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Baladoor Review - Good Old Big Telugu Family

APK | August 14, 2008

Rating: **.75 (***** Very Good, **** Good, *** Fair, ** Average, * Bad)

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Cast: Krishna, Raviteja, Anushka, Chandra Moan, Pradeep Rawat, Suneel, Brahmanandam, Suman Shetty, LB Sriram, Subbaraju, Raja Ravindra, Ahuthi Prasad and Others.
Action: Ram Laxman.
Story: Paruchuri Brothers.
Dialogues: Laxmi Bhoopal, Jaladandi.
Choreography: Brinda, Dinesh and Prem Rakshit.
Editing: Marthand K Venkatesh.
Music: KM Radha Krishnan.
Screenplay & Direction : Uday Shankar
Producer: Suresh.
Banner: Suresh Productions.
Release Date: 14th August, 2008.

Not Ravi Teja's usual fare, but not really unlike it. With the backdrop of a family, he still mouths witty lines, pulls faces and beats up goons in his characteristic style. Read on.

Raviteja and KrishnaPlot Chanti lives in a joint family where his uncle Rama Krishna is the head. His widower father Purushotham always nags Chanti and is admittedly embarrassed by his ways. Meanwhile Chanti lives only to serve his family and keep up their honor and name and is closest to his uncle. His uncle's business rivals (Pradeep Rawat and Co) have been nursing old enmities and do everything in their power to harm their family but all their plans backfire. Chanti saves his sister-in-law's honor and due to misunderstandings, gets thrown out of the house. Still he takes care of them like a shadow, never letting them know. How he does it and whether or not it leads to a reunion and a happy ending forms the rest of the plot.

Story, Screenplay and Direction Welcome to the Good Old Big Telugu Family cinema. Ravi Teja plays the title role of Baladoor, who is of course the black sheep of a big, rich family; the head of the family is played by Krishna, his uncle and Chandramohan plays his father. He sacrifices for the family, does everything in his might to save the name and honor of his family including periodically bash up villains/rivals/assorted henchmen. No one knows he's doing all these good things for the family, but obviously find out in the end.

There's a girl. Now what's a story without a girl-this one he meets by chance at a railway station but turns out to be a family friend. She falls for him after she sees him bash up about 30 people, the head of who challenges and insults his beloved uncle and family. Then she comes to stay at his house.

Sounds familiar? Most of it is. It will remind you of every second Telugu movie ever released. Including the sudden burst of color and sound with Ravi Teja and Anushka gyrating to massy dance steps in various locations. Oh, and there's a family song too right at the beginning. You know, the sort where you get to know what a loving family theirs is and wondering why yours isn't like that. Or in rare instances, identifying oneself in some real family portrayals and moments.

Raviteja and AnushkaPerformances And there's Ravi Teja himself. His Jim Carrey like antics entertain and keep everyone alert, and the script and dialogues totally side with him in the pursuit of entertainment. There are some gags too, at the right time and place, carefully merged into the script. Brahmanandam is the owner of the shed where our Baladoor sometimes helps out-no idea why though, that's not established. He and his coconut-breaking sentiment is Paisa Vasool. Anushka mistakenly keeps gulping down liquor instead of water (talk about dumb) but those antics provide a smirk or two from the sportive audience. He saves his father from getting stabbed but his father is unaware of even being targeted. That scene has been conceptualized well.

This is a total, typical family entertainer; gags, sentiment, sacrifice, characters and songs galore. Nothing more or less. There've been several movies like this, and hopefully India will never give up its ‘Family Entertainers'. This is not a great movie, far from it; you'll forget it the day it's pulled out of the theatres. But it's tolerable. It's still likely you'll walk out 20 minutes before the climax, because in all respects the movie ends there and drags on. But you'll risk missing Krishna flexing his muscles and bashing up the baddies. You'll also miss Brahmanandam's final gag. In case you're interested.

Song and Dance The two leads in one color, following by 3 to 25 others in similar but not same costumes. Mediocre, but not unbearable. The first number is a part of the screenplay.

Last Word Ravi Teja likes his Chanti characters and has all but made it his trademark. Baladoor is not a bad watch, but that's about it. It's laced with all the sentiment and sacrifice stuff we excel at and laced with humor and Ravi Teja's slightly subdued energy.