Some Ramblings - Attarintiki Daaredi (2013)
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What is it if not wizadry of Trivikram to be able to spellbind the producer, and get the corporate backing while at it, with a story line that is as reductive as it can get? What is it if not the magic of Trivikram to be able to win over a star with a script that has everything going for the latter without him having to even lift a finger for it? (And going by the stellar box office returns) What is not if not the fickle mind of lady luck that its benevolence seldom depends on the quality of the product? Whoever said, 'you can fool most people for some of the time, and some people all the time, but not all the people all the time', didn't have the slightest clue about the workings of telugu film industry. While the cases of genuinely well made movies ('Kshana Kshanam') not garnering enough cheer and support are few and far between in this industry, the same cannot be said of some of the tired, lazy and ridiculous ones that have hit the bullseye. In fact the ratio of the undeserving ones to the deserving ones might even be 10 to 1 or a 20 to 1 in the past couple of decades, ever since the star system took over. Like Heisenberg's uncertainty principle that gives up on determining the state and speed of an electron at the same instant in the micro world, there exists an equally confounding principle in the movie industry (not just in the regional one, but the world over) that talks about the same indeterminism when it comes to the quality of the movie and its general acceptance. And for ones who decry about the declining standards of telugu film industry, come any awards season, don't blame the makers, for they are just as clueless and puzzled about which movies (s)tick. Rest the blame squarely and solely on the shoulders of the audience, for it is they, who enthusiastically hoist tripe to the stars and mercilessly drop engaging ones to bite the dust. Like the populace that deserves its politicians, so does the audience that earns its servings - stale or otherwise.

'attaarinTiki...' is not a bad movie by any stretch of the word (it is just a badly made one). To its credit, it is pretty clean, harmless, sans any gore, for most parts treats its female characters with the respect they deserve and has a heart tugging climax. On the other hand, it is a listless effort where convenience drives most of the movie on auto-pilot, the comic bits fall flat, the punchlines come with an exclamation point together with the stage direction for the applause of the audience. Trivikram's trademark, his poignant words, are no where to be heard and the humor, his other forte, is often forced with not single phrase, punchline, moment or situation troubling the funny bone whatsoever. That was expected as the pressure points (the source of humor) aren't organic in the least bit and the situations had to deemed humorous only because the writer wrote so and the director said so. Humor breeds from pain (remember Brahmaji's character in 'Athadu' or Sunil's part in 'Nuvvu Naaku Nacchaav'?) and if that pain is glossed over with convenience, any amount of word-jugglery might eke out a chuckle at best, never a hearty laugh. For majority of the movie, convenience (a euphemism for laziness) rules the script. The hero, already the richest one in the movie-verse has everything laid out for him beforehand - a team that looks after his well-being on a minute by minute basis, the situations that so arrange themselves, like the heroine's and the villains(?) growing a heart at the right moments - and above all the timing of all the right things happening to him at the right moments, as to give way for him to accomplish all that he wanted with slightest bit of struggle and heart break, might probably earn him the coveted 'happy go lucky' title, but certainly saddles the script that cooked up such lazy scenarios with the dreaded 'contrived' moniker. For a movie that is about pain and talks about it for most part, none of the moments or situations or the characters 'earn' that pain, so much so that the movie doesn't deserve its beautiful climax, or, the climax is let down by everything that leads up to it.

What is it if not laziness that the writer couldn't come up with an non-utterly-ridiculous way of the heroine falling for the hero than a bizzare way of the heroine literally falling into the hero's lap (or his jeep)! And one more ill fitting piece cobbled into this pastiche of mish-mash is the stunt sequences, which had no place in the movie in the first place. And that these are long, elaborate and serving no purpose, but to extend the running time, sit right at home with the rest of the proceedings on screen. The only two redeeming features in this sorry excuse for a script are the background score (along with the songs) and Pavan Kalyan's sincere portrayal of someone who just had to sit back and let things come to him. Devi Prasad does his best trying to raise the spirit of the game that sadly gave up on its, right from the word go. And for once, Pavan Kalyan stays well within the script's parameters and boundaries, greatly restraining himself from going overboard. He comes out of his comfort zone, shuns his usual 'coil unwinding within' mannerisms, tempers his speech patterns and delivers a convincing performance. And that's about the only silver lining in the whole unnecessary exercise.

'Entertainment' is a criminal word that's bandied around to justify the unjustifiable in the movie world. As long as the ends are met, do the means even matter? Sure, if the maker's sole aim was simply to maximize the returns for his investors, there are other safer bets, like mutual funds, that deliver modest, yet guaranteed returns, than making a movie that has everything going against it and laying at the doorstep of the powers that be to wave their wand and cast their spell. Now that, ladies and gentlemen, is magic!

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