In Nagesh Kukunoor’s Bollywood Calling, Om Puri explains to
the frustrated Hollywood import that ‘we Indians want all the
emotions in a single movie’. Desamuduru is one such a movie
with a bonus-a hero in six-pack splendor. Ever saw a ‘Rambo’
romance n’ dance? In Desamuduru you do.
Puri Jagan has come to be known as a man who defies tradition.
He takes this defiance to an all-time high, by making his hero fall
for a Sanyasin. After taking this unconventional story idea and
setting the love track against the picturesque Kullu-Manali, he
retracts to a rather predictable action-filled-love-story kind of
narration. While, the first half is all about how the hero wins
over heroine’s heart, the second is about getting her back in
‘sahi-salamath’ shape. In short, it is the usual Puri Jagan’s
hero characterization, replete with pithy one-liners and
truckloads of violence.
Puri Jagan could have come up with a different fare had he
explored the premise of a Sanyasin abandoning her path and
narrated the film from the heroine’s point of view. Instead he
uses this as a sidetrack for the film-like an obvious ploy to
make the heroine an impossible-to-get-item. Similarities to
the Hindi movie Paap are there to be seen with Allu Arjun
sporting a John Abraham avatar and Hansika dressed as
a modern Sanyasin. But the ensuing conflict is the usual
Puri Jagan’s fare, with the hero going all out to woo his girl.
When he finally succeeds in ‘spoiling’ her, as Ramaprabha
observes, it is our Desi Rambo all the way.
Infact, the transition scene from Kullu-Manali to Hyderabad
is a defining one (though inspired from Lock, Stock and
Two Smoking Barrels) where the hero receives a call in mid-air
from the villain and unlike in the original movie, picks it up and
‘loudly’ announces his plans for the second-half. Loudness is
the defining characteristic of Desamuduru, and luckily for the
entire unit, the movie is screaming loud at the box-office too.
While congratulating Puri Jagan for setting the box-office on
fire, here are some issues worth pondering in the main plot.
Is the heroine after all so difficult to get?
She becomes a Sanyasin not by her will, but by design. So,
she is on tenterhooks to begin with and may be even ready to
break loose with any hero in the near proximity. Hence, for all
practical purposes, Puri’s regular, Ravi Teja, would have sufficed…
did she really need a six-pack Allu Arjun?
Eternal love or carnal love?
A Sanyasin is supposed to renounce the real world and the
denial of flesh is a step towards it. Now if she has made up her
mind to shun the bodily pleasures and if she has to think otherwise,
she has to experience them first. However, she does not. As the
film has to appeal to a large audience, this aspect has been left to
the wind and as a result becomes the usual
‘sweet-love-with-no-touch-till-marriage’ kind. Ok…now, if their love
is not carnal and their bond is eternal, then bodies don’t matter,
time does not matter, etc., etc. Then what necessitates all those
conversations about ‘matti, mannu, masanam’ etc.
Hmm..agreed that the audiences have ignored the so-called
minor issues with the plot and gave a clean chit to Puri Jagan.
Or they might have been carried away by the enthusiasm of
Allu Arjun, or the freshness of Hansika or the foot-tapping
music or the neat cinematography. But will these come to
the story teller’s rescue every often when he takes the so
called cinematic liberties with the so called bold/unconventional
themes and still yield the same result at the box-office?
Well, we might have to wait till the Ramcharan’s film hits the marquee.
For the time being, let’s agree with Mr. Om Puri and accept
Puri Jagan as a master in such genre. Coming to
Nagesh Kukunoor,…he just announced his next film with
Now will it be a Paap kind, sans the Desamuduru’s effervescence?
Well, that’s another wait!!
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