Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Serious acting? An elaborated story? Just forget about it and start admiring Charan´s hair! - CHIRUTHA (Telugu, 2007)

Chirutha is so much fun. It´s a movie of the So-Bad-It´s-Good-variety and has a healthy dose of masala thrown in it. Family vengeance? Ridiculous fighting? Wasted sacrifices made by children? Item songs? That´s Chirutha for you.

I admit that you have to be a huge Ram Charan Tej-fan (like me) to enjoy this, because it´s his show entirely, but come on! Who doesn´t love the way the songs are thrown in at completely unsuitable plotpoints, the bitchy ways of the heroine and Uber-Daddy Prakash Raj holding speeches about how poor people are to be avoided because they envy the Rich for their wealth and therefore want to do bad things to them?

You just have to see over the ridiculous story, the big-as-a-crater-plotholes, the totally unbelievable romance, the bad costume choices and the latent vibe of class arrogance and lean back to enjoy the amazing songs, the awesome - yet incredible - fight scenes (there´s even one set in a place which looks like stolen from a chinese Martial Arts movie complete with kung fu-fighting goondas), the wacky villain and his Psycho-Son, Charan´s hair and you have an awesome masala-movie that can never bore you because there is so much to look at!

The songs.
The Heroine.
The Hero. Shoo CUTE.
Charan in a Japanese school uniform.
The songs.
The story goes as following: 10-year old Charan ( Yes, Charan is called Charan. And why not, it is so much easier!) sees how evil gangster Mattu-bhai tries to kill his parents for apparently no reason. His dad dies and his mother has to be brought to the hospital where Charan cannot afford to pay for the medical treatment (because he is only ten and has no money). His uncle (I believe it´s his uncle although I´m not sure) tells him that he can provide the money needed but only if Charan goes to jail for a crime he didn´t do (because he is ten and so can be fooled). Charan, of course (Come on, it´s his MA!), agrees and spends the next 12 years in jail where he grows up to Ram Charan Tej, who has perfect hair and his own wind machine despite being in jail.

Young Charan.
Hot Charan. Marvel at the hair blow.
Aftr being released he goes straight to his old home and meets his uncle who tells him that he was in jail for nothing because his mother died of her injuries soon after Charan´s attempt to save her. What will Charan do now, you ask? Will he fall into despair, go to the next bridge and jump? Will he start planning revenge and avenge his parents? No! Charan is not the guy to dwell too long on past time events. Life goes on, he says and finds a job as a guide at a travel agency in Thailand after falling in love at first sight with a girl, Sanjana (and after breaking the window on the nearside of her car, but who cares about such trifles?). Sanjana, as we and Charan soon find out, is the daughter of Prakash Raj, a spoilt, rich, arrogant girl and really annoying. No, really. She´s so irritating.

Their first meeting.

Charan doing the usual Hero-in-love-stuff, i.e. stalking your ladylove.
Sanjana in one of her "I am so rich and you are nothing, you scum!"- outbursts.
What will happen next? Will Charan finally decide to avenge his parents? Will Sanjana change into a nice girl with nice Indian-girl-qualities or will Charan throw her out the window? Will Charan´s hair get an own subplot? Will this movie turn into Rambo complete with headband and mud fighting? Oh, yes and much more.

Even Charan is happy.
Alas, he can´t take the suspense.
But who cares, right?
Well, we don´t.
Chirutha is one of those movies where acting and story take a backseat to the beautiful people, the beautiful locations and the the beautiful songs in the front row. It has some similarities to Dhoom 2, only with lower production values. It´s really an either-you-like-it-or-not kind of movie.
Well, I liked it a lot. I´m just a sucker for all that mentioned above, add a plotturn where the two lovers strand on a deserted yet beautiful island and you´re sold, at least by me.

The actors and acting are similar. Charan is doing his best and although looking drop-dead gorgeous throughout the film, you see that it´s his first movie. But there are some who are much worse than him and anyways, as his Nr. 1 fan I can forgive Cherry-Darling a lot. 
Neha Sharma is really pretty and her dancing is acceptable although not to be compared with Charan´s. Maybe he has to learn a lot about acting but, man, this guy can move!
Neha´s acting ability is equal to zero but that´s okay since her main purpose for the movie is to look pretty and be in the songs. Prakash Raj is just Prakash Raj doing his own thing and being awesome.
There are also two comedy subplots including Brahmanandam (who ´till now has been in every Telugu movie I have seen so far) as a ship captain and Ali as a transsexual brothel-owner. Seriously, I am not making this up.
Sometimes I find them funny, sometimes not, depending on the mood I am watching this movie in.

The only thing I have to complain about ***SPOILER and really hate about the movie is that Charan gives Neha a slap on the face halfway through the movie and threatens to RAPE her in the second half. I´m sorry but I don´t get this attitude towards violence against women. (And not only here, it´s a general problem in Indian movies). As soon as the Hero hurts the Heroine physically, the whole movie is spoilt for me. There is no way I can go on to believe in their romance because which woman with a healthy amount of self-respect would fall for a guy who abuses her? And in Chirutha it´s really bad. Right after his fake attempt to rape her, she falls in love with him, implying that it´s okay to scare a girl like that because "I just did it to prove my love to you." Sure, dude, whatever.

After this...
...we go to this. Just NO.
It´s just NOT okay and I hope that one day I can watch an Indian movie without having to fear that the Hero will slap the Heroine at some point or attempt to rape her because she "annoyed" him. Ugh. SPOILER END***

Well, apart from this little complaining point, I think Chirutha is a really enjoyable movie despite its obvious flaws and if you like wacky plots, great songs with such poetic lyrics like "You are my choco bar...", exotic locations, beautiful actors and Ali as a drag queen, I would highly recommend it to you.