A Shyam Gopal Varma Film Telugu Movie Review

It could well be the calm before the chaos. Small films not counted on the repute of stars and their images – SGV film. The error, if any, is about making a real great hero of a film maker without naming him and making it obvious enough to guess who the spoof is aimed at. From the word go, the script aims at a tounge-in-cheek dekho at the craft, filmography and public utterance of an arguably maverick film maker who not only made it big but also made constant claim to the Popat Awards.
Film maker Shyam Gopal Varma (Shafi) is kidnapped and there is no ransom. It is only revenge. The captive film maker finds enough time to recall his cinematic scripts and tales. The parallels are drawn. Real, reel fuse together. SGV begins to enlist his possible enemies which include disgruntled stars, frustrated producers, angry critics and may be even the discerning viewer. The film takes a tounge-in-cheek dekho at the filmography.
Constant references to the targeted director makes for amusing viewing. The Gopala Gopala back drop (in line with Govinda Govinda), Adivilo Dayyam movie Chumma Song (Kshana Kshanam), the song sequence where he cuts off a long dressing gown to a mini (ref Rangeela), the shot where the Assistant Director tells the cameraman to take off the lights as the Director likes it dark, are all obvious references to the director who enjoys the reputation of being Zara Hatke. Yet another interesting episode that deals with the director relates to his discussions and references to Ayn Rand and Fredrick Neitzsche without a context in a discussion with Narsing (Narsing Yadav). His further enunciation of the psyche of fans and the debate as to whether ants have a vengeful streak in their minds show the Z Axis existence to the stimuli action mapping.
What should have been a less than two hour parody full of chuckles on a director who has earned this and more unfortunately is converted into an aimless Whodunnit lacking punch or power. Film maker Rakesh Srinivas gets carried away half way through the movie and lets go abegging a great opportunity to make a fine spoof of a film maker who has a niche space for himself.
The ‘Appidi Podu’ backdrop of the bizarre one liners help in adding punch to the parody. The post interval narration suddenly shifts gears and has the film maker trying to crack the Whodunnit. There is a mocked seriousness and an apparent sincerity to the narration that robs the Whodunnit of the hitherto aura of a parody.
While the side cast prove adequate and in fact add a lot of verve to the film, Shafi playing Shyam Gopal Varma adds credibility in the earlier part but behaves like a zombie while trying to crack the code. Actors like Jeeva, Prithvi, Jayaprakash Reddy, Darling Sreenu, Satyam Rajesh surely add the right element of humor to the film.
It is an interesting idea that somewhere loses the plot. It heads to the pulpit and advocates that film makers must carry an element of social responsibility – a suspect theory. A thought branded rather than stated. A narration that starts with promise ends with a whimper. The film maker’s statement – Naa film Naa ishtam is well taken. It is an Ishtam that does not attract too many footfalls. The audience seem to say Nee film Nee kharma.

Rating: 2 stars.
+ The parody
– Whodunnit

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