Erra Gulabeelu
Release date: 18 February, 2011
123Telugu.com Rating : 2.75/5
Director : Gautham Menon
Producer : Ashok Vallabhaneni
Starring : Sameera Reddy, Samantha, Veera and others
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After the stupendously successful Ye Maya Chesave one can understand that Gowtham Menon might have wanted to change gears and try a different genre altogether. Erragulabilu isn’t just in a different genre, but goes down deep into the darkest corners of the society and finds a topic which has somehow managed to evade Indian Cinema to a large extent. Simply put Erragulabilu talks about Child Abuse, Orgies, and deals with multiple personality disorders and serial murders. Shocked, there’s more!

Erra Gulabeelu What’s it about: One night three cops are found dead in different parts of Hyderabad. S.P. Vijay (Deva) finds that all three murders are related to a girl, who has been kidnapped from a hospital, after she got stitches for wounds from a knife! All the clues lead him to a bungalow in the city’s outskirts.

Samar (Veera), is a motherless child, under the care of his father. Far from being an ideal father, this man is a maniac, who soon starts abusing his own son. A neighbor Meenakshi (Swapna Abraham), witnesses the boy’s plight and complains to the police. In the ensuring raid, the father kills himself, leaving his son to carve his own destiny. Meenakshi becomes Samar’s caretaker and begins calling him Veera. For Veera, this uncalled love and affection from Meenakshi is more than he had bargained for. Growing hormones start confusing his mind which has already been hurt by an extremely haunting past. It is here that reality blurs and his emotions take the best of him. Unable to handle Meenakshi’s marriage, he kills her husband and ends up setting a fire to Meenakshi. The lady survives, though barely, as she is put in intensive care. Guilty of her ‘one time weak moment’ with the underaged boy, Meenakshi doesn’t allow any police case against Veera. Instead she wants him to be educated in Hyderabad, where she owns a large estate. What Meenakshi doesn’t know is that her ‘pity’ on the boy has just turned him into a cunning killer, who would torture and kill girls in the name of love!

For an urban girl Sukanya (Sameera Reddy), life has been good goody so far. She has an adoring boyfriend, and one night she jumps out of home to go to a movie with him. Life takes a completely different turn after her boyfriend goes out in the middle of the movie.

The stories of Veera, Sukanya and the S.P.Vijay intertwine in this chilling tale of dark secrets and the other side of human emotions.

What is Good : When one sees so many dark elements in a movie it becomes tough to say what is so good about it. That is the impact that Gowtham Menon manages to make with Erragulabilu. Veera unleashes a monster of a performance as a psycho killer, and yet manages to find some sympathy towards him! Sameera Reddy comes up with a realistic performance. She uses her eyes and her good looks to the maximum as she plays the role of an innocent girl caught in an insane situation! The others including Swapna Abraham, Deva have very small roles and they add a lot of credibility to their acting. That said the key players are not the actors in the film, but the screenplay and almost all the technical crew involved.

What is bad: There is nothing specifically bad in Erragulabilu. It has been dealt exactly as was required for a movie of its kind. May be, you would say, it could have moved faster! The problem is when we see movies like these we start comparing them with the Hollywood ones. By default, they are better, in terms of content and technology. However, one noticeable part of Foreign thriller movies (like Seven, Silence of the Lambs, The Secret in Their Eyes) is the large perspective of life they manage to get inside them. They talk about how life plays havoc with some, and convince us that criminals aren’t a strange ‘happening’ in life. For us, psychotic killers are still objects of fascination – as if they are out there somewhere far from us. Erragulabilu too is no different. That’s probably where it fails to connect with audiences! Also, for the way Samantha’s face has been used in the film’s promotional material, one would have thought that she had a big role in the film. Alas she is there just for few seconds on screen. Cheap promotional trick!

Technical Departments : The way the screenplay unravels the story is simply outstanding. Gowtham Menon deserves all the credit for the way it was shaped, narrated, and presented. It is an extremely brave attempt to deal with such topics, especially without the usual gimmickry of songs and hero worship. To come up with some kind of a message in such a film is pure genius and courage of the director. Never does he judge any character unnecessarily, and he even manages to get some sympathy towards a maniac! Manoj Paramahamsa, who made everyone spellbound with his romantic cinematography in Ye Maya Chesave gives the movie a successful horrific feel. He manages to do that, even after we know how the movie will end! It isn’t often that editing, sound design and actors performances engross you into a movie, which is too shady for our own good! Just a word here about the sensitivity of the filmmakers – they could have used many scenes to scare the audiences; however they restrained themselves from doing so. A lot of caution has been exercised during some visuals like the orgies and abuse scenes. They are just implied and never shown explicitly!

Final Point: Erragulabilu is a definite step ahead for South Indian films. Though it has been made in Tamil originally, Telugu filmmakers can take inspiration from it and come up with more riveting stories. The movie definitely has something for those who are serious about cinema, and those who will watch it. Question is, are you ready to watch a story of dark side of human mind?


123Telugu.com Rating : 2.75/5

Legend:    5 - Flawless
                4 - Must Watch
                3 - One Time Watch
                2 - Wait for the DVD
                1 - Stay Away
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