Hareram. This is not a sage's greeting, but a cleverly titled movie of Kalyanram's-a twin story, one a cop, the other a psychotic killer. If that doesn't sound clever enough, there are twists to make some groan, some shrug, some both. The director of the unbeatable Balakrishna starrer Vijayendra Varma has changed his name and made a re-entry into movies with this movie. Why change his name, you ask? Watch VV or take a wild guess. Hareram can only be an improvement, which it is from the director's erstwhile movie. But overall it is passable, with some loopholes and a lot of hamming.
Plot Hari and Ram are conjoined twins at the head and after they are separated with an operation, Ram's brain is affected. He can't make out between 'right' and 'wrong' and tries to kill Hari when his father tells him Hari is cleverer. His father threatens to throw him into an asylum, so his mother takes Ram and escapes. Hari grows up with his uncle's family, who is a commissioner. Hari is a cop, and Ram still carries a hatred for everyone smarter than him. Two gruesome murders-one of a journalist who won a best journalist award and one of an award-winning doctor gets Hari and his uncle suspicious about Ram's hand in it after a cab driver proclaims that Hari himself did it. A health scam, a CBI undercover cop and a flashback constitute the twists and turns heading to an action-packed climax.
Story, Screenplay and Direction Story is okay, interesting enough with a strong narrative. The screenplay leaves room for elements of surprise to pop up-and predictability too. No, the issue with Hareram is the way it makes it look like crime, especially, 'white collar health crime' is easy. It might be happening, it might be real, but the writer forgets to close loopholes. To say any more would be like a spoiler. But when dealing with a twin story, it's important to keep in mind who's seen one of them.
There are other big and small loopholes. Like the time when Ram strikes conversation with the cab driver, it leads him to one award giving ceremony. But if that was where he wanted to head in the first place, then how was he so sure that the conversation would lead him there? So basically all the forces in fate are working for the twin committing the murder.
Good news is the twists constantly keep the interest level up. Also there seems to have been some heavy-duty editing to cut short unnecessary parts; good work. Ram's Avtaar with that hood and blood and whatnot is impressive but his acting doesn't support or sustain it most of the times. The first half's strong screenplay weakens a bit during the flashback and then picks up in a 'mission: you're kidding' climax.
Performances Kalyanram is okay as Hari, and picks up in the second half. As Ram, he oscillates between okay and hamming. He needs to work on his voice and dialogue-like Nitin, he's also too fast. Priyamani has a role that has a too-clever air about it, asking the audiences to digest anything so her constant transformations come as a downer in a performance which would otherwise have been tolerable. Chandramohan and Seetha as the twins' parents do their estranged couple bit well. Chalapathi Rao as their uncle and Raghu Babu as ACP Hari's assistant are believable, the latter providing comic relief along with Brahmanandam as a cab driver. Ali and Venu Madhav do their routine parts. Sindhu Tolani is a convincing news reporter, second time in a row.
Music and Dance Mickey might not have given another HD, but one cannot expect him to. And even story and writing wise, Hareram is a totally different genre. Jairam, the copied rap number is good, both audio and video.
Last Word Well, cops and killers and twists and turns. CBI officers and helicopters and car chases and finger prints. Heath mafia and innocent people and love tracks and sacrifices. All Telugu ishtyle. Cup of tea? Then Hareram is a cool drizzle. No, you think not? Hareram might be a downpour you are stuck in. As a movie, really passable and just about tolerable. One moment you think 'Hmm, interesting' and the next 'Come on, impossible!' Still, a valiant comeback effort from the man who made Vijayendra Varma.