April 27, 2012 Y. Sunita Chowdary
"Babu, action!," says Boyapati in the intro scene and the reaction to the action is too swift before you can register what's happening..a man chases the other on a vehicle and the moment he reaches him chops his head off and the prelude begins.
In short two warring families have a fetish for a crazy custom, exchanging betel leaves, not to establish a relationship but to break it and the custom has the blessings of the village head. While killing each other is the main goal, the family with the negative emotion dominating aims to see that no male child is born in the family so that they reign supreme. The other hides the progeny and he surfaces in the right moment after 25 years to keep up the challenge posed by his father who is now assumed to be dead.
The role of the father is played by Suman and he unnecessarily comes out of his hiding, from the palatial house that innumerable people live in and immediately Bhanupriya discards her pale sarees and gets into a colourful one with the vermillion dot on her forehead. No explanation as to how he too became an orphan like the son who is paraded to be his own in the climax. This is how a story needs to be, filmi and very filmi.
Dammu begins as a fresh story but becomes a familiar territory with a bit scene of a Hindi film and a great deal of dramatic excess that you normally find in Tollywood films. The hero is brought in to the palatial house after being adopted to kill the enemy but he believes in live and let live, once his policy fails he sees no reason why he shouldn't pick up the weapon. Infact he goes without a weapon, he pushes his arms behind and lets the enemy plunge on him with the sword.
Finally, Boyapati who is known for excellent damage control exercises and excesses of hero delivers a neatly packaged entertainer, despite knowing where the film is headed towards the director keeps his audience engaged with delightful action scenes and a bundle of interesting dialogues and ofcourse a screenplay that delivers it's share of melodrama in the form of Venu and Ashok.
Venu is a pleasant surprise and does his job with conviction, Ashok too had got a reasonably interesting role and he gave no scope for negative comments. Rahul Dev looks smart and it's refreshing to watch Abhinaya after a long time. Nasser's work is effortless as usual.
Karthika impresses with her body language and corny dialogues, every time she and Trisha appear, it is voyeur time for die-hard fans. Trisha is fine too, Suman is best suited for his role. It is subtle humour for NTR this time i.e., he only reacts and smartly lets the ladies and the rest speak the dirt.
NTR does it this time around, Dammu is tailor made for him and all his work, dances, fights are an absolute treat to watch, he adds the extra zing to the songs. No matter how dismissive you are of such formula films, you cannot help but sit back and watch NTR deliver a thorough entertainer. Good work again Boyapati for trimming the frills and keeping it balanced again.