By: By Moviebuzz
Critic's Rating: 17/5
Thursday 19 February 2004
Vijaya Bhaskar K
Venkatesh, Katrina Kaif, Balaiah, Kota Srinivasa Rao, Brahmanandam
We go to movies to laugh, cry and be entertained. Movies are forever, everything else can wait! Malleswari reinforces this faith. It is a nice blend of fantasy and middle-class dreams though loosely based on William Wyler?s classic Roman Holiday.
Director Vijaya Bhaskar who has a decent track record of making feel good family entertainers in the past like Swayamvaram, Nuvve Kavali, Nuvvu Naaku Nachchav and Manmadhudu has lived up to the expectations with Malliswari.
The slickly packaged comedy is pretty good fun while it lasts. Malliswari (Katrina Kaif) is the heiress to the fortunes of Raja of Mirjapur. She is unaware of the fact that everyone dear to her are after her immense wealth. Her life is in danger after a murder attempt by Bhavani Prasad (Koti), her uncle and caretaker.
The princess is packed off to Visakapatanam where she lives the life of an ordinary girl. She meets Vara Prasad (Venky) a bank employee who is looking out to marry someone and settle in life. He is a laughing stork at office and home as everyone makes fun of his various failed attempts to get married and they call him Pellikani Prasad.
One day he sees Malliswari and he falls hook line and sinker for her angelic beauty. He follows her and confesses his love for her, but she does not show any interest, as she is after all a princess! Prasad does not leave her and is determined to woo her by any means.
Malliswari is tracked down by Bhavani Prasad who arranges some goons to kill her. But Prasad saves her and brings her safely to Hyderabad where he realises to his shock that she is a princess and heir to a fortune. How Malliswari falls in love with Prasad and he saves her life in the end forms the story of this fairy tale. Vijay Bhaskar?s ability to mine humour and sentiments from the screenplay is noteworthy. The rapier-sharp synergy between the lead actors brings the narrative to life, be it the scene where Venky accidentally breaks eggs placed in his helmet on his head or the scenes in the bank which are hilarious.
The situational laugh-raiser has its quota of one-liners. Count among the high points - the ethereal lyrics of Sirivennela set to music by Koti?s chick score including the title track, Trivikram?s winsome dialogues, art director Sharmishta Roy?s sets and locations, cinematographer Sameer Reddy's array of breathtaking images of Vizag, Mysore palace and beaches of Thailand.
Finally at the epicentre of all is the wonderful Venkatesh. As the tale heats up Varaprasad comes alive and captures the zest and passion called for by the script. Be it his flawless comic timing or frustrations of being a bachelor, he is astounding. He has Brahmanandam and Sunil for company who are part of the narrative and bring the house down. If Katrina Kaif was roped in to look attractive, beautiful and majestic, Vijay Bhaskar has succeeded to a very large extent as she is convincing though her dancing and emoting needs to improve.