This is totally away from the run-of-the-mill film-making about the story woven around the lockdown 2020 which is a consequence of Corona or Covid-19 that is still continuing till today.
A new entry in the list of Telugu Directors, Bandi Saroj Kumar has made a daring attempt to produce the film with the purportedly avowed purpose of enlightening the people stranded within the four walls of their domicile when lakhs of migrant workers thrown on to the roads towards their native villages hundreds of kilometers away.
One spectacular feature of the film is that the making of the film is very near to the reality which includes the slang full of abusive language, a part of the native culture of Medcherla, a little away from the city Hyderabad.
Personally, I don’t find it anything wrong as we are well aware of such language used in popular Hollywood movies, with the heavy frequency of ” fuck, motherfucker, fuck off, …” in almost every scene of the film.
The Director deliberately desired to make the film grounded in reality and hence avoided the hypocrisy of refinement.
The story revolves around the protagonist Ranjith accompanied by four other guys who indulge in the sexual assault against whosoever available as their way of quenching their carnal pleasure.
A teenage girl Asha Jyothi dashes off with a bicycle ride to save the people on the road with a revolver-real or fake to threaten the malicious people.
The policewoman, a pregnant lady Mrs. Kavya, defying her husband’s cautions, comes out to assume the duty of the day is a standing example of the police force during the Corona period.
In the midst of several incidents taking place one by one, comes the pain and hunger of the migrant workers.
It becomes patently clear that the Director desires to depict all dimensions of Corona life, particularly in the utterly backward Telangana Districts.
Maybe so, the narration would have acquired more intensity and gravity, had the Director concentrated on one facet, and one theme of the appalling poverty that the people were strangulated during the Corona.
For the people living in the multicultural and multicolored city, Hyderabad, little would be known of the pangs of poverty, fight and scramble for a few loaves of bread. A teenage girl asks the sex-hungry gang to offer some food for her hunger and thereafter they can do whatever with her body; a poignant state of how people are still ready to sell out their body for a morsel of food which is the ultimate raw source for their life.
The protagonist Ranjith is depicted as getting attracted to the life history of Dr. Ambedkar and there is a transformation in the individual; the image of Ambedkar is seen as hovering about, to show impliedly that the only ray of hope for the poor is Ambedkar who struggled for the downtrodden in the Constitution of India.
The intention and purpose of the director are to be appreciated because the Tollywood is now replete with Stars only, no actors worth the name to portray the society like the films in Tamil and Malayalam. The Telugu cine field is really barren wasteland of worthless directors ready to make money with ridiculous stories having no ground realities.
The heavy budgeting of movies like Bahubali, a Chandamama story makes no sense when reviewed with certain movies of the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh; the Telugu Directors should rejuvenate their mindset to cope with the threatening consequences of their industry if at all they desire to call it so. A high time to wake up …..
(D. Subbaramaiah is freelance writer from Hyderabad)