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Friday, May 30, 2008

'Pandurangadu' Review: Another Life-Time Classic


Film: Pandurangadu
Banner: RK Films
Cast: Balakrishna, Sneha, Tabu, Mohan Babu, K Vishwanath etc
Music: MM Keeravani
Art: Bhaskar Raju
Dialogues: JK Bharavi
Director: K Raghavendra Rao
Producer: K Krishna Mohan
Released On: 30 May 2008

The story of Lord Panduranga is a part of 'Skanda Purana', one of 18 puranas, the treasure house for divine stories. Tenali Rama Krishna, one of the Astadiggajas of Sri Krishna Deva Raya wrote 'Panduranga Mahatyam' taking the gist from Skanda Purana. Kamalakara Kameshwara Rao directed the film 'Panduranga Mahatyam' in the production of Trivikrama Rao in 1957, taking Pundareeka Vriththantham from Tenali Ramakrishna's 'Panduranga Mahatyam'. Now the same was remade as 'Pandurangadu' adding new colors in tune with the taste of contemporary audiences. Let us see how it went on:

Story:
It is the story of Pundareeka (Balakrishna) who leads a flirting life and neglects his parents (K Vishwanath and Shiva Parvathi) as well as wife Lakshmi (Sneha). In his lusty hangover he also kicks out all his family members.

He falls in the trap of a crooked prostitute Amrutha (Tabu) and loses everything. She betrays him along with her mother (Y Viajaya) and grabs his property.

He then also tries to enjoy the river goddesses Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswathi due to his lust. He tries to kick a saint (Mohan Babu) with his leg but gets paralyses stroke. He then realizes that his paralysis is due to his sins. He gets repentance and becomes a devotee of Lord Krishna.

He goes back to his parents and serves them. His wife Lakshmi and finally he himself get salvation because of his bhakthi.

Performances:
Balakrishna looked best in Lord Krishna's role. He appeared like Nata Rathna NTR in many frames in Lord Krishna's get up. His color on his body was very dark in some scenes but on a whole that is not disturbing any way. His role as Pundareeka in negative shades also grooved well. He must be appreciated for picking up this role.

Sneha is the right option to play the role of Pundareeka's wife. She rightly performed in her role.

Tabu is the glamour element in the film and she didn't hesitate to portray with all of her oomph factor. But she has 'shown' more in some scenes where there is no necessity. K Raghavendra Rao's magic is seen again on silver screen. Using the elements like fruits, milk and flowers for bringing in erotic appeal is known only for KRR.

K Vishwanath is apt in father's role. Mohan Babu although appeared for a brief time, there is a purpose for his role.

JK Bharavi's dialogues are ok. But crossed limits in some scenes and lacked in required depth in others.

K Raghavendra Rao's efforts are rightly spread on screen. He has shown newness in many things. He has even shown the temples in Combodia for songs in dream sequences. Although not in the degree of Sri Ramadasu or Annamayya, he could bring in devotional depth in this theme as well, especially in climax.

Best Things:
Music plays best role in entire film. Lyrics are also aptly written and pictured in very sensible way-although the song 'Kosala Desapu..' is too erotic.

Lord Krishna's 'Vishwa Roopam' scene certainly deserves great mention. That's splendid and marvelous.

Mohan Babu's role, although short has made his presence felt in right manner. The film stepped into right tempo since his entrance.

The message 'parents are more than the Lord God' is rightly conveyed which is a must for people at this juncture. The scene where Pundareeka asks Lord Krishna to wait outside for him until he completes his 'seva' for his father is really wonderful.

'Critic'al Aspects:
Sneha's initiative to marry Ranga (Pundareeka) by showing her over-activeness in front of his house is something that's not in right sync with the tempo

Sunil's comedy with hairy get up is also nasty that kicks out audiences from getting immersed into the theme

In a scene Tabu dances in emotion by applying vermilion to her face. Audiences have shouted 'laka laka laka..' at that time. When the scene is composed with emotion which is more than required, the result will be that.

The scene of Lord Krishna showing Brindavanam to Pundareeka is made with not so convincing graphics. Director would have looked into something spiritual with meaningful analysis for 'Krishna Tatwam' in stead of that.

Although the questions regarding 16000 gopikas and 8 wives of Lord Krishna have risen in the film, they weren't answered in right 'taatwik way'. Writers of JK Bharavi's standard must be able to bring the gist of Krishna Tatwam in that scene. That was not rightly utilized as the answer given by Lord Krishna is very normal.

Some dialogues have crossed the line- 'naavi pettudu pallu neevu pettudu………." (Brahmanandam's dialogue with Y Vijaya). As the right patrons for this film are family audiences, dialogues of that sort would disturb a little. Kids should watch mythological and devotional films to learn the essence of bhakthi and tatwa but not the meaning of these mundane dialogues.

What happened to prostitute Amrutha and her mother? Why those villains weren't shown again? Balancing act hasn't happened by not putting an end to those villains.

Analysis:
The films of this sort should come again and again. They should teach the essence of Indian culture, bhakti and traditions. Film makers also should focus more on such subjects.

'Pandurangadu' is definitely the subject that has elements to make a commercial film. The subject has ample rakthi along with bhakti. Both these bhakti and rakhti should overlap in right manner. But that didn't happen here. Only in the second half (especially from the appearance of Mohan Babu's role), the spirit of the film is underlined. Last 30 minutes has enough of devotional fervor.

The film could have been better if the scenes in first half were composed with more conviction. To sum up, this film is a must watch for all those who wish to know the essence of bhakthi and value of parents.

1 comment:

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