Arjun Reddy is a contemporary and bold take on today’s love stories. Director Sandeep Reddy Vanga didn’t sugar coat or dramatize it for the sake of silver screen and larger audience. He has presented his story in the most realistic way possible and his blunt approach towards love and life is a refreshing break from routine cinema.
What is it about?
Arjun Reddy (Vijay) is an ortho surgeon who is successful but also an alcoholic. He craves for sex and does the drugs. Why is such a highly qualified person in such a pathetic physical and mental state? Arjun, the house surgeon falls in love with the fresher medico Preethi (Shalini). Both are madly in love but Preethi’s father opposes as he doesn’t like his kid to marry a person from another caste. Arjun loses his cool over this and takes high dose of a powerful drug and lose consciousness for a couple of days. Everything changes in the mean time as Preethi gets married to another guy. Heartbroken Arjun becomes an alcoholic and gets separated from his family.
Vijay Devarakonda is a natural talent. He doesn’t try too hard to act. He keeps it simple irrespective of the complexities of the character he plays. That makes Arjun Reddy even a compelling character. Vijay’s free flowing dialog delivery, expressive face and agile frame separate him from the ‘trained actors’. He is a super talent and is all worth the hype and craze around him.
Shalini is apt as Preethi. She is not a typical glamorous face, but looks like a girl next door. She did well especially in the emotional sequences. Kanchana as the grandmother is very impressive. Ramakrishna did a fine job as the close buddy of Arjun Reddy. Sanjay and Kamal are neat as father and brother of Arjun respectively.
Sandeep Reddy Vanga breaks the norms and takes a raw approach towards filmmaking. He keeps the basics right and let the camera and music do the talking. The director should have immense confidence in oneself to deal with such a story. Arjun Reddy has a very thin plot, but the director’s way of narration and the realistic feel makes it a special film. He is a talent to watch out for.
Dialogue is too natural and extremely impressive. Cinematographer’s splendid work is its major asset. Background music reminds us of legendary works from Ilayaraja and Rahman. Songs are passable though. The film is made on a low budget, but it is technically slick. Editing is not up to the mark in second half. It needs a lot of trimming.
Dragging second half
First things first, Arjun Reddy is not a film for everyone. It is not the film for typical cinema goer who likes to watch dances and fights. Also it is a strict no-no for kids as it is loaded with adult content and dialogue. Arjun Reddy is an unconventional film that breaks the norms of a typical Tollywood-romance. It is a realistic take on love and life.
Director Sandeep Reddy makes us follow the character arc of Arjun Reddy, a brilliant student who is destined to become a successful doctor. Despite his intelligence, Arjun has anger management issues and is obsessed with love. He is compassionate towards his girl and goes to any extent to keep her happy. There is nothing too bad about him for anyone to reject, but disaster strikes in the form of Preethi’s father, who is obsessed with his caste.
Like always, Arjun takes extreme measures to deal with the situation instead of finding a solution with a calm mind. As a result, he loses his girl and becomes an alcoholic. He continues to work as a surgeon as it is his only identity. However, things spiral up as he couldn’t overcome his heartbreak. Sandeep Reddy did a wonderful job in making us root for the lead character despite his weaknesses. Viewers will be so much invested into Arjun’s character so much that they will wait till the end to know what happens to him. This is where Sandeep Reddy succeeded the most despite the lengthy runtime and highly emotional second half.
First half of the film is radically different and keeps shocking the audience with sensational dialogue and brilliant scenes. Screenplay seamlessly moves back and forth to take us through the journey of Arjun Reddy. Interval bang just hits the ball out of the park in terms of boldness. Second half doesn’t maintain that mood though. There are a few cliches like introducing another female character and the lead character losing job. Arjun Reddy gets too cinematic as it nears the end.
Also it is too lengthy that one would lose track of the previous episodes and character’s journey after a point. Climax is unimpressive as it is overly cinematic. One wouldn’t expect such a lame ending for an extremely bold setup. Arjun Reddy has its share of flaws, but its strong points will strike a chord with the target audience so that they would ignore its mistakes. There is not enough content in the film to drag it for three hours. Things get repetitive in the second half with some scenes going on and on forever. It could have been a better film if the runtime is shortened.
All in all, Arjun Reddy is a realistic and bold film targeted at youth. It may not be liked by all sections of audience, but will be definitely loved by its target audience. It is set to become a blockbuster as it was made on a moderate budget and sold for relatively less prices. Craze and hype around the film are too high that even its flaws won’t come in its way towards the box office glory.
Verdict: Arjun Reddy is the GenX Devadas!