Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo review: Allu Arjun shines in this family drama!
A well-packaged entertainer
By: Jalapathy Gudelli/Telugucinema.com
Critic's Rating: 3.25/5
Monday 13 January 2020
Allu Arjun, Pooja Hegde, Tabu, Sushanth, Nivetha Pethuraj, Jayaram, Samuthirakani, Navdeep, Rahul Ramakrishna
Two infants are swapped at a maternity hospital. Valmiki (Murali Sharma) who works at the office of Ramachandra (Jayaram) interchanges his son with Ramachandra's son. Ramachandra's son is raised by Valmiki and Valmiki's son is with Ramachandra's family. Twenty years later, we see Bantu (Allu Arjun) leading a middle-class life at Valmiki's house and Raju (Sushanth) at Vaikunthapuram, the residence of Ramachandra. Bantu gets a job in a tourism company and falls for the charms of his boss (Pooja Hegde). When everything is going smooth in his life, Bantu comes to know that he's actually born to rich parents. He is the heir. What will he do now? Will he reveal the truth to Ramachandra and his wife (Tabu)?
"Okariki Sthanam Ivvochu Kani Sthayini Ivvalemu" (One may get rewarded with a position but not the status; the status has to be earned, not given) is the point Trivikram has tried to drive through this film. It is a debatable point but with this line, Trivikram weaves a family drama.
Despite the profound line of thought, the story here is simple. In fact, the theme of the swapping of infants was attempted in old movies such as Inti Guttu. But Trivikram can make a seemingly-routine plot into an engaging and entertaining watch. And he has done effectively here albeit with some issues.
The biggest strength of the movie is that it leaves us with a warm feeling as we exit from the theatres. The director knows how to touch our emotional cords. Trivikram has got the packaging right. Though his writing quality is not in the best form, he has made sure that entertainment and emotional heft is in perfect sync. And to top it all, he has got an exceptional music score from Thaman.
The film sure does make an entertaining watch but it also has many issues. Of late, Trivikram is not giving any substance to his heroines. They act almost dumb. Here Pooja Hegde is a boss in the office, but she doesn't mind the hero ogling at her legs. Instead, she places a book on his head so that his glance remains at eye-level.
In a corporate boardroom meeting, hero dances to old movie songs and makes it a vegetable market meeting. One doesn't expect such scenes from a director who is known for his intelligence. There are also many other issues but as I said earlier, it has the right packaging that makes an entertaining watch.
This perhaps ranks as Allu Arjun's most-matured performance. There are a mellowness and naturalness in his performance. He is chirpy and mischievous at some places and brings heft in emotional episodes.
Pooja Hegde is beautiful and but her characterization is silly. Why she falls for Allu Arjun and why she agrees to get engaged to another person on the insistence of his father with no will of mind? Nivetha Pethuraj is another prop in the whole setup in the story.
Sushanth in a key role as a rich kid is okay.
Tabu is not seen much in the first half but she gets one key emotional sequence post-interval. Jayaram gets a better role than Tabu and the senior Malayalam actor brings his best. Sachin Khedekar as a grandfather is good. Rajendra Prasad and Sunil get silly scenes. Navdeep, Rahul Ramakrishna, and Vennela Kishore have done regular roles. Samuthirakani with a strange mannerism in an evil port company owner is good.
No need to mention that the biggest strength of the movie is its music. It has already proven Thaman has given the best music. Thaman is the real star of the movie. PS Vinod's pleasant camerawork is another asset.
As a writer and director, Trivikram has shown the spark of his Attarintiki Daredi period. There are some lines that are quite good.
Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo is a well-packaged entertaining movie that has several positive points. It is a feel-good family entertainer. Despite many issues and some cliched sequences, it makes an entertaining watch during this festive period. And the music is top-notch. One can say, it is a Pandaga movie.