Bollywood Movie Reviews

Allu Arjun In Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo Is A MasterClass Of Swag

Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo (Telugu)

Starring Allu Arjun, Tabu, Jairam, Sushant,Pooja  Hegde

Written  &  Directed  by  Trivikram Srinivas

Rating: ****(4 stars)

 When it comes to South Imdian screen icons, their larger-than-life image far supercedes the  calibre,  heft and  tenability of  the their parent-product.  Allu Arjun is  no  exception. In  his latest  swag-suffused  sojourn  he puts  up a one-man show while  all the other actors(including  the geat Tabu)  are reduced to  peripheral attractions.

As far as star vehicles go Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo is a masterclass of  cine-seduction, with Allu Arvind presiding over the  oldfashioned but  engaging plot  without  overwhelming  the proceedings. There are episodes  in the  hero’s exhibitionism(almost  like one  super-enticing item song after  another) when Arjun unleashes  a kind of tantalizing  crowdpleasing tamasha that  takes  his  inherently  persuasive  screen presence  to dazzling heights of virtuosity.

 Playing the  do-gooder  with a heart of gold  who can without any warning, turn nto a fire-spewing dragon, Allu Arjun has many occasions to show the audience who the real boss is. But the one I  liked the  best, and the one that must have been almost impossible  to pull off by any actor except Allu Arjun , is  the  sequence in a boardroom corporate conference where  Allu’s Bantu makes his point  to the gawking  executives(one  of whom even  joins the Superstar in his  swag  spree) by singing old popular Telugu film songs. By  the  time Allu Arjun comes  to “Abbanee Teeyani” from  Jagadeka Veerudu Athiloka Sundari  he makes it clear  to us that he’s a Chiranjeevi fan.

He is also not  beyond leering at his  girlfriend Pooja Hegde’s legs as though they were food on his table.Ms Hedge  doesn’t mind  the gawking, so are we?

Luckily for  Allu Arjun, the  screenplay provides  him with  ample opportunity to  play  the traditional do-gooder  with an aplomb that’s entirely his own. No Telugu actor in  recent times has been seen doing the  crowdwooing  thing so  effectively. The  weatherworn  plot about long-lost children  being exchanged at birth could  have been killingly  hackneyed.  Arjun  and the supporting cast specially  Jayaram and Tabu (as  a long-married couple with complex issues that warrant a separate  film of  their  own) and Sachin Khedkar(as Tabu’s privileged  father with  a mischievous glint in his  eye) ensure  new life is breathed  into a weatherworn tale.

The film has  outstanding  dialogues ,which salute  oldfashioned sentiments , and that includes  movies and actors of yore,  without bending backwards to be  cutely  reverent. At one point when Khedkar employs Allu Arjun to work for  his company  someone wonders in what  capacity  Arjun is  being  hired.

“Until we  figure that  out he can  ogle at girls on the internet,” the  old man winks.

One of   the many songs and dances(I didn’t mind the frequent song breaks, as  the choreography  is constantly fresh) makes a reference, to the loved one being “silent like the audience at a multiplex.”

Niiiiiice.

 I  also liked  the restrained performance  by  Sushanth as  the  son who grows  up in the wrong  family . His character  is not demonized for dramatic effect. The  storytelling energizes itself with surprising bouts  of  innovation in a familiar known climate. For example,  when Bantu  discovers who his  real father is, he wastes no  time in hitting back at his  adoptive father for his  enduring meanness. But  the violence  is never  nasty  or ugly. There is a warmth to  the flow of blood as well as the tears.

While some  of  the  screenplay(specially in an extended hospital sequence) gets excessively  worked-up the overall feeling of watching Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo is  that of  a warm large-hearted  cinema that  wants to  win you over  without getting anxious about it.

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