Varudu : ‘Ramayanam’ retold!
Release date: 31st March 2010
123Telugu.com Rating: 3/5
Director : Gunasekhar
Music Director : Mani Sharma
Producer : DVV Danaiah
Starring : Allu Arjun, Arya, Bhanu Mehra, Suhasini, Ashish Vidhyarthi, Bramanandam, Naresh and others...
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Gunashekar’s latest magnum opus ‘Varudu’ tries to recreate the aura of traditional Hindu weddings which have been forgotten. At a time when love marriages are the order of the day, Gunashekar tries to reason that ‘Arranged Marriages’ are still relevant. The film starring Allu Arjun, Bhanu Mehra and Arya in lead roles is loosely inspired from the epic ‘Ramayana’ with a tinge of other fables from our mythology. DVV Danayya has produced the film on ‘Universal Media’ banner. ‘Varudu’ narrates the story of a guy who believes that arranged marriages still work.

What is it about : Allu Arjun stars as Sandeep, who enjoys his life just like any other youngster these days. However, when it comes to love and marriage, his aspirations puzzle everyone. He tells his parents to search for a suitable bride for him and expects his wedding to be a 5 day event as was the case 100 years ago. The bride to be (Bhanu Mehra) reciprocates his aspirations and they see each other for the first time at their wedding. However, before the wedding could be completed, Sandeep has to face a ‘Diwakar’ian challenge. How does he do that? That forms the rest of the story.

What is Good: At the core of its heart, ‘Varudu’ is a movie about love and how far one can go to save his loved ones. Gunasekhar succeeds in establishing the fact that for a marriage to succeed it’s important that the couple share a great bond. The film unfolds in its own leisure pace to arrive at this point and the 13 minute wedding song narrates all the rituals performed in traditional old-style Hindu weddings. Of the star cast, Allu Arjun gets better and better as the film progresses. Debutant actress, Bhanu Mehra whose identity has been kept under wraps all these days, delivers a confident performance. The story of the film is written in such a way that her role is restricted and she doesn’t disappoint. However, the biggest surprise is Arya, who steals the show with his power packed performance. He plays the role of a stage artist which he performs with great panache. He’s a maniac who doesn’t know what fear means, and Arya gets into the skin of this role with great ease.

What is bad: The film’s transformation from a budding love story to a high adrenaline action film could have been handled in a better way. After a relaxed beginning where everyone talks about marriage, traditions the film suddenly transforms into a rescue mission with oodles of loud action sequences. The second half of the film is a bit too loud on the ears. Further, the usual dazzling energy seen in Allu Arjun has been toned down and it takes a while to get adjusted to it initially. The visual effects in the film are disappointing and it’s not hard to make out how artificial the whole setting is. The climax of the film, although has good action choreography and background music, is clearly inspired from a Hollywood film, ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine’. Needless to say, it’s cheesy and over the top.

Technical Departments: The music composed by Mani Sharma isn’t one of his best works; however, the 13 minute wedding song and the background score at times have been brilliantly composed. Stunt Siva’s action choreography is good throughout the film. Editing by Anthony is jerky at times. Rajasekhar’s cinematography is good. The film is visually appealing and except for the visual effects, the DI and Colour grading is pretty good. Gunasekhar has also written the story apart from handling the screenplay and the direction of ‘Varudu’. While the intention behind revoking the concept of 5 day marriage ceremony is good, the story goes into a clichéd mode when it goes into a rescue mission. On the whole, Gunasekhar falls short of recreating the magic of ‘Okkadu’.

Bottomline: The film is loosely based on ‘Ramayanam’ and the same concept has been later adapted in films like ‘Varsham’. Apart from this, parts of ‘Varudu’ have been clearly inspired from Gunasekhar’s own film ‘Okkadu’. ‘Varudu’ works to a large extent, thanks to powerful performances by Arya and Allu Arjun, especially during action sequences. The film is definitely loud and over the top at times, but perhaps there is no other way to narrate it when Gunasekhar chose to mould Arya’s role as Diwakar as seen in the film. It’s a well written film which could have been much better.

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123Telugu.com Rating : 3 /5

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                3 - One Time Watch
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