Cast: Sushanth, Tamanna, Ajay, Suneel, Rajan P. Dev, Vinodkumar, Jayasudha, Nagababu and Others. Action: Kanal Kannan. Cinematography: Akhilan. Editing: Goutham Raju. Lyrics: Chandrabose. Music: Chakri. Story, Screenplay & Direction: G. Ravicharan Reddy. Presenter: Annapurna Studios. Producer(s): Chintalapudi Srinivasa Rao-A. Naga Susheela. Banner: Sri Nag Corporation. Release Date: 11th April, 2008.
Kalidasu is what you'd call a formula flick. An orphan who is unofficially adopted by a poor mother-son family so he is ready to lay his life out for them. The movie marks the debut of another ANR grandkid, Sushanth. 'Happy Days' girl Tammana is cast opposite him. Chakri's music is mediocre. The movie itself has some loopholes and has nothing new to offer.
Plot Kalidasu is a car-thief in Guntur who looks after his adoptive mother Kanakadurga (Jayasudha) and sends her son Jaydev to college in Hyderabad. In a car they steal, a girl is hidden in the trunk, clearly escaping from something but pretending to be insane. A procession of SUVs come and take the girl from the colony, destructing everything in their way and murdering Kalidasu's friend. Her phone has the photograph of herself and Jaydev together and this takes Kalidasu to Hyderabad to a gamut of land mafia, politicos, student bodies, revenge and obsession.
Story, Screenplay and Direction The storyline is bankable, but gets repetitive. All the safe mode plots, the rough car-stealing robinhood (he steals cars from the rich to sell it back to them and take care of everyone's needs) the whole colony looks up to, the damsel in distress, the 'punch' before the break-it's all in there. The main leads break into a song suddenly without rhyme or reason and the girl is the eternal damsel in distress.
Suneel is an asset to lift the first half up and the sentiment/revenge motive of the second half works well. The ferociousness of the home minister's cronies is convincing and the whole outsmarting the villain is played all over again. There are a couple of noticeable loopholes though. Archana gets drunk and asks Kalidasu whether she is right or Ajay-how can Ajay, a land-grabbing obsessive dope-head be right?
Lip sync is totally out in many of the scenes, and for the home minister, his whole dialogues have been improvised while dubbing. The music has nothing to offer.
Performances Sushanth has a long way to go, but for starters, he's put his best foot forward. He still has lots to learn; if Allu Arjun had to get it, and NTR had to get it long after he was established, then Sushanth definitely needs it-a makeover. Some more honing his skills and getting the craft right is also on the to-do list. He shows sparks of promise and oozes confidence though and for a debutant, he's alright. Only time will tell..
Tamanna is a natural in front of the camera and completely uninhibited. Clearly, she is not banking on a single hit and has substance, although she has little to do apart from acting mad, helpless or glaring at the villains while letting Sushanth take care of the baddies. Suneel's presence lifts up the first half. Jayasudha is convincing. Tanikella Bharani as the principal of the college owned by Archana's late parents is good. Ajay as the youth leader's (Vinodkumar in a good role after a long time) brother-in-law obsessed with Archana is justified. Rajan P. Dev as the home minister is cast in a mould yet again.
Song and Dance The picturization is a tad bit better than the actual songs, making it sort of bearable. The first two songs are okay, it's the rest of them that makes one wonder what went wrong. Very average.
Bottom Line The movie has nothing new or good to offer, but it isn't an unbearable affair either. Sushanth's debut is not bad, but a makeover and voice modulation, some more of the grooming and training (dance-fights-etc) he's obviously received will go a long way. For now, he has miles to travel before he gets a claim to fame. The movie has taken a middling formulaic route.