‘U’ Certified, 2h 11m.
What Is the Film About?
Komurayya is an old man who goes about teasing everyone in his village. He dies all of a sudden one day. His two sons and daughter come to perform the customary rituals of the eleven days. But then, all three of them have their own problems to deal with each other. And there is Komurayya’s grandson, Sayeelu (Priyadarshi) who has another problem. The rest of the story is all about how the problems are resolved to give peace to Komurayya peace in heaven.
Balagam is a Matti story as one can call. It is important to get the cast perfect for such films. Director Venu got it very well by picking apt artists for the characters. Except for Priyadarshi and Kavya, the rest of the characters do not have that film vibes and that is the best part of the casting.
Sudhakar Reddy who played Komurayya, Muralidhar Goud who played the son-in-law, Jayaram who played the elder brother, and Roopa Lakshmi who played the sister are all authentic and did their part very well.
Priyadarshi is good as well. He is adequate in the love stories and jovial portions. He did very well in the final emotional parts. Kavya is alright in whatever she got. The rest of the artists are all perfect for the roles they play.
Balagam feels like inspired by 2015 Kannada film, Thithi. The core point is the same but is beautifully woven with the native culture and traditions of interior Telangana. The film feels like a tribute to Telangana people by Dil Raju and director Venu who hail from the same region. Along with that, we also see the innocence, greed, beliefs (sometimes even superstitions), manipulation, problems, and many such aspects.
These are human things that we see in people everywhere, here it is about the things Venu saw in the countryside of Telangana. The film is authentic to that among all the films that came on Telangana subject so far at least in mainstream cinema. As said earlier, the cast is also carefully picked to enhance the impact.
Also, the more revolves around a death usually that is considered a taboo topic for Telugu people. Venu used to stir comedy and emotion as well. There is an inherent philosophy of how people display their true colors when a death happens.
Coming to the purely cinematic experience, there are some problems as well. The movie starts with Komurayya’s character which is so sweet but it is ended abruptly. Since it is the central character of the film, we should have seen some drama and more connection to the characters in the village for the later parts to feel more absorbing.
The struggles of Priyadarshi are funny here and there but the love stories do not make much of an impact. The first half is mostly about that. There are paces issues and the director moves to the core point only at the interval.
The second half is definitely more engaging the first half. The emotions take a driving seat here. Slow pace returns and creates considerable problems but then, we get to see some emotional sequences here and there. The climax again is neat and moving. The song that comes in the climax feels long but the second half of it which leads to realization in the family is very effective and leaves the audience with a heavy heart.
Finally, Balagam is an honest attempt that is authentic to Telangana culture and the rural side. There are problems that make it very difficult to sit throughout the film. But if you manage to do that, you will get impressed with the essence and the final ending.
Music and Other Departments?
True to its subject, Balagam is completely shot in natural locations without any sets and properties. The cinematography is neat. They are able to explore the unknown side of the Telangana villages. Bheems Ceciroleo’s music is a big asset. The songs have the substance to engage in the proceedings and the background score is another plus.
Director Venu should be appreciated for picking such a subject and for being truthful to that. A little more work on the writing part can make it a well-crafted product. The movie run time is around 131 minutes but still feels long. Dil Raju’s name in the project helped to an extent.
Authentic Telangana Culture
Casting and Performances
Bheems songs and music
Most of the first half
Unengaging love tracks
Did I Enjoy It?
Will You Recommend It?
Yes, but remember it is not a regular film so have the right expectation
Balagam Movie Review by Mirchi9