Rating: 9/10 (Ballsy Move)
Cast: Vijay Deverakonda Sai, Shalini Pandey, Rahul Ramakrishna, Kamal Kamaraju, Sanjay Swaroop, Aditi Makyal, Kanchana, Priyadarshi
Story-Screenplay-Dialogues-Direction: Sandeep Reddy Vanga
Producer: Pranay Reddy Vanga
Banner: Bhadrakali Pictures
After Baahubali 2, one film that has created unprecedented hype has been Arjun Reddy. The film has been in the news for all the wrong reasons but it is one film for which the youth have been eagerly waiting for a long time. With everything going against it, does the film live up to the hype? It certainly does. Lets find out why
Plot: When his love fails with a girl named Preethi (Shalini), Dr. Arjun Reddy Desmukh (Vijay Deverakonda) becomes an alcoholic and drug addict unable to forget her. The rest of the film deals with why he is in his current state and how he redeems himself in life.
Performances: Vijay Deverakonda, take a bow sir. In Yevade Subramanyam despite just a meager 15 minute screen time, he stole the show and was easily the best of the movie. In Pellichoopulu, he showed his ease at handling realistic and simple characters. Forget Dwaraka because in Arjun Reddy, he is simply world class in the lead role. His emotional performance in the Amith fight scene and the interval scene just shows you how good he is in the role. It's the role of a lifetime and he just nailed it in every aspect. He is destined to be the next big star of Telugu cinema and if he can deliver about 2-3 hits post Arjun Reddy, he will be a superstar for sure.
Shalini Pandey is excellent as Preethi and is outstanding in the emotional climax scene.
Special mention must be made to Rahul Ramakrishna. This guy is absolutely hilarious. After Pellichoopulu 's Priyadarshi, Telugu cinema has found another actor who can pull off the Telangana dialect so effortlessly and comically. He steals the show and is a laugh riot throughout the movie. More than making you laugh, the way he stands by Arjun post his breakup truly shows how good of a friend he really is. He will surely go big places as well and will get maximum mileage with this film.
Sanjay Swaroop and Kamal Kamaraju are good as Arjun's father and elder brother respectively.
Kanchana makes a comeback and gets a dignified role with a lot of meaning and she is superb.
Direction: Sandeep Reddy Vanga, hats off to you sir. After hearing his inspiring and painful story to make Arjun Reddy, we as an audience must tank him for making such a raw, gritty, and authentic film. He pushed the boundaries and questioned what our films couldn't do it in the past. He has some serious balls and pretty much have a slap to most Telugu directors with one film. Vanga's biggest achievement is easily the projection of it's lead character. Arjun Reddy, while a hero, is not your traditional Telugu movie hero. He is not perfect. He can't fight 20 goons and not get a scratch. He is not a prude like every other hero. He is extremely flawed and he is a human being like the rest of us. He has feelings and emotions too. His addiction and drinking problem are the cause for his failure.. Also, the profanity, sex, and drugs are all nicely intertwined and justified in the film. Sandeep Reddy Vanga, I'm eager to see what you make next and I hope I can work with you someday.
Technicalities: Such a hard hitting film must have an excellent technical output and Arjun Reddy surely does. Music and BGM by Radhan is excellent. The guitar BGM from the teaser is riveting. Cinematography by Raju Thota is fabulous. He has effectively captured the not so posh areas of Hyderabad and the visuals in Mangalore are fantastic. Sound Mixing is world class. Dialogues by Vanga are meaningful and hard hitting. The conversations between Shiva and his father are hilarious. Editing by Shashank is ok. The film does become a bit too slow in the 2nd half towards the end and the length is a big issue. Art direction is superb. Production Values by Pranay Reddy Vanga are outstanding and the film looks rich even though it was made on a 6 crore budget.
+ Technical Output
Analysis and Verdict: There's a saying in English that says sometimes it's not the thing we want, but it's what we need. In this case, Arjun Reddy is not the movie we want, but the film we need. When Hindi and Malayalam and Tamil movies are making such realistic, hard hitting films, Telugu movies are still stuck in heroine eve teasing and macho hero templates.
Arjun Reddy is a film which comes along not very often. It is truly a path breaking movie in every sense.
If you're looking for a fast paced entertainment paisa vasool flick with action, comedy, dance numbers, and romance, don't even think about watching this movie. Arjun Reddy is not a commercial entertainer. It is a realistic and raw Telugu film with no nonsense and no proving heroine's father wrong and saving her from the wedding at last minute formula.
It is definitely a different attempt from the regular entertainer and we as an audience should appreciate it. The film breaks barriers in terms of showing sex on screen, profanity, and what not. But people do these things in real life and one should accept that fact.
Sandeep Reddy Vanga dared to defy. And the result is a film like Arjun Reddy. The flaws of the character are what makes this movie so great. He is a human being and one of us.
The underlying message to youth is don't ruin your life if your love fails. Don't become an alcoholic and do drugs and ruin your life. Redeem yourself, stop your bad habits and life will eventually get better. That's the message of the film.
Overall, Arjun Reddy is a ballsy move from Sandeep Reddy Vanga and Vijay Deverakonda. Don't watch this film if you're looking for pure entertainment. Watch it for the emotional and hard hitting ride that it is. A must watch and a classic for today's youth.