Stars: 2.5 / 5
Happy Ugadi!!! Ugaadi ( = New Year), is the New Year festival according to Hindu Calendar for Telugu and Kannada communities from South Indian communities. This year the festival fell on eighth of April this year, the day for which this post also is assigned. I had been thinking what to post for this day and after a lot of pondering and google searching, I decided to finally watch the 1997 Telugu film Ugaadi. I had never watched this movie for only one reason - the lead actor S. V. Krishnareddy. He is the Himesh Reshamiyya of South India - meaning as long as he doesn’t act, and only composes music or writes plots for movies they are watchable. **Evil Grin** And now I watched this movie mostly forwarding the expected scenes. **Wicked Grin**
A jack of all trades and apprentice lawyer, Raju (portrayed by S. V. Kirshnareddy), works all kind of odd jobs around the town along with this apprenticeship at one of the reputed law firms. His family thinks he is earning a lot as a lawyer and constantly demand him with money problems and expect him to solve - his widowed mother, his sister and brother who are still in college / school studying, his older sister thought married to a local constable still reaches out to him for anything for their home. He resorts to doing all kinds of odd jobs along with this friend, Bosu (portrayed by Sudhakar) to earn the extra money.
A case that his boss was handling between Narendra and Surendra - two bigshots in town - gets him tangled with Surendra (portrayed by Sharat Saxena) - the evil don of the town. Raju being a straight arrow declines to play the games that Surendra want him to play to win the case. This begins the tough fight for Raju in dealing with Surendra and his increasing family problems. Added to that the loans he takes keep piling up and pressure to fulfill them. Hie love interest, Laila (portrayed by Laila) is the grand-daughter of one of the leading businessman. Here comes the only twist (although predictable) - she is also the daughter of Surendra, the same guy whom Raju fought against and got him convicted of the crime that costed Surendra quite a bit of money. The rest of the movie revolves around Raju and Surendra face-off and how they outwit each other - one to marry Laila and one to get her not married to Raju. For somebody who was projected as an evil do, the ending is very sudden and very simple.
The plot is moderate with no suspense or sudden thrills. And easy to expect what the next scene would be. Stunts are average and at times exaggerated like in most Telugu -movies. The lead actor, S. V. Krishnareddy, borders on over acting - which is why I never really liked watching his movies. Incidentally he is the Director, Music Composer, Screenplay, Writer of the Story and also Singer. That is a tad bit more for one person to shoulder the movie. Don’t get me wrong, he is handsome and good looking and perhaps better than most actors. But I still like his music better. Like I said, he is the Himesh Reshamiyya of South India. :) It is so odd to see Sharat Saxena in a softer side (including a song) when all I can see him only as a villian. That was really weird.
It makes me wonder how far we have come with salaries and expenses. The movie shows Raju earning a salary of Rs. 750 per month as an apprentice lawyer. I don’t think that is the basic salary now even for household help now.
The movie stars some well-known comedians that are no longer in this world - Nirmalamma (a character artiste with her timing comedy), Kallu Chidambaram and Amanchi Venkata Subrahmanyam "AVS". Their comedy along with other comedians is above par because of which the movie was bearable. Sad to see these gems have been snuffed off.
Music is good enough that some of the songs are still memorable. The signature tune that plays from the beginning of the movie till the end, all thru and two songs is very catching and haunting I must say. Some of the tunes below.
Choosa Oka Maaru
Innallu Ee Mabbullo
Preyasi Navve Aasissu Su