Film: 'Mithrudu'; Direction: Mahadev; Cast: Bala Krishna, Priya Mani, Deepak; Music Director: Mani Sharma; Cinematographer: Bala Murugan; Rating: *
Late N.T. Rama Rao's son Bala Krishna's hopes of reviving his sagging career take yet another nose-dive in 'Mithrudu' (friend).
It is a rehash of several Hindi and Telugu films of a 'hired' husband who wins his shrew of a wife.
The only difference in this one is that both male and female protagonists are projected as superstitious people wallowing in self-pity and nutty enough to be foxed by amateurish chisellers.
Bala Krishna plays a depressed Malaysia-based Indian Aditya attempting to rescue a lovelorn gullible damsel Indu (Priya Mani) smitten by puppy love towards a shady NGO operator Madhu (Deepak) who pretends to be handicapped.
Indu postpones her marriage upon being told by a soothsayer that she would be widowed within a month and marries a stand-in Aditya who actually ends up falling in love with her.
The rest of the gooey melodrama is totally unconvincing.
Sans his wisecracking one-liners and bone-crunching stunts, Bala Krishna looks lost.
The limp storyline, listless cinematography and Sharma's apology for music do not help either.