Release date: 12th December 2009
123Telugu.com Rating: 2/5
Director : Y.V.S.Choudary
Music Director : Sandeep Chowta
Producer : Dr M Mohanbabu
Starring : Mohan Babu, Vishnu Vardhan, Ileana, Brahmanandamand others ...
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YVS Chowdary’s latest film ‘Saleem’ is yet another example to prove his forte in handling big budget films with top actors. ‘Saleem’ starring Vishnu, Ileana and Mohan Babu has been jointly produced by Mohan Babu and BIG Cinema under the banner of ‘Sri Lakshmi Prasanna Pictures’. The film fiddles with themes like love, family, mafia, Indian culture among many other things. It’s the story of how a girl realizes the true meaning of love.

What is it about : Vishnu stars as Munna, an orphan who suddenly shows up in a village, Venkatapuram to woo Satyavati (Ileana). Satyavati who has lived in Europe for 14 years begins to hate Munna right from the word go. However, Munna realizes that his love is quite small compared to the love shown by Satya’s family towards her. Munna decides to stop flirting with her but the unusual turn of events lead Satya to fall in love with Munna. Does their love sustain? Who actually is Munna? What does he do? Does he confess his true identity to Satya’s family? This forms the rest of the story.

What is Good: ‘Saleem’ is a big budget film with almost Rs.23 crores spent in its production. YVS Chowdary puts the money to a good use and sets the major part of the film in Europe, Thailand. The film is high on glamour quotient. Ileana and Kaveri Jha sizzle as far as glamour is concerned. Ileana’s characterization is good and she does well throughout the film. Vishnu’s new style is a revelation. He does well when it comes to dances, fights and few dialogues here and there. The fights in the film are well choreographed, although they do get over the top sometimes. Ali entertains in his role as a famous choreographer. The first half of the film is passable with family entertainment and gets better with Ali’s introduction. The interval bang is very good. Mohan Babu’s introduction is handled well. The conversations between Mohan Babu and Vishnu arouse some interest.

What is bad: The basic premise of the film has been heavily inspired from Vipul Shah’s blockbuster film, ‘Namastey London’. However, ‘Saleem’ completely lacks the charm of its original. YVS Chowdary, also wrote the story and handled the screenplay apart from the directing it. The characters in his films usually tend to be loud, eccentric and this trend hits a new high in ‘Saleem’. Even the screenplay of the film is confusing in the first thirty minutes. Too many details are revealed in the first five minutes, and without any character introduction, the lead pair is shown together in a song. Barring few twists and interesting incidents here and there, the film especially the second half drags. Vishnu’s characterization as a sharp shooter has traces from Angelina Jolie’s ‘Wanted’. The background score, in the scenes between Mohan Babu and Kaveri Jha has been plagiarized from the theme music of Ranbir Kapoor’s ‘Bachna Ae Haseeno’. On the whole, the film suffers from too many subplots and deviates from the main storyline.

Technical Departments: Dialogues by Chintapalli Ramana are good. Art by Anand Sai is pretty good. C.Ramprasad’s cinematography is pleasing to the eyes throughout the film. Music by Sandeep Chowta is a mélange of contemporary genres. It shifts gears between melodies to high-pitched tunes. Editing by Kotagiri Venkateswara Rao could have been better especially in the second half of the film. YVS Chowdary’s storyline is alright, however, the screenplay of the film could have been a lot better. The direction is good in parts.

Bottomline: The rich production values can be seen in lavish sets, stylish costumes and foreign locations especially in the songs. The only glitch is the substandard visual effects in the film, which should have been handled with more care. Beneath all the visual appeal, loud fights and high glamour quotient, ‘Saleem’ is a dead fish. The incoherent screenplay and quirky characters test your patience. Even the glamour quotient gets out of control so much that it is suffocating. Lack of originality and a predictable storyline are the major drawbacks. While it’s good to see that the father and son duo, Vishnu-Mohan Babu sharing the screen space, it would have been better if there were more scenes between them. In the end, Saleem leaves you dazed and cringe in your seats!

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123Telugu.com Rating : 2/5

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