Only a handful of movies stay for more than a day in the back of your head where characters continue to remain alive . The kind of effect synonymous with finishing the final page of a good book. I don’t usually write about non-Hindi/English movies, but this movie is probably going to be an exception. Or perhaps a start to writing regularly about subtitled movies.
I’ve usually avoided watching Telugu movies unless highly recommended (or stars Prabhas or Mahesh Babu). The stuff dished out from the state’s industry has remained mostly the same over years, refusing to come out of the action-packed-one-man-army-masala movie genre. Barring Baahubali, there’s been hardly anything good and different.
This movie, Arjun Reddy, has certainly changed my opinion.
The story is about, as the name clearly suggests, Arjun Reddy. Arjun is a 4th-year medical student who is a topper, college bully who is good at sports but has anger management issues. He’s about to drop out of college because this dude, of course, won’t apologize to his dean for getting his anger out on someone. But hey, a girl enters. Literally, as he’s about to submit the NOC of his departure.
Their relationship starts off with him practically bullying her to be with him but she falls for him eventually. Because Movies! The plot is more about him coping with the breakup (Oh yes!) with moments of flashback on the ‘why’ of it.
The brilliance of the movie is hardly in the contents of the story but in the character universe built around Arjun Reddy. With a screen time close to 3 hours, each character grows as the story develops, while getting ample screen time. Nothing seems rushed to sprint towards the ending but is trying to pull the audience into its depth. The background score and cinematography match up perfectly to the pace.
Characters like Arjun’s friend, Shiva, played by Rahul Ramakrishna, are more than just sidekicks typical of Telugu cinema (or even Tamil). Bereft of even the male-bonding drama, which the usual stories seem to progress when trying to go in a different direction. Not that there aren’t any caricatures, but they are overpowered by well written roles. Must commend, the writer-director Sandeep Reddy Vanga for this.
The female lead, Preethi Shetty, played by Shalini Pandey is earnest and displays the emotional state of a scared, in-love and suffering, young lady as her character transitions through the journey.
The film, of course, hinges on Vijay Devarakonda who plays the lead and man! This dude is good. One can say the role perfectly fits him and that the writing was done keeping just this guy in mind. Not that he doesn’t display the antics of a ‘hero’ but this role demanded the tantrum-filled alcoholic to do just that. I’m actually looking forward to watching more of this guy based on this.
Arjun Reddy is not only an enjoyable watch but is able to pull you in a world created by the Director. The Background music and the songs (No song-and-dance) adds to the intensity. It is one of the good movies I’ve watched this year and you should too.
It is available on Amazon Prime (with English subtitles) if you’re interested to watch.