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Devadasu: 100 Days Of Entertainment
APK | April 20, 2006
It's illogical. The direction was inconsistent. The lead pair is too raw. Everyone had their opinions on it, but Devadasu worked, and how! It's celebrating its 100th day today (Thursday, April 20), and is still going strong.
It seems to be working mainly at B centers, but even for so-called 'Class Audience', the film is likeable. Why? Says Ravi, who particularly liked the direction, the blatant heroism and the heroine (and her costumes), "It was a fun movie where you had to throw logic to the winds. The songs also get my vote."
So when has logic ever been important in Telugu cinema? We saw Sridevi descend from the Heavens in Jagadeka Veerudu... as Indraja, Balakrishna jump over a train in Vijayendra Verma and NTR Jr. fighting with over a 100 people without so much as a scratch on himself in Allari Ramudu. But didn't all these movies, and many others, work wonders commercially?
The audience is not looking for cinema which makes them think or depresses them; life already is full of events which do that. People watch movies for entertainment, and whether it makes them think in the process (like Rang De Basanti) or is alarmingly illogical, it doesn't matter. So long as people can walk into the theatre and forget real life, and be drawn into the magical world of reel life, they are happy. Although there is no particular formula as such, producers always require their crew to attempt to entertain viewers.
Devadasu clearly entertains. The songs and the picturizations of these songs is the USP of the movie. Ileana makes sure the audiences come back for a second watch, to take in her charm again. Shriya's fans drooled as she threw her 'Sweet Girl' image, and performed a little jig with Ram and the other boys. Ram was appreciated, being so young and not set into a mould yet, most people liked his histrionics and the director's portrayal of him as the new teenage action hero.
The scene where he challenges Ileana's father and promises to follow them to the US gets lot of catcalls and whistles from the audience at every show as they watch in anticipation. The scene where he ties her up comes on, and the masses are frenzied. Ileana is definitely here to stay, from the look of it. She has a pretty face and the figure to carry any costume off, be it traditional or western as we see her in Pokiri's promos. Audiences reveal that they found YVS Chowdary's Devadasu much better than his earlier hits Lahiri Lahiri Lahirilo and Seethayya.
Obviously, the director is happy about the film's success, but more so because it had major big movies for competition and it beat them all to stay for so long, in the theatres and the hearts of the viewers. Speaking on the 100th day function today, he cited that for him the muhurat, the audio release and the movie releases are all festivals, and celebrating 100 days is the biggest festival of all. Around the time of release, some major releases were lined up, and after the 100th day, some major releases are lined up again.
Despite all the competition, Devadasu emerged a winner, and YVS spoke about the journey. He was banking on a story based movie with newcomers, with nine songs. The collections picked up slowly, mouth-to-mouth publicity being the major draw for many. Soon it went on to celebrate 50, and now 100 days today. There is a grand function to mark this success on May 1st, which incidentally happens to be the 111th day of the movie. He is sure that the movie will go on to celebrate 25 weeks, hurdles not withstanding.
Ram and Ileana have benefited from this super hit. Ram has Aditya Arts' Production No. 1 in his kitty, while Ileana bagged three major projects including Pokiri with Mahesh, Jadoo with Ravikrishna and Munna with Prabhas. What more can debutants ask for? They banked on the credibility of the story and the director's caliber, and have not been disappointed. And the audience are happy too, after all, what they are looking for is fun and Devadasu satisfied their hunger for it.