You can trust Ram Gopal Varma for doing every possible thing to ‘sell’ his film to the audience and his latest film Katha Screenplay Darsakathvam : Appalaraju is a fine example. After months of buzz, that the film is meant for our ‘entertainment’, the film falls somewhere between a genuine tragedy and a farce. Directed by RGV, the film has Sunil, Swati, Sakshi, Adarsh, Raghu Babu, Harshavardhan and Thanikella Bharani in lead roles. KSD Appalaraju narrates the story of a first time director who has to compromise at every step to make his film and ends up making everything which he hated in first place.
What’s the story :
Appalaraju (Sunil), who hails from Amalapuram, lands his Hyderabad with a dream of making a tragedy film titled Naayika. He finds his producer in no time and convinces a top heroine Kanishka (Sakshi) to act in his film. She convinces another top hero, Babu Gaaru (Adarsh) to act in a special role in the film to boost the box office prospects. When everything looks set, some
unforeseen circumstances land his film in trouble. A twist in the tale leads to Srisailam (Brahmanandam) taking up the film, who agrees to finance the project. How these unforeseen circumstances lead to Appalaraju compromise with his script at every step forms the rest of this story.
What is Good :
RGV banks heavily on the characters to pull off this film. Sunil is the epitome of passionate filmmaker who wants to make a good film, when he enters the filmdom. Soon, he is forced into a dilemma where he has to either buckle under pressure or stick to his morals. The scope for him to act is narrow because it’s quite a unidimensional role. The only emotion he depicts in the situation is that of frustration and bewilderment. Swati becomes his companion offering valuable advice from time to time and she does a decent job at it. Raghu Babu and Harshavardhan get into the shoes of their respective roles pretty well. On the other hand, Adarsh, Ajay, Thanikella Bharani, Kota Srinivas Rao, M S Narayana, Sakshi, Brahmanandam breeze through their scenes.
What’s good about the film is the way it pokes fun of how few things might occur in film industry like the scene where all the ‘film critics’ sit together to decide what ratings should be given or even the music sittings. Venu Madhav, who plays the funniest role in the film as the Gunman of Brahmanandam, is a revelation! Even the story of the film has a point to prove at a superficial level that irony is a major part of our lives and the result achieved is nowhere close to what you had set out for.
What is bad:
Much like the script which Appalaraju has, the film is misleading to a large extent. It’s as if RGV had no clue where to end a scene. The emotional graph fluctuates so much that it’s hard to sympathize with Appalaraju and he becomes just another caricature. There’s no denying that Appalaraju’s tragedy is comical at times. However, the long drawn out sequences which don’t really serve any purpose make it a boring watch for most part in second half culminating in a long pre-climax cat & mouse chase episode. The film ends up being a farce at one point of time where the debate whether the film tries to mirror the actual behind the scenes story of film industry or yet another desperate attempt to capture attention becomes ludicrous. On several occasions, it also disengages itself from the very minds it is trying to impress in the first place. Sometimes, reality without the usual dose of drama is too bland to fall in love with.
Technical Departments :
The first two songs in the film are as funny as their teasers and the buck stops there. Sunil puts his heart and soul when it comes to dancing and its shows. For once, RGV refrains from experimenting too much with the camera angles and the cinematography is decent. The film could have been trimmed a lot on the editor’s table to make a breezy watch, instead it tries to be too
funny at times. Since the story, screenplay and direction have been credited to RGV himself, there could be two reactions to this film. Perhaps we would end up liking RGV’s audacity for taking names (of people in film industry) or be left amused at why he would make a film this bland, the subtlety of which is incomprehensible to those who hardly have a clue about how people
in the film industry behave. You choose.
KSD Appalaraju is a fine example of how curiosity can kill the cat. It does make an interesting watch if you know about the characters and exactly whom to relate to. However ironic it may sound, the film is seriously tragic at its core. And ‘tragic’ is not the kind of word one would associate the film with after all those hilarious promotions. Perhaps this is what happens when
you expect a little too much from RGV. He will continue to make film the way he wants to and we end up with what-the-hell-just-happened expression and move on.