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Some Ramblings - Teenmaar
By Srinivas Kanchibhotla
teen maar

Michael is a metrosexual man. A free spirited, independent, outgoing casanova, who is also fun loving and quite funny, when the situation demands. Quite a diverse palette of interesting traits, these. How does one know all these about him? Because he says so, in a lot many words, and at every given (and grabbed) opportunity. He literally says at a particular point that he is indeed free spirited, independent and outgoing, and it is hard not to take his word when he is the hero of the movie. Every second telugu word of his is a 'cool', 'chill', 'babe', 'yo', 'man', or 'party', if one doesn't count some lenghty English sentences in between. Because he is open minded, most wanted handsome bachelor, who can whip up mouthwatering delicacies (in montage songs) and soul-stirring speeches (in many a language) at a moment's notice, white women swoon over him, like they do over old billionaires and aging rock stars, and Indian women find it impossibly hard to resist his charm, despite all his actions that are anything but charming. Wait a second! Is this a praise or a pull-down of his character? Pull Down? And that too a hero's? Generally speaking, there are three basic types of human character - good, bad and the in-between. In celluloid world, there exists a fourth character, a hero character. As has been the pet phrase, of late, of the beloved Prime Minister, the hero's character's is the "Caesar's wife" of the silver screen - beyond all reproach. He can have loose character, but that's just playfulness (or metrosexualness), he can have a roving eye, come on, he is only a connoisseur of the delectable, he treats relationships like (use and throw) tissues, now,'s what the climax is for, to show the error in his ways. In all, Michael is a realization waiting to happen over a period of 2:30 hours. And the catalyst?

Arjun is the epitome of nobility, wearing 'dehaati' and speaking 'desi'. He is so good, courageous, traditionalist and very romantic...that is correct, a somber voice over tells all that. He is the apple of the eye of all heavy kohl-eyed, half-sari wearing, eye-fluttering nubiles of the town, and quite an eye sore to all the filial fraternity of the former. He alone knows about true love and truly loves in the only way he knows, like no one before or none after. From which tree of knowledge did that golden nugget of information fall from? Guessed right...the familiar and friendly voice over again. And the movie is about the transformation of Michael into Arjun, with the aid of voice overs, period change overs, and personality make overs.

'Teenmaar' is a badly written radio play, where the writer and the director stubbornly refused to exploit the visual aspect of the movie magic, and instead made the characters expressly SPELL OUT each of their intentions, as though afraid that the audience might mistake that the hero character is only a rape-act away from villain-y, if he didn't loudly and clearly speak out what he was thinking about. And once the decision was made to do away with the visual and rely only on the aural, the onus fell entirely on the writer, and by God, did he struggle! The act of bringing Michael, comfortably sitting at one end of the conduct spectrum, all the way to the opposite end of Arjun, standing resolutely with his morals and values in tact, all without the luxury of subtleties, sensitivities and sensibilities (a must in a movie supposed to be dealing with tender feelings), is like getting into a boxing ring, hands tied behind, blindfolded, and against a heavy weight champion. It is a setup that is bound to fail and disappoint, and it doesn't disappoint at that. The problem is, there are no likable characters here (save, for a noble Arjun). Hero is a narcissist and heroine is a cling-on, and no one told them that this is a romantic movie, where the characters are supposed to win the hearts of each other (and the audience). And it is hard to root for the duo in question, who for most part of the movie, seem to be constantly breaking up with someone or the other, than spend time mending their own fences.

Pawan Kalyan - It is not fair to pile it on the actors in badly written pieces (again, the boxer scenario). But since he occupies almost every other frame in the movie, he should be fair game. Simply put, he goes overboard, and overacts in every scene as Michael. The dialogue delivery, sans any clarity or modulation, seems to be strictly two-toned - 1. very fast, unclear diction, while trying to be funny 2. very fast and loud, while being aggressive. As though to overcompensate for this drawback, he raises the dramatics to an uncomfortable level, dangerously approaching the level of parody. His soliloquy near the end, in front of a mirror, was just hard and painful to watch. Sadly, the word 'acting' has become the emperor's new clothes in the current telugu film industry, and it looks like practically anything passes for 'energy'

Quite ironic, when a movie that was supposed to contrast 'clarity' (in Arjun's character) and confusion (in Michael's) ends up getting tangled in its own mess of poorly etched and badly written characters.

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This article is written by Srinivas Kanchibhotla
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