Film: 'Varudu'; Cast: Allu Arjun, Bhanu Sri Mehra, Arya, Ashish Vidyarthi, Nasser, Suhasini Maniratnam, Singeetham Sreenivasarao and others; Producer: Danaiah; Director: Gunashekhar; Composer: Manisharma; Camera: R.D. Rajashekhar; Rating: **
Allu Arjun starrer 'Varudu' created a lot of hype before its release mainly because of the huge budget, sets and also because director Gunashekhar kept the identity of the heroine under wraps. He unveiled it just a few days before the release.
Added to these elements that contributed to the hype, the crew associated with the film like the director, composer Mani Sharma, cinematographer Rajashekhar and editor Anthony had a very good track record. But despite a strong line up of artists and technicians, 'Varudu' ends up as an average fare.
It seems Gunashekhar hasn't got over the hangover of the success of his previous film 'Athadu' with Mahesh Babu. There are many incidents and sequences in 'Varudu' that will remind you of 'Athadu'. For instance, the kidnapping of the heroine.
Though Gunashekhar has written his story around a fresh idea about five-day traditional marriage that has lot of native features in it, he failed to execute it effectively. As a result first half of the film drags and bores. Rest of the film comes to life in a few sequences, but again Gunashekhar falters in his narration.
The film has less of comedy.
So much money has been spent on the film, but its a waste because you come out of the theatre disappointed, thanks to Gunashekhar's sketchy narration. However, he has shot the songs impressively, particularly 'Bahusha Chenchala'.
Allu Arjun, who is very good in action and dance sequences, has less to do. His dialogue delivery needs to be improved.
The major highlight of the film is Tamil actor Arya's performance. It's courageous on his part to accept a negative character in a Telugu film. He usually plays lead roles in Tamil films, but handled villain's role quite efficiently in 'Varudu'.
Another highlight is the graphics and re-recording work. Chiranjeevi's voiceover in the beginning may cheer some of his fans, but later the film bores.
The story revolves around Sandeep. He belongs to a rich and modern family, but wants his marriage to be performed in a traditional manner. Sandeep wants his life partner to be chosen by his parents. He also says that he does not want to see his wife before the wedding.
Sandeep's marriage is fixed with Deepthi. But she is kidnapped by a local don Diwakar on her wedding day. Sandeep rescues her from the clutches of the villain.
Newcomer Bhanu Mehra lacks the screen presence to impress the audience. In short, she makes a disappointing debut. Nasser, Suhasini Maniratnam, Ashish Vidyarthi and Singeetham are good.
Rajashekhar's camera work is impressive. Manisharma has composed two catchy tunes and awesome background music. Art work is top class.
Overall, 'Varudu' is just an average fare.