By: By Moviebuzz
Critic's Rating: 17/5
Monday 10 January 2005
Pawan Kalyan, Shriya, Neha Oberai, Gulshan Grover
In a nutshell, Baalu is an action packed adventure that moves from Hyderabad to Delhi and returns via Agra in a broken down condition. Pawan completes his hat trick of forgettable films like Johnny, Gudumba Shankar and now Baalu. However the first half is tolerable but post interval the story flounders as it degrades into a C grade screech flick with a climax lifted from Walking Tall.
Expectedly the story is pure balderdash. The film opens with Balu (Pawan) and his sidekick (Sunil) opening a florist shop in the busy Mahankali Market controlled by a gang leader Nayudamma (J.Singh). Balu pretends to be friendly with the don so that he can trace a document about the ownership of the market area which was owned by local zamindar (Suman) many years back. Balu lives in the household of a lady (Jayasudha) whom he treats as his mother and is protective about her and family. Due to a cell phone mix up Balu falls in love with a poor little rich girl (Shriya) who wants to go to US for higher studies.
But then comes a predictable interval twist- Nayudamma and his gang realize that Balu is not what he is and is actually a hit-man Ghani of the notorious Delhi underworld don Khan (Gulshan Grover). Ghani was raised by the Khan to be a cold blooded killer and do what he commands. But all that changes after Ghani meets Indira( Neha) a medical student who brings light into his life. But Ghani has a showdown with Khan when the latter orders him to kill Indira as she was an eye witness to a brutal massacre.
He is then on the run with Indira and they go to Agra where she is settled with her mother (Jayaprada) and family. However Indira falls prey to Khan?s henchmen and she is killed in front of the Taj Mahal! She makes a last wish to Ghani to distribute her vast properties in Mahankali market to the vendors and look after her family! How Ghani changes his name and does the impossible is what the rest of the film is all about.
The basic problem with the film is Pawan Kalyan who is no where near his old form during Kushi days. He has a haggard look and mannerisms especially in romantic scenes with Shriya are the same like in Gudumba Shankar. Neha Oberoi is a total miscast as Indira and the girl looks like a mannequin with absolutely no emotions. Shriya too sleep walks in her glamour role. Pray what was a talented actor like Sourabh Shukla doing in the film?
The music of Mani Sharma is not sufficiently peppy and is a letdown. Even Mani seems to have lost the magic touch. After seeing the film one has to conclude that director Karunakaran must have been snoozing on the sets! Needless to add, there is more hardware than heart in Balu which may not be lapped up by even die-hard Pawan Kalyan fans!