A Middling Zombie Fare
‘U/A’ Certified, 2h 10min .
What Is the Film About?
Mario (Teja Sajja) is a game designer who is forced to go to Rudravaram to fix a bug for his newly launched game. On his arrival, strange things start to happen to him and his friends. What are they? What is the truth related to them is what the movie is all about?
How Is Teja Sajja’s Performance?
Teja Sajja, a child actor, turns hero with Zombie Reddy. The actor has a little bit of ease in the body language, but there is a lot of boyishness still visible. It is a distracting thing when it comes to taking him seriously. Leaving that aside, for a starter, he has done decently, but there is plenty of scope to improve (as an actor) and groom (look-wise).
Direction by Prashanth Varma?
Prashanth Varma directs Zombie Reddy. It is his third flick after Awe and Kalki. Like his previous films, he tackles a different theme this time. Zombie Reddy, as the title suggests, is a zombie movie. When it comes to full-fledged fare, this is a first for Telugu cinema.
The promos and publicity, along with the title, make the basic idea of Zombie Reddy clear. It couldn’t have been any more obvious, frankly. What we get here is a mixture of two separate entities. While the first is the zombie genre, the second is home-grown faction narrative involving revenge.
Full marks to the idea, but unfortunately, some are good on paper, but struggle to have the same impact cinematically. We see that with Zombie Reddy.
The entire movie feels like two separate narratives running concurrently. The first one is the typical Telugu comedy-drama involving the family and youthful fun. The second is a zombie outbreak and suspense behind it.
The regular revenge drama narrative is filled with silly comedy. It is aimed at a particular segment, much like the movie which hit cinemas last week. It is not for everyone, but there is an audience out there for it. The fun aimed through stereotypical faction clichés doesn’t come across as it should. With a weak lead at the centre supporting team does the heavy-lifting with punches and comic timing.
The zombie thrills are initially well spaced. A neat curiosity is built around it which explodes around the interval mark. The anticipation increases for the second half.
Unfortunately, Prashanth Varma disappoints in the second hour. Once the two tracks merge, there is chaos all over -literally. The narrative lacks clarity, initially, and too much seems to be going on simultaneously with nothing actually happening in a genuine sense. The twists are far-fetched and out of depth at this point. The gory visuals also don’t help.
The ‘zombie action’ part gives a never-ending feeling, and before we realise, we are at the end of the movie. Even here the formula of the genre is followed. It makes it doubly predictable. The climax related to family drama is highly formulaic. On the other hand, the suspense behind the zombie track fizzles out without delivering the much-needed kick. The same is the case with ‘zombie track’ end, but the song makes up for it a bit.
Overall, the first half of Zombie Reddy shows us a glimpse of the potential. The final product, however, disappoints. A feeling of satisfaction is missing due to a weak second half when genre cliches dominate. It is here that Zombie Reddy loses the plot. Give it a try, if you want to see something outlandish on Telugu screen.
Anandhi and Others?
Anandhi playing the heroine is a complete match for the hero. In that, both seem to be in a similar space of disappearing among the crowd. And there is a huge ‘crowd’ in Zombie Reddy.
The supporting cast is long with many known faces essaying brief roles. From Harshavardhan to Annapurnamma to RJ Hemanth to Getup Seenu, there is a wide range of artists from different background in place. They are all taken for specific bits, and they do it well. Getup Seenu stands out briefly, but is soon relegated to the background in the last hour. Daksha Nagarkar shines due to her characterisation, which instantly connects.
Music and Other Departments?
There are no songs in the movie (a relief) in a traditional sense. Among the ones that are part of the proceedings, the last one registers. The background score by Mark K Robin is superb. It helps in bringing an intense feel to the proceedings, especially ‘zombie’ sequences.
The cinematography Anith is fine. It comes across a little garish in parts, though. The editing by Sai Babu is okay. The writing is consistently silly. But, that seems to be the aim, to begin with, so it is a mixed bag.
Lengthy Action Scenes
Gory Visuals At Places
In the past, a few zombie movies were made in India where the narrative was mostly replication of the Hollywood genre in a local set up. Zombie Reddy is, therefore, a little bit better concerning nativity. Adding a bit more depth via the ‘native’ and ‘science’ would have elevated it further, especially concerning the current ‘corona’ environment.
Did I Enjoy It?
Yes, In Parts
Will You Recommend It?
Yes, But With Huge Reservations
Zombie Reddy Review by Siddartha
– Zombie vs Reddy comes to an end. Visit back for our unbiased review.
– The reason behind the birth of Zombies is revealed. Zombie Reddy is heading towards the climax.
– Zombies take over the second half.
First Half Report:
A passable first half so far with a neat interval bang. The zombie elements bring freshness. The routine and silly comedy is plenty in the first half. A lot depends on the second half now to see where Zombie Reddy ends.
– A bunch of people turn Zombies and start attacking. Interval.
– The story shifts to Rayalaseema faction area. Some over the top comedy scenes are going on in faction backdrop.
– Mario (Sajja Teja) is a video game freak, hoping to get a big success in the gaming world.
– Zombie Reddy show started. Title cards along with Go..Corona song in the background.
Preview: Zombie Reddy
‘Zombie Reddy‘, the intrigue comes not only with the title of the movie but also the director’s previous films like ‘Awe’. This is the first zombie movie coming in the Telugu Film Industry and also, the backdrop of the first zombie film seems to have fit in effortlessly.
The makers of the movie have created a decent buzz around the movie mostly by the virtue of director Prashanth Varma and his out-of-the-box ideas. The promos of the movie added up and now the movie is at the doorstep of the audiences waiting for their verdict.
The crazy and wacky mixture feel that the trailer gave had a promise that it’s going to be nothing like a routine entertainer but something unpredictable but ensuring fun on the way. Will Prashanth Varma sustain the same feel throughout the film as he did for the trailer?
How the director dealt with this wackiness of mixture is going to decide the fate of the movie. Though there is Teja Sajja making his debut as a hero with ‘Zombie Reddy’, here it is the concept that’s the hero and let’s see how it works.