Behind the Movie Basanti: Critically acclaimed director Chaitanya Dantuluri and still unproven hero Raja Gautham (son of Brahmanandam) are together for this youthful love story mixed with terrorism backdrop. Let us see how far they could prove their worth on screen?
In the Movie Basanti: Story starts with introduction to a bomb blast and then shifts to Basanti College in Hyderabad where the youthful and fun loving jovial batch of Arjun (Raja Gautham), Abbas (Randhir), Malli (Dhanraj) is introduced. Arjun, son of a middle class father (Tanikella) falls in love with Roshini (Alisha Begh), daughter of Police Officer (Sayaji Shinde). As per the Telugu cinema formula, a feel good thread of blood donation makes Arjun and Roshini come closer. Meanwhile, Roshini has to fly Cambridge for future studies and it’s the time for Basanti College Farewell Celebrations.
In parallel, a Terror Outfit from Pakistan lands in Hyderabad to free their head Babur arrested and put in jail. When everything is planned for bomb blasts at a public function, Police hatch their plan and begin the chase for terrorists who intrude into Basanti College and take students into their hostage. What happened later on in Basanti College? Who were students in terrorist custody? How did Police react? How about Arjun’s love for Roshini?
Values of the Movie Basanti: The innovative plot of mixing youthful love and terrorism together should be credited for Chaitanya Dantuluri. Inspiring from Bollywood films like Anwar, Rang De Basanti filled with patriotic fervor is a welcome move. But, Chaitanya Dantuluri misses the command in telling the story with faith in narration. Story gets dragged and dragged in first half with slow movement and unedited portions until it passes to interval bang when terrorists enter into college. In fact, entire first half needed youthful and entertaining elements with college fun. However, Chaitanya’s path of making serious-comedy with sensible humor did not gel well. Anil Bhandari top notch camera work is real lifeline while Marthand K Venkatesh editing was creatively slow and bland. Mani Sharma lifts the subject with his soothing BGM while main score in songs was not so effective. Production values of Start Camera are very poor.
Performance wise Raja Gautham is a revelation. The actor whom we have seen in ‘Vaareva, Pallakilo…’ is absolutely different from what we see in this film. Though underplayed emotionally, Raja Gautham if develops some command on dialogue delivery, he is sure going to rock. Alisha Begh is neither visually attractive nor captivatingly performing. Randhir did a good job in one crucial scene. Dhanraj is for name sake. Tanikella, Sayaji suited to their roles.
Out of the Movie Basanti: Like the first film of ‘Baanam,’ director Chaitanya Dantuluri showed intellectual and socially responsible traits in his film. For commercial movie lovers who just enjoy the so called Blah Blah comedy, ‘Basanti’ is not your stuff. In fact, Chaitanya’s forced injection of unnecessary heroism into Raja Gautham’s character has killed the very genuine effort. Though screenplay and pace in the film is pathetically slow and struck up, when audience start praising the efforts of Chaitanya for a clean and neat film, he begins to damage the reputation in second half with cinematic action and senseless behavior from so called terrorists.
If Chaitanya wanted a commercial film, he shouldn’t have touched this kind of a line because we may not have Raykesh Om Prakash Mehra style of treatment and Aamir Khan kind artists at our disposal. Even then, he tried to offer few best movements in first half which are again spoiled in second half. In major, the art work provided for the movie is so artificial. The machine guns, IEDs used were comical. Same applies to the artists who never behaved like terrorists. Overall, ‘Basanti’ is an immature attempt by a sensible director.
Cinejosh Verdict of Basanti: An Odd Mix of Love, Terrorism
Cinejosh Rating; 2.75
Reviewed by Srivaas