Vedam, Anu anuvuna Naadam
Allu Arjun films are fast becoming a genre all unto themselves..like blaxploitation films or art films, only more hormonal. until today I hadn’t seen one.
And Im guilty of the worst forms of steriotyping (I had given him as much credit as Salman Khan plus Sunny Paaji in a telegu jasmine filled chorus line. Which is why vedam comes as a pleasent surprise. As someone who is used to watching south indian social melodramas that put stars in the immediacy of their proximate social situations, and they need to work hard to win Identification from the poor and rich young and old, Vedam is part of a tradition dating back to Nandanar and Achut Kanya.
But don’t tell his fangirls that think the film is about allu arjun and a bunch of other unimportant stuff anything about that! They dont know a thing about the film I saw haha.
Because what I saw was a warm movie full of social conscience and sympathy for the society it’s aimed at. A film that wants to entertain as much as it is thoughtful and sympathetic to the people that have some commitment to making the world better for the dispossessed and the exploited.
Ok I was going to use a catchall excuse “I saw it for Anushka Shetty ” I did . Lovely thing. She topped my Most beautiful women 2009 list. SHe reminds me in her jene se quois of sulakshana (Thooral ninnu poccu, bhagyaraj) in her early films, she can say the crassest things and dress in the the most obvious ways and still make it look like she’s a cherub descended from heaven walking through our mere whorehouse (kotewali) world and brightening everything in our way..but she doesn’t have a serious role in the film. no one does. this is completely a director’s film.
Manchu Manoj: has all shahrukh’s moves and speaks telegu too!
It charts five different groups of people going about their daily lives in their particular version of daily hell in Hyderabad. Arjun and his friends are cable TV stealing slum dwellers, Arjun is conning his college classmate and katrina kaif look alike with nothing mre than earnest eyed unshaven charm and a cell phone that rings “sweety please pick up the phone”. Manoj Kumar Manchu does a decent “sharukh Khan in kuch kuch hota hai” complete with v neck tee shirts and headbands is an aspiring rock star. Manoj Bajpai is a muslim living in hyderabad who is arrested for trying to “leave the country while being muslim”, Anushka shetty is a popular prostitute courtesan who enjoys twisting men around her little finger until she gets sick of it and decides to run away to hyderabad. and Then there are the poor people I don’t recognize , whose bright little son is taken hostage by a money lender type because he wants his money back, and the mother decides to sell a kidney to raise the money. The film is about how their lives intersect , and more importantly about how their existential situations find a single focus in the desire to make the world a better place. Its fun light sad moving and cathartic melodrama all in one two and a half hour brew served in the arjun label.
Stylish star 😉
As regards the charm of the “stylish star (haha) ” himself, He has an approachable soft vulnerability that you’d see in kamalahasan in films like Apoorva raagangal , he is also very contemporary in a global way- an italian boytoy without the raw olive oil smell. a cuban lover without the necessity to work so hard. an Indian designer beard advertising model without the stack of coins up his ass. He’s like every penniless hero in the lower middle class hoods of hyderabad, for whom a motor bike is a passport to an imagined life of misspent youth far away from the unsexy house and the need to fetch water every morning from the street corner.
Jagalaramudi: the script writer is king.
The film , finally, is a scriptwriting triumph. I would never have though Id cry when a seven year old says his multiplication tables. and for a film full of fruity melodrama thats sum’pn.