Friday, December 30, 2011

I Want To Live In Brindavanam! I´ll Even Agree To Be Tarak´s Third Wife! - Brindavanam (Telugu, 2010)

I think I just gave away the ending in my title but who cares because the REAL love story here anyway, is the Bromance between Praju and Srihari. Brindavanam was my first Tarak movie and although I had a kind-of-meh impression about him on the first time, I love him more and more with every re-watch. Because: OMG! How much fun is Brindavanam!? I adore this movie. The colours, the songs, Srihari and Praju as brothers, the action, could it get even better? Oh yes, Tarak is so cute that the fact that I ever liked men without moustaches is beyond my understanding.

This is why I love telugu movies. Only there a seemingly simple story turns into a family-soap-opera with overwhelming melodrama, fantastic songs and superhero fight sequences. Also, Tarak is every inch (yes, EVERY. FEW. ONE.) the hero. He´s cool, he´s strong, he fights and growls and he means it. You don´t want to get Jr NTR angry because he´s gonna RIP OUT A TREE  OUT OF THE EARTH. COMPLETE WITH THE ROOTS. With his bare hands. Oh yeah. this is what I call fun. These boring Hollywood-movies with their realistic violence, who? I don´t know because I´m never going to see one again because if the lead actor is not introduced with an own theme song that goes somewhere like this I will be disappointed:

Your name is not displayed under your first shot? Then you are not worthy of my attention, sweetie.
Right in the first fight sequence Jr NTR makes it clear that he is "Mass And Only" and from that on we embark on a super-fun-fantastic journey of a telugu masala movie that knows exactly what it´s doing because just 7 min into it and I totally know I´m going to love every sec, because we already had a hero introduction, a beyond awesome action sequence and the climax to a love story. 
Mass and ONLY. Any doubts?
After the fight and having brought two starcrossed lovers to their happy ending, meeting his parents and learning that he is richer than Yashvardhan Raichand and Siddhu´s character in Nuvvostanante Nenoddantana taken together, NTR as Krish remembers that he has a hot girlfriend named Indu who he apparently stood up. Understandably, Indu is pissed but Krish has the ultimate make-up solution: Why not sing a song and do an awesome dance number on a set that has an ACTUAL AIR PLANE on it:

I swear if I had a boyfriend who would do that for me I would never, NEVER EVER, let him leave.

Who doesn´t love seeing Tarak dance? Well, Indu does and quickly forgives Krish his impolite behaviour only to tell him that she has a friend who needs his help. Who might that be? Well, it´s Kajal of course and her skinny legs! 
Kajal and her skinny legs who were mostly left out of the picture thanks to the wiseness of the cinematographer.
Since Kajal doesn´t do much in the movie except of looking dull and/or sad/scared, we move on. Kajal as Bhumi, wants to study in America and become, what a surprise, a doctor (Why this discrimination on other professions in indian movies? Everyone wants to be either a doctor or an engineer. This can´t be true) but her factionist father (Praju, of course) wants to marry her to her cousin who is no other than Ajay (AAaajayyYYY! I love you, Ajay! You´re my secret crush.). And because Krish is so good in solving problems (calming down your girlfriend by a peppy dance number: Exhibit A) Indu has probably the worst idea of her entire life: Why not let Krish pretend to be Bhumi´s boyfriend?  What could go wrong, right? RIGHT!?

Wrong. There are so many, many problems! For once, Bhumi´s father is not the only one Krish has to convince of being Bhumi´s boyfriend but, as she helpfully explains, "Mine is a joint family", which means that there are 20 other people Krish has to bring on his side if he wants to convince Bhumi´s Nana. It took me 3 times of watching the movie and one self-made cheatsheet until I finally got all the relations between the different characters in Bhumi´s family and instead of what you might think, it was really worth it because everyone of them is given a backstory and a personality, so they contribute much to the movie´s depth which I will come back to later.

The second problem is that the cousin Bhumi should get married to is a... slightly disturbed man. He rapes, he kills, he drinks and apperently smokes pot a lot because he has constantly reddened eyes (but maybe it´s just a condition). In short he is your average goonda only that he´s Ajay and so still adorable (but probably only to me).
Oh Ajay! Don´t be sad that Kajal´s not that into you! I will be happily kidnapped/held hostage by you. But please do smile to me again!
And the story doesn´t end here: Bhumi´s father, played by THE Prakash Raj, as always, has a younger brother, Srihari, whom he´s thrown out of the house and whom he hates because he is the son of the second wife of Praju´s father, played as usual by Kota Srinivasa Rao. Srihari has moved to the next village and has become its head, as did Praju in his old village and so the two has pushed the two villages into great hatred towards eachother which bursts out sometimes into heated arguments.
A typical day in your typical village in Andhra. Bus travelling on your own risk. And you should probably bring a machete with you. Just for safety, of course.
Still not complicated enough? Well, what happens if Krish and Bhumi fall in love? And what will Indu do when she finds out? Will Praju and Srihari ever bury their enmity and accept their amazing and steamy chemistry together? Will Brahmi pull off a Praju? Will there be an item number featuring Tarak, Kajal and Samantha about actually having a threesome? Oh yes, AND SO MUCH MORE. 

And the dancing, the sets, the costumes, the backup dancers, OMG I JUST LOVE IT!

This movie is just SO. AWESOME. Seriously, the only flaw that I see in this film is that it drags a little in the second half. But that´s it. Otherwise it is like this movie has been made only for me! It got almost all of my favourite telugu actors, it has amazing songs and super-awesome fight sequences and the most important thing: Tarak´s just GOT IT, MAN! He is just so convincing, in every, f***ing scene. And he´s so adorable. And charming. And adorable. Who would have thought that he could be such a cutie? And the dancing!? And the fighting!!? Oh, and let´s not forget this smile! Okay, I´ll just stop, otherwise it will get very 13-year-old-like here.

Brindavanam is here to rock your mind and no less because every single frame just screams pretty! Awesome! Amazing! Okay, someone has to take away the exclamation point from me. In my opinion this movie is almost perfect. Let´s go through the state of evidence:

Evidence A: The story. Instead of just having a typical Hero-Heroine-AngryDad/Villain-triangle of your average masala movie Vamsi Paidivally produces an epic melodrama of a disfunctional family that has to be brought together by the hero. The actual love story takes a backseat but that´s okay since 1) Tarak and Kajal don´t have much chemistry together and 2) Srihari and Praju make more than up for it. Besides there is so much happening! It starts simple but then develops into this comedy of mistaken identities complete with Brahmanandam posing as Tarak´s fake father and imitating Praju´s dad-character from Bommarillu. And then his real parents show up! Samantha reveals to be Sriharí´s daughter! And then there is still Ajay to be dealt with. It never gets boring.
One of Bhumi´s aunts who, like me while watching the movie, is literally in heaven.
The pet turtle who was the secret star of the movie.
One of the funniest scenes. I fell on the floor, roaring with laughter.
Evidence B: The performances. Everyone was AWESOME. From Tarak´s Megawatt Lightbulb Hero Persona that made me feel sorry that I didn´t watch the movie in an Indian theatre so that I could cheer, clap and whistle all the way I wanted, to Praju and Srihari to the various members of Bhumi´s family who were real characters than just some sketches on the fringe of the story.

The only one who sucked was Kajal and it hurts me to say it because usually I love her. To be fair, she had a more than ungrateful role. Simply put, Bhumi had no personality at all. Even the plan of Tarak posing as her boyfriend was not hers but her grandfather´s. What was more irritating, her plan of going to America to become a doctor was never mentioned again once Krish entered her life. I mean what about that? Would Krish and Indu give up their life to go to America just because of Bhumi? It never gets resolved. Even the love didn´t feel real because it seemed that she only fell in love with him because he was the first man ever to be nice to her. I got the feeling that Bhumi was actually like a child, completely dependant of the men in her life and not able to make her own decisions. *Sigh*
But when she smiled - which was rarely - I felt like smiling, too.
Evidence C: The songs. Songs in an Indian movie are extremely important to me. They can push an otherwise boring or bad movie into rewatch-material. Well, the songs in Brindavanam are fantastic. From the lavish use of backup dancers, to the huge sets, the motto of the choreographer or director or cinematographer or whoever is responsible for arranging the songs, seemed to be: "The more, the better." And thankfully so! I never have seen more beautiful songs in a telugu movie.

Evidence D: The cinematography. This movie must have had a huge production budget. Everything is just so pretty! The colours, the use of natural lighting and the overall scale of it makes watching a real feast for the eyes. I am never fed up of the shots of the rural setting in which the movie is playing or the family house which is the one the movie title actually comes from. Plus, there is so much dedication to detail, the use of foreground and background, I can´t even decide which screencaps to choose from because every one is so beautiful.

I think this is enough evidence given. I love Brindavanam. I can watch it over and over again. It is one of my favourite telugu movies. There is so much effort made into this movie, you can see it in every shot and everyone seems to have had a good time. So if you like an entertaining story, amazing songs and fight sequences, beautiful cinematography and above all, Jr. NTR, then this is the movie for you. And let´s all celebrate Tarak for being the coolest telugu hero ever to grace the silver screen:

Woo, Tarak!


  1. i pretty much agree with your review word for word, except i loved kajal too.. but im a guy so that could be why.

  2. Oh, I LOVE Brindavanam too!! It's such insane fun!! :D I've written a review for it so I won't go into much detail here, but I'm more than ready to discuss this one with you on the forum ;)

  3. If you are Ajay fan there are couple of movies he acted as main lead. "Sarai Veerraju" (means drunkured Veer Raju) is one movie you can give a try.

  4. Ah Meenkaran, I totally understand. I also tend to be a little more forgiving when it comes to Prabhas´ or Bunny´s performance in a movie. ;-)

  5. Thank you for your recommendations, anonymous person!;)A movie with Ajay IN THE LEAD!? OMG, why didn´t I know that? I´m so on to my favourite DVD-shop by now.

    Hey Remini, I´ve read your review and I can´t believe that we differ again.;-D I can´t stand Yamadonga! Of course it has its moments, but overall it´s the one movie that I regret buying without seeing it first. I did write a little review on Bollywhat in the Yamadonga thread where I tried to explain why I don´t like it, so if you want you can read it and comment.
    I didn´t had the time to comment in the Brindavanam thread yet, but I will soon and then we can get into full argument why and how Yamadonga is better than Brindavanam and vice versa. ;-)

  6. Ah, I don't mind at all that you didn't like it ;) Different strokes for different folks is my motto :D If you don't like a movie, that's it.

    Likewise you're never going to convince me that Magadheera is just another standard Tolly movie with an impressive historic flasback :P Seriously, I was sooo bored watching it I had to fast-forward almost everything after Dheera Dheera, because even the characters got too annoying :P But at least Cherry could dance and ride a horse. But as an actor... Jr. NTR wins on all accounts for me. Well, almost - Cherry is more chocolatey looking :))

    I'm a bit 'alergic' to melodrama so the family drama was too much, as was Krishna's coolness - he stopped being interesting, he stayed the same throughout the movie, whereas in Yamadonga, there was a growth that I really liked. I laughed more with Brindaavanam, but YD was more emotionally satisfying (hope I make sense) :)

    By the way, OF COURSE he and Bhoomi never got together!!! He returned to Indu :P

  7. ^You´re right about the character growth of Yamadonga. That was totally lacking in Brindavanam, I agree. Understandably so, after all Krish was "perfect" right from the beginning. But I didn´t mind because there was so much else to enjoy and Praju and Srihari were total scene stealers anyway.

    Whereas I think YD failed for me because I had too high expectations. Everyone was telling me how awesome and mindblowing it is and it just wasn´t. That was the first fantasy telugu movie I have seen and I was just so annoyed during the whole hell/heaven part, everything was so OTT but not in a good way and I just wanted it to end. I thought that was so unneccessary and it took away from the actual story. I also didn´t like the songs in YD much, the only one I liked was the love song with NTR and Priyamani. That one was really cute.

    But I liked the love angle of YD more because you´re right, Bhumi and Krish shouldn´t be together because he and Indu were just made for eachother! ;)
    They should have changed the endings of the love stories from YD and Brindavanam, because I totally loved Mamta Mohandas and was actually disappointed that she and NTR´s character didn´t come together.

    (And on a more shallow note: I hated, no really, I HATED NTR´s hair in YD. I am ashamed to say it but although not being THE reason it was definitely one of them why it ruined the film for me.)

    Oh and no Magadheera-hatin´ please because this is the most obsessed Magadheera-lover you are talking to here! ;))))


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