‘Bangarraju’ hit the cinemas today (Friday). It’s produced by Zee Studios and Annapurna Studios.
Chinna Bangarraju (Naga Chaitanya) and his late grandfather Bangarraju (Nagarjuna) are known for being flirtatious in their village. Sathyabhama (Ramya Krishna), Chinna Bangarraju’s grandmother, passes away and lands in Paradise, where her husband has been leading a hedonistic life. She tells him that she wants to see Naga Lakshmi (Krithi Shetty) tie the knot with their grandson for a good omen. In a parallel track, a couple of villains are after a treasure beneath a powerful temple. It’s up to Bangarraju to set things right.
Akkineni Nagarjuna packs a punch, keeping his ‘Soggade Chinni Nayana’ persona amplified throughout. His performance goes a long way in making the film feel like a true festival outing. After playing an understated role in ‘Love Story’, Naga Chaitanya aces the playboy act with ease. His acting in the scenes with his father is a feast for Akkineni fans. Ramya Krishna, after essaying a variety of roles in films like ‘Baahubali’, is back to playing an entertaining role. Her chemistry with Nag is winsome.
Krithi Shetty is quite in contrast to the urbane role she played in last year’s ‘Shyam Singha Roy’. Her comic timing needs improvement, though. Rao Ramesh is better than how he was in ‘Maha Samudram’. Brahmaji is apt, while Vennela Kishore delivers no laughs. Naga Babu as Yama Dharmaraju and Ravi Prakash as Indra pass muster. Jhansi, Anitha Chowdhary and Praveen are also seen. Meenakshi Dixit, Darshana Banik, Vedhika, Faria Abdullah (appears in the last song), Daksha Nagarkar, and Simrat Kaur are seen in cameos.
Last but not the least, Sampath Raj has an important role. His acting is average and somewhat artificial even.
Anup Rubens’ music doesn’t break new ground, but the tunes are adequate. Sid Sriram has sung ‘Naa Kosam’. ‘Laddunda’ and ‘Tassadiyya’ are meant for the entertainment-loving audience. J Yuvaraj of ‘LIE’ and ‘Maestro’ fame does a fine job with the lens. Vijay Vardhan K’s editing is fairly good.
Brahma Kadali’s art direction is animated by rich production values. The other-worldly sets could have been better, though.
Director Kalyan Krishna Kurasala worked on the story for about 1.5 years. A large section of the audience are expected to buy into the Nagarjuna-Naga Chaitanya combination scenes for the pure masala stuff they offer.
Sathyanand’s screenplay brings to the fore some forgotten elements that traditionally enriched the Telugu cinema of the 1990s. Since this one is a multi-starrer, the boisterous and colourful vibes of the film make us forgive the familiarity.
Had the fantasy elements been narrated in a novel way, the story would have stood out even better. The climax episodes are unapologetically longish.
The songs keep us from getting too bored. Had it not been for the commercial ingredients and old-worldly romance, the film would have been yawn-inducing.
‘Bangarraju’ makes for a good watch if you have low expectations. Walk into the theatre after brushing up a bit about ‘Soggade Chinni Nayana’.