Arjun Reddy review: A bold, daringly different youthful movie

This modern tale of 'Devadas' is a treat watch and the whole effort is quite laudable



Critic's Rating: 3/5

Friday 25 August 2017

Movie Title

Arjun Reddy review: A bold, daringly different youthful movie


Sandeep Reddy Vanga

Star Cast

Vijay Deverakonda, Shalini Pandey, Kanchana, Sanjay Swaroop, Kamal Kamaraju, Gopinath Bhat, Jia Sharma, Amit Sharma, Priyadarshi, Bhuvan, Aditi myakal

The story is about a brilliant medical student Arjun Reddy (Vijay Devarakonda) who is studying at a college in Mangalore. He has anger management issues. It was love at first sight with the junior student Preeti (Shalini), a Tulu girl hailing from Hyderabad. Without any reason, Preeti also falls for him, and soon they become inseparable.

Arjun Reddy leaves Mangalore to Mussoorie for Post-graduation and reaches Preeti's house to ask her parent's permission to seek her hand. But her father despises him, and doesn’t accept their love. Soon she is married off to a Tulu guy. He turns Devadas, goes on destruction route, turns into an alcoholic and is addicted to drugs. His friends try to bring him back to normal life, his family also lends support but he starts torturing himself further and turns obsessive about Preeti. Then he tries to maintain a physical relationship with a movie star. He becomes a surgeon but he still continues to lead a destructive lifestyle. How this modern Devadas comes back to normalcy, what prompts him to regain the old self forms the rest of the story.

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After a long time, yes after a long time, we have got to see a new voice in Telugu Cinema in the form of debutant director Sandeep Reddy Vanga. Bollywood director Anurag Kashyap retold the evergreen classic Devadas as Dev D giving it a modern twist. The new director Sandeep Reddy has also used the same theme in a contemporary setting and added a new twist too. His debut movie Arjun Reddy is told in a never before seen tone for a Telugu movie. Bold, intelligent and ultra-realistic approach is what he has chosen for this. Lot of self-indulgence too. But you will be amused with the joy of watching a different love story in the first half. It moves effortlessly from present to past to hero's college days seamlessly telling the love story in the most intense and youthful way.

The very first sequence is quite new for a Telugu movie. Then the story heading to Mangalore and the college scenes, hero’s attitude in college and his romance with new girl of the college are told in freshest way. There is a never a dull moment before the first half, though some scenes seem too hard to digest for a normal movie goer. This Devadas has anger management issues (even the old Devadas is easily irascible though). This Devadas talks boldly about all things – sex, periods, etc. He also is brutally honest in all matters. His special bonding with grandmother (Kanchana) is also unique to this modern Devdas story. Here Parvathi aka Preeti is medical student. Chandramukhi is a movie star. But this Devadas angle is undercurrent.

The grammar, the tone, the language (natural Telangana dialect dialogues), the shot making and editing cutting, the use of background score and bold way of lip kisses (nearly 25 kisses) have given a uniqueness to this movie. The new director’s stamp and authority is quite clear and visible here. Though the director has gone for too much of indulgence in the second half, he has kept the humor intact with the characterization of hero's friend (played by Ramakrishna). The realistic dialogue keeps the film compelling.

Despite the film’s fresh, youthful and bold approach, the second half is too lengthy and goes on and on. It needs lot of trimming. But it finds its groove with the climax sequences.

First of all, the movie totally belongs to Vijay Devarakonda. Vijay Devarakonda puts his heart and soul into his performance. His emotional outbursts are splendid. He has given an intense, unconventional performance. The actor is also handsome. Newcomer Shalini Pandey makes an impression. The supporting cast is also good. Yesteryears actress Kanchana makes a beautiful comeback, she plays Vijay's grandmother. Kamal Kamaraju as brother is good too.

After Vijay Devarakonda it is Rahul Ramakrishna as his friend who steals the show with his comic dialogues. Sanjay as father is also neat. Among the technical crew, cinematographer's work and background music director have come up with best work. The music by Radhan is not that impressive but the background score (composed by another music director) is terrific and has elevated the mood. The film has rich production values as it is shot in various locations.

As said earlier, the new director Sandeep makes his presence in cinema in the very first film. His is completely new voice and has different narrative style. He is a talent to watch out for.

Arjun Reddy is a bold, daringly different youthful movie with totally fresh treatment and narration. New director Sandeep has come up with riveting first half and many joyful moments. Vijay Devarakonda gives his heart to the movie as he comes up with one of the best performances by a lead actor in the recent times. Despite being lengthy with a lot of self-indulgent moments, and uneven second half, this modern tale of Devadas is a treat watch and the whole effort is quite laudable.

Arjun Reddy review: 3.25/5 stars

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