Behind the Movie KSD Appalraju: Ramgopal Varma’s comeback Telugu film with Sunil in the lead is the continuous attention grabber from the moment it was launched. Being publicized as a satire on Tollywood, KSD Appalraju arrived today in theatres. Let us see, how strong was Varma’s Katha, Screenplay, Darsakathvam?
In the Movie KSD Appalraju: Appalraju (Sunil) is a die hard Telugu movie lover and an avid movie buff in Amalapuram living with only dream to direct a Telugu film and raise the standards of our Telugu cinema. Challenging his father Uppalraju (Chalapathi Rao), Appalraju arrives in Hyderabad landing up in Krishna Nagar.
In the very first meeting, Appalraju impresses film producer Rakhi (Raghu Babu) and his creative head Pushpanand (Harshavardhan) with the tragic, heroine oriented story of ‘Nayaki.’ With in no time, team of assistant directors Gogineni Venkata Ramana (MS Narayana), Rudra Veena (Tameem), Annamacharya (Suman Shetty) and Krishna (Colors Swathi) join director Appalraju.
Next task is to find right casting as famous heroine Kanishka (Sakshi Gulati), her love interest Babu Garu (Adarsh) agree to do the film and Mega Max head Data Base (Krishna Bhagawan) agrees to finance the project. Calculations go wrong, Kanishka gets into a naughty quarrel with Babu Garu and they are separated disturbing the entire project. Time when financiers step back, Kanishka ropes in another top hero KT (Ajay), an opponent hero of Babu Garu and local goonda Sri Sailam (Brahmanandam) becomes financier and lyricist while Rahman Sharma (Ali) is the music director for ‘Nayaki.’
Bowing before all the demands of this big crew, Appalraju completes ‘Nayaki’ and gets it ready for release opposite Babu Garu’s film ‘Pranam Teestha’ which had the backing of media criminal No Brain EV (Raja Ravindra), top distributor Onti Kannu Gavarraju (Kota) and senior director Y. Venkat (Tanikella). What happens next? Did Appalraju’s film ‘Nayaki’ win the Sankranthi race? Is Appalraju satisfied with the judgment of audience? form the climax.
Values & Out of the Movie KSD Appalraju: Basic theme visualized by Ramgopal Varma is to showcase the inner troubles and hurdles in directing a movie, completing it in time and releasing it to win the appreciations of audience. Though the line was clear, Ramgopal Varma rolled out a senseless product that never looked appealing. Neither there was script nor was direction. Entire movie was a big mess with lengthy, boring, painful scenes. Not even for five minutes that audiences get involved into the story and get into the groove of Varma. It will be more apt to title this flick as ‘Pappularaju’ or ‘Thippalaraju’ or ‘Chippalaraju’ rather than ‘Appalraju.’
Neither there was conviction in story telling nor an element of genuineness in Varma’s effort. Audiences continuously drain their energies getting out from theatres dragging their feet with discontent. Especially comedy between Brahmi, Tanu Rai; episodes between Sunil, Harshavardhan, Colors Swathi; final cheap tricks of Babu Garu’s villain team to burn the negative of ‘Nayaki’ is such a low grade stuff which is never expected from an intellectual brain like RGV.
Every attempt by Sunil to save Appalraju was devastated by co-artists. He was the only artist in the film tried to play his character authentically. Special appearance of Raviteja is an absolute waste. Apparently RGV explained the core message of his film with voice over in the very first scene with Comedy Vs Tragedy dichotomy but there were no such strong points plotted in the entire movie.
Finally RGV seems to have not only insulted the tastes of Telugu audience by making tragedy ‘Nayaki’ treated as comedy flick but also sent a strong message to new directors entering into the field about the possible humiliations to face, is the one and only positive outcome of Appalraju. Strictly speaking Appalraju isn’t worth a flick to review, from the point of view of zero positive points in it. A person sitting besides me in theatre was happy to see the negatives of ‘Katha Screenplay Darsakathvam Appalraju’ thrown into fires (a scene in the pre-climax of movie). Such was the level of irritation of audience.
Performance wise Sakshi Gulati was red hot, ready to reveal everything before camera while Brahmanandam did over action with Tanu Rai and Venu Madhav. It was only in the first few minutes of second half that audiences get some entertainment from Brahmi’s rowdy den else Appalraju is a complete dud with no ‘Thala’ and no ‘Thoka.’ Neither dialogues from Nilesh nor the camera work of Sudhakar Yakkanti nor music from Koti are to save this. Production values of Kiran Kumar Koneru were also very poor.
The name of Ramgopal Varma may pull good openings on first day and negative mouth publicity may harm the film from matinee of first day or morning of second day. So BO success is an out of scope subject to think or discuss about.
Cinejosh Verdict of the Movie KSD Appalraju: ‘C’ grade effort from ‘A’ grade director.
Reviewed by Srivaas