Once upon a time, may be three centuries ago, there was a village that was severely hit by a famine. A danseuse from a traditional family comes forward to dance in Lord Shiva temple for rains. Since then it has become a tradition that a girl from that particular family should dance in Shiva Temple on Pournami day for every 12 years. During 1960’s it is the turn of Pournami (Trisha) to perform the sacred ritual and she goes missing a few months before the D-day.
Siva Kesava (Prabhas) arrives in that village and attracts Chandra Kala (Charmme) – sister of Pournami. The local Zamindar (Rahul Dev) lusts for Chandra Kala. Siva Kesava convinces Chandra Kala and her father that she could perform the ritual on Pournami. But, Siva Kesava’s past catches up with him. The rest of the story is all about how the dance performance ritual at the temple takes place.
Prabhas: Prabhas is cool in his vintage attire in the beginning of the film. His dressing style and hair-do reminds us of 1960’s. Prabhas did well as the protagonist. There are lots of intense and emotional moments in the film for which he has done justice. It is nice to see Prabhas balancing his career with Chatrapati kind of mass roles and Pournami kind of soft roles.
Others: Trisha did the title role of the film. The fans of Trisha are in for a bit of disappointment as Trisha appears only in the second half. She did well. Charmme got major pie in the film and she justifies her role. Sindhu Tolani did a small role. Madhu Sharma did the role of a young wife who tries to woo the hero. Archana impresses with her dance as the first girl who performed the ritual at the temple.
Other actors: Kota Srinivasa Rao did the role of one-eyed factionist and his get-up and mannerisms are pretty good. Mukesh Rushi acted as one-handed father of hero. Rahul Dev is impressive as the baddie who loves music. Chandra Mohan is appropriate in the role of heroines’ father. Narsing Yadav’s characterization of servant is different. Tanikella Bharani and Geeta are adequate.
Story - screenplay - Direction: The basic storyline of the film is about the tradition of a girl dancing in front of God for every 12 years. MS Raju gave a nice twist to it by selecting the popular format of encapsulating the important episode in the form of flashback. The flashback episode is heavily inspired by the Portuguese film Abril Despedaçado (‘Behind the Sun’ in English). You can see flashes of brilliance in Prabhu Deva’s direction in certain scenes. Screenplay of the film should have been more compact. Narration is little slow. There are lots of heavy emotional scenes in the second half.
Music: Music by Devi Sri Prasad is good. The songs that come in second half in the combination of Trisha are excellent. There is ample touch of Prabhu Deva in choreography. Cinematography is average. Dialogues by Paruchuri brothers are adequate. Stunts by Peter Hein are OK. Lyrics by Sirivennela deserve a special appreciation. ‘Evaro Ravali’ and ‘Muvvala Navvakala’ songs have very simple and at the same time pretty effective lyrics.
Analysis: First half of the film is bit slower. The second half is bit heavier. The entire film is based on dance and the flashback story belongs to a revenge genre. Producer MS Raju should be appreciated to make a film that has classical dance and traditions as backdrop. Climax should have been better. The thread of main villain Rahul Dev is left incomplete. On a whole, Pournami is not for the crowds who watch morning shows on the day one and the masses. Commercial success of the film will depend on how family crowds embrace it.
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reviews of previous 5 films