Rating: 4/10 (Ayyo Ayyo Ayyayyo)
Victory Venkatesh is finally back with a commercial entertainer after a long time with Babu Bangaram. Decent music, great trailer, and Maruthi hot off of BBM (Bhale Bhale Magadivoy) have increased the expectations on this one. Did Maruthi deliver and bring back Vintage Venky? Sadly not. Find out why in my review
Story: ACP Krishna (Venkatesh) is an honest and easy going cop with a heart of gold who helps everyone out including bad guys who he beats up frequently. He falls in love with Sailaja (Nayanthara) who runs a beatdown catering business and has to support her family family based on her income and she's struggling to make ends meet. Not wanting to see his lady love struggle any longer, Krishna hides his identity and becomes friends with Bathai Babji (30 Years Pruthvi) who is Sailaja's relative and they eventually fall in love. On the flip side, Krishna is investigating a murder case and realizes that there are some big wigs behind this whole conspiracy and is somehow related to back to Sailaja's family. What is this twist and who done the murder? Watch Babu Bangaram to find out.
Performances: As expected, Babu Bangaram belongs to Venkatesh. Venky rocks in this film and does everything in his power to save it and looks lively and more energetic than we've ever seen him in recent past. His mannerisms and comic timing are still as good as ever and his performance is the saving grace for this outdated commercial entertainer.
Nayanthara weeps too much and is too much of a drama queen in this film and is wasted in a poorly written role. An actress of her caliber shouldn't have done this film.
After Venky, it is 30 Years Pruthvi who steals the show. He is simply hilarious as Bathai Babji and he brings the house down with his hilarious antics in the first half. His Nannaku Prematho spoof is also very well done. He is simply a laugh riot in the 1st half.
Vennela Kishore is wasted as the sidekick constable. Jayaprakash has done a routine role. Sampath Raj and Posani as the villains are average. Brahmi is irritating to the core. The rest of the cast if I'm missing anyone is ok.
Technicalities: Music and background score by Ghibran are average. He has talent but is not making good music. Ghibran is the equivalent of a poor man's Anirudh. Cinematography by Richard Prasad is nice and the film is vibrant as most of the film is shot during the daytime. Dialogues by Darling Swamy are only good for Prithvi and Venky. The rest of are below average and quite routine. Screenplay by Maruthi is the culprit here but more on that later. Fights are way too over the top. It's high time fight masters start composing realistic fights nowadays and cut the bullshit for real. If you punch someone, they will not go flying 20 feet and hit into a transformer and sparks will not fly out nor will they flip over and then flip over again on the opposite side . Absolutely ridiculous. Art is average. Editing could have been way better and is a mess in the 2nd half. Production Values by Sithara Entertainments are grand and it translates onto the screen.
Analysis: Maruthi has made films such as Ee Rojullo and Bus Stop that were full of vulgarity but were big hits because they were made on a shoestring budget. His next film was Bhale Bhale Magadiviy starring Nanu and Lavanya Tripathi was surprisingly a clean film from him and was a laugh riot and is now considered a modern day classic. When he announced he got the chance to direct Venkatesh, expectations increased as he finally got his chance to direct a top star. He had a nice budget, decent music composer, top heroine, hero, and comedian, and what does he do with the opportunity? Wastes it completely.
Babu Bangaram is essentially a rehash of yesteryear film Nirnayam starring Akkineni Nargarjuna and his present day wife Amala in the leads role. Forward to present day, and replace Nag with Venky and Amala with Nayanthara and viola there's Babu Bangaram's story for you.
This story is so old and the way Maruthi conceived it terrible. His screenplay is even worse. The first half opens nicely with a pre independence episode showcasing the hero's roots and traits and everything and the films takes a nice turn once Prithvi enters. It's a laugh riot for the time that he's there but after, the film gets so predictable and boring after that point. To sum it up, Maruthi's screenplay works for about 45 minutes when Pruthvi is there and is non existent for the rest of the film essentially. Babu Bangaram doesn't have a great story nor does it have a good screenplay, the two major things needed to make a film a hit. His direction is below average. The interval bang is expected and you could see it coming and once the villains and the real culprits are revealed, the film is predictable to the core.
After a somewhat entertaining first half, the 2nd half is a complete mess and none of the scenes makes any sense and even though the story is pretty much over, Maruthi just adds nonsense and induced boredom to the audience by just dragging the 2nd half to the maximum and testing your patience. Once Brahmi makes an entrance, that's when you know Maruthi ran out of ideas.
On a whole, Babu Bangaram is an opportunity wasted and full blame goes to Maruthi on this one as his story and script are so outdated. Despite Venkatesh and Prithvi's efforts to keep you entertained, Babu Bangaram is not gold; it's anything but gold. After watching this movie you'll be saying Babu meeko namaskaram o dannam. Even if you love Venky like me, I'd skip this one to save your time and brain from Maruthi's nonsense in this one. I'm going with 4/10 for Venky and Prithvi.