January 25th, 2021
In today's nostalgia review, we will be talking about an unforgettable movie (for the wrong reasons) in Pawan Kalyan's Bangaram. Other than die hard Telugu movie fans and hardcore PK fans, most people probably don't even know this movie exists. It stars Pawan Kalyan and Meera Chopra in the lead roles and is directed by Tamil director Dharani in his only Telugu film to date and best known for films such as Dhill, Dhool, and Gilli in Tamil. It has music by Vidyasagar and editing by the legendary (this is a joke) VT Vijayan best known for this fast forward forward and rewind cuts in Hari movies. Released in 2006 with immense hype, it was a disaster of epic proportions. Let's delve into what made it so memorable.
In a film so absurd it's hard to even remember what the plot is but it's something along the lines of: Bangaram (Pawan Kalyan, yes his actual name in the movie is really Bangaram) dreams of being a reporter for the BBC but gets fired and his boss asks him to get the news channel chairman Peddi Reddy's signature (Mukesh Rishi). Instead he gets entangled in saving Peddi Reddy's daughter (Meera Chopra) from being married to an evil and irritating landlord named Bhooma Reddy (Ashutosh Rana). How Bangaram saves the day forms the rest of this idiotic film.
It's hard to tell whether Pawan Kalyan wanted to even do this film or not but even his screen presence isn't enough to save the movie. He puts up a sincere effort as always and does everything his fans would expect to do in fight, sing and dance, and make fun with the heroine.
Meera Chopra is useless as the heroine. She neither acts well or has good screen presence.
As the main villain, Ashutosh Rana is unbelievably irritating as Bhooma Reddy. The dialogues, mannerisms and overall characterization is horrendous and absolute joke. Every dialogue he says usually ends with aa maata yenduku seputhunav? Aa maata nuvvu seppu kudadhu. Every freaking line.
There are many actors in the movie and all of them are useless and put in bad performances.
Lastly, Reema Sen makes a special appearance and sizzles in an item song.
Direction by Dharani is atrocious. First of all the story itself is illogical and the screenplay is even worse. There's no logic, structure or anything in the movie. It probaly didn't have a script and one really wonders what convinced Pawan Kalyan to choose to act in such a stupid movie. Not a single scene in the movie makes an impact except the interval scene which is hilarious to say the least. The villains knock Pawan Kalyan out and then bury him in the ground head up. Pawan Kalyan screams and the EARTH LITERALLY SHATTERS as a flock of bulls rush to stampede him. If Mufasa had Pawan Kalyan's powers in Bangaram, The Lion King would have been a very different movie. In addition the problem with DHarani's direction is that all of his ideas are outdated and he has ZERO GRIP ON TELUGU NATIVITY. Whenever a director makes the jump from Tamil to Telugu, he just assumes the athi and arava action associated with Tamil films will work with the Telugu audience. They don't and it results in a torturous viewing experience in Bangaram. The movie has Tamil paithyam written all over it with overactuon in every scene, constant shouting and just a very loud feel to each and every scene and over the top emotions. In the climax, a little girl is being married off and runs into a can and then screams amma like somebody just punched her in the stomach. All of this only adds to the torture and feel like you telling Dharani to f*ck off by the end of the movie. All in all, Dharani didn't direct the movie. He just stitched whatever came to his mind and released it as Bangaram.
Songs and BGM by Vidyasagar is the only saving grace in the movie and the only reason why the movie is still relevant. The songs are very catchy and the superstar Tamil composer is the only person who did his job in the entire movie. Jai Shambho Shambo Shambo, Raa Bangaram, and Egire Chilakamma still sound very good even today.
Cinematography by Gopinath is adequate. There's nothing outstanding about the visual quality.
It's quite hard to believe that Anand Sai worked for Production Design of this movie. He probably did it just to hang out with his good friend Pawan Kalyan once again. There's nothing to talk about in terms of this aspect.
Editing by VT Vijayan is atrocious. All of the cuts are laughable and there's no flow in the movie and it's way too long at almost 3 hours. Fights by Rakhi Rajesh are ridiculous. PK literally breaks the earth in one scene and then the interval scene he kicks a steel container and it goes flying in the VFX. None of them make an impact.
Dialogues by Akula Shiva are terrible. The one dialogue that is so bad and stands out is nenevaro telusa Bangaram, Bhaga Bhaga mande bhoomi porallo nunchi puttukochchindi bangaram, danni muttukunte maadi masai pothavu.
Production Values by AM Rathnam are horrendous. Despite being a Pawan Kalyan film, there's no richness in the making quality or visuals. A unianimous shit job by everyone in the film not named Vidyasagar.
- Production Design
- Everything Else
As mentioned before Bangaram is one of those rare movies that only a select few know it exists. To be honest if you don't know it exists you're very lucky. This movie is an unforgettable rod and among the worst movies in Pawan Kalyan's career.
There's really not much to say or analyze. The film starts off with a ridiculous sequence and they basically make a mockery out of BBC. then they go to the village with a nice song and then the movie becomes unbearable with each passing minute. The interval scene will either have you banging your head against a wall or laughing hysterically there's really no in between. The 2nd half is even worse and the climax is so bad and will give you a huge headache.
The songs are the only plus for this movie but I think even Pawan Kalyan forget that even he even did this movie. Dharani's direction is atrocious and this movie is a joke and it's a miracle that it even got made. Rod movies always stay with us for the wrong reasons and Bangaram is a huge rod.
There's not a single positive scene or sequence in the entire film and it has Tamil paithyam written all over it with so much overacting, idiotic fights, unbearable dialogues, and over the the top emotions that make you want to bang your head against a wall. I mean it makes sense since the director doesn't know shit about Telugu cinema and the sensibilities associated with it.
Overall, Bangaram is not a golden film despite what the title suggests. The funny thing about gold is it never depreciates but Bangaram is a film that depreciated in quality and value the minute it released. Don't even attempt to watch it but if you do, make sure to order a shipment of Zandu Balm or Tiger Balm from your favorite shipping service. You're going to need it.
Perhaps the film should come with a statutory warning. Ee cinema choosthe oka Zandu Balm free. Over to you Dharani and co.
Signing off -
Teja Rao - Die hard Telugu Cinema fan.