Sloppy Courtroom Drama
CENSOR‘UA’ – 2 hrs 08 mins
What Is the Film About?Tenali Ramakrishna (Sundeep Kishan) is a small-time lawyer who makes his living via compromises between warring parties. He is looking for a big case that could turn his life. It comes in the form of Varalaxmi (Varalaxmi Sarath Kumar), a local billionaire with a good name in public. She gets falsely implicated in a murder case by her rival. What circumstances force Tenali Ramakrishna to take up her case and where it ends is the basic story of the film? There is also a love story running in parallel between Tenali Ramakrishna (Sundeep Kishan) and Rukmini (Hansika). How is it related to the core story? It gives a complete picture of the movie.
How Is Sundeep Kishan’s Performance?Sundeep Kishan plays a lawyer, just like he plays a taxi driver or a boy next door. Leaving that aside, there is the usual ease and energy that is decent to carry a small to medium budget film. He does comedy, action and dance, with a few predictable emotional moments thrown in the mix. Nothing stands out, but there is nothing overtly wrong to complain either.
Direction by G. Nageswara Reddy
G Nageshwara Reddy is a formulaic director who relies on over the top comedy to pull through the weak story and predictable script. It is the same with Tenali Ramakrishna BA BL.
The core plot of the movie is wafer-thin and after a point ceases to exist. We wait for the film to end, and it does abruptly. But, more on that later.
Tenali Ramakrishna BA BL opens decently where the different characters are set up neatly. It then shifts focus to the hero and comedy takes over involving his family and romantic life. Both are over the top, but the former (involving family) appears normal when compared to the vulgarity at display in the heroine track. Are they funny? Well, there are a couple of moments, but by and large, the usage of double entendre feels unnecessary.
It is only towards the pre-interval mark that we get back to the main track involving Varalaxmi. It is decent. There are a predictable yet okayish emotional block and a proper challenge involving the lead. Within a predictable terrain, one doesn’t mind looking forward to the second half.
The beginning of the second half keeps the interest alive with a courtroom sequence that mixes fun and thrill equally. It raises expectation on what is to follow next. However, one after the other, the narrative takes a downward trend. It is a continuous free-fall with occasional comedy being the only relief.
The ‘Jabardasth’ comedy block to take the narrative forward is puerile, to say the least. A twist follows it which is fine, but the comedy is way over the top. It derails the proper momentum build at the start.
Some crucial players start to act out of characters all of a sudden. It brings us to what we said at the start; the story seems non-existent at this point. The inconsistency is writing, and characterisation further makes the narrative absurd, and abrupt. We are suddenly at the climax, and it is over without any significant drama.
Overall, Tenali Ramakrishna BA BL is a courtroom drama which hardly has anything worthwhile happening in court. Those who don’t mind juvenile humour will have some moments to enjoy. Otherwise, it is a very routine and forgettable fare.
Hansika and Others?
Hansika appears in a Telugu movie after a long gap. Maybe it is to make up for the long absence; she overacts like there is no tomorrow. It is her most overacted part within the Telugu cinema oeuvre. The characterisation is profoundly dumb. Still, for a large part, it fails to evoke the same sympathetic response that a similar role (in spirit) of the heroine from Seema Tapakai evoked.
Varalaxmi Sarathkumar is getting typecast. She has now done the same kind of role in her last few films. There is no surprise left, therefore. Raghu Babu and Murali Sharma have other essential parts. The former gets a decent one after a long gap and impresses. The latter is riddled with one of his worst written roles in recent memory. He also overacts.
The rest comprises of comedians like Prabhas Seenu, Sapthagiri, Vennela Kishore, Posani Krishna Murali and Chammak Chandra etc. They are all okay in a scene or two, but that’s it.
Music and Other Departments?Sai Karthik’s music is loud and feels like a rehash of his past works. The background score is effective. The cinematography is decent, at best. The editing reaches messy levels at times. Some scenes seem to enter and leave the narrative so abruptly. The smooth flow goes amiss at many points. The writing is superficial and mostly relies on double entendre and real-life related punches, like ‘Kodi Kathi usage etc. The latter work out at a few times when they arrive unexpectedly.
Drawbacks?Wafer Thin Story
Alternative TakeThe core story could have been explored further in a serious manner or semi-serious way with humour incorporated in the narrative related to the courtroom drama.
Did I Enjoy It?
Will You Recommend It?No
Tenali Ramakrishna BA BL Review by Siddartha Toleti