ingredients that an actor should have and Anushka has all the assets to that a woman ought to have. Vikramarkudu does a favor to both the stars: one establishes herself and the other reestablishes himself.

The movie too could have been a blockbuster like the past four Rajamouli movies, had the ending been a little more dramatic. Vikramarkudu begins with a lot of comedy, slowly adds meat to the storyline and builds up interest. But when the crescendo builds up and an explosive climax is expected the viewer is treated to an unconvincing finale. Watch the movie and you will definitely agree that the ending of Vineeth Kumar is done lamely. A guy who could terrorize people and sleep with whoever he wanted from Deogarh area should have been a bit formidable instead of bowing down to the hero.

Ajay, who has been acting till now as a sidekick or a hero's friend till now gets a meatier role as a Daaku in Chambal valley. The illogical costume, stained teeth and a dubbed over voice gives him a filthy and repugnant image that heightens his role as a villain. Vineeth Kumar is simply loathsome by virtue of his acting. Brahmanandam is as usual at his best and Raviteja matches him word for word in comedy. The tint given to photography brings out the best of Chambal valley. On the whole, good work by Rajamouli, the cast and the crew.

If you are 18 and above (there is a lot of violence) you will definitely enjoy the movie.


Director: S S Rajamouli
Producer: M.L.Kumar Chowdary
Cast: Raviteja, Anushka, Prakashraj, Vineeth Kumar, Brahmanandam, Ruthika, Rajeev Kanakala, Raghubabu, Ali, Ajay, Jayaprakash Reddy, Sekhar, Amith Kumar, Baba, Devisree, Madhu Sharma, Naveen, Baby Neha, Prameela Rani, Baby Harshi, Master Rishi
Music: M.M.Keeravani
Cinematography: Sarvesh Murari
Editing: K. Venkateshwara Rao
Screenplay: S S Rajamouli
Story/Writer: Vijeyandra Prasad

Iddaru Athala Muddula Alludu

He took a hiatus from film acting during the early part of this decade. Came back and gave a few flops, an award winning movie, ''Aa Naluguru'' as well as a hit comedy: Andaru Dongale Dorikithe. Rajendra Prasad won a Nandi award for best acting in 2005 for a lead role in, ''Aa Naluguru'', a serious role played to perfection. Surprisingly his other Nandi award for best acting in a lead role was for a serious role again. An actor who is known for his trademark comedy but wins awards for serious roles is by all means an accomplished one and this shows the range of his versatile.

The second innings for the star has been good so far. His latest film Iddaru Athala Muddula Alludu (IAMA) however is not a movie in the class of Andaru Dongalle Dorikithe.

IAMA is a story about the evils of having two wives. The movie intends to drive home the point that ''It is alright to have two cars, two houses and two of everything except two wives''. Balu (Rajendra Prasad) is a good singer from a village who wants to make it big in Hyderabad. He is sent off to the city by the village elders on a truck that's being used for campaigning for the elections. Balu has the address of a man from his village (Suman) who stays in Hyderabad with his two wives. Suman mistakes him to be his nephew. He asks Balu to keep his identity a secret and seek employment as a domestic help in his first wife's house. But Balu ends up getting job in the house of the second wife too because of the competitive nature of the wives. The two daughters of Suman, Chandana and Bandana who are from the two wives respectively, also start loving Balu partly out of competitiveness that turns deep later on. Now both the mothers are at loggerheads as always, this time over whose daughter will be married to Balu' Will Balu marry both, one or none of them'

This is a movie that is a like a garment prepared from bits and pieces. For instance the comedy track of Venumadhav has no relevance with the main storyline and is just hemmed in. Songs, directions and costume in IAMA are disappointing.

The bottom line is: It's a watchable movie for the comedy it contains.


Director: Devanand
Producer: G. Sudarshan
Cast: Rajendra Prasad, Suman, Keerthi Chawla, K Harathi, Kovai Sarala, Seetha, Venumadhav, Jeeva
Music: Prasad
Cinematography: Kishan Sagar
Editing: Rambabu

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