April 23, 2010 Y. Sunita Chowdary
Cast: Prabhas, Kajal, Prabhu, Dharmavarapu, MS Narayana, Ahuti Prasad, Srinivasa Reddy, Raja Sridhar, Prabhas Srinu and others.
Action: Peter Hein.
Banner: Sri Venkateswara Cine Chitra.
Editing: Kotagiri Venkateswara Rao.
Lyrics: Anantha Sriram.
Music: GV Prakash Kumar.
Producer: BVSN Prasad.
Story, Screenplay & Director: A. Karunakaran.
Release Date: April 23, 2010
Prabhas is called Prabha for whatever reason in Darling and he is in love with Nandini (Kajal). Shraddha Das proposes and Prabhas rejects, her father wants to kill him because she attempts suicide. The hero who believes in showing brain and brawn only when necessary conjures up an 'interesting' story. The heroine is not lagging behind, she is on her own trip as per the demands of the script.
So what strikes you first about Darling? If Prabhas's clothes, the cut and style dominated Billa they make him look like a pauper forget a Darling in Karunakaran's latest celluloid misanthropy. The ragged T shirts that he keeps pulling onto his shoulders keep slipping while make up sucks. To begin with the director who is touted to be a specialist in handling love stories manages just a chaos of sloppily assembled scenes and by the end of the film the audience is befuddled, scrambling for directions to exit from the theatre.
When Mukesh Rishi in the latter half of the film arrives and tells Prabhas, "Nenemaina verrinakoduku laga kanapaduthunnana, kadhalu chepthunnavu," he actually was speaking on the audiences' behalf.
While the film breaks for interval, you tend to take the hero's long narration of his dream as some radical cinematic experiment but he does a ditto with Kajal as she says she was pretending not to be in love with the hero. The director was clearly in a hurry, he put all the plots together in the first half of the film leaving nothing for you to guess or think in the latter half of the story.
Prabhas spends more time, enthusiasm narrating a story like a director but in the last one and a half hour his energy, enthusiasm flies out making him look like a wimp, forlorn and lost. Prabhas Darling you are capable of doing better stuff than jumping on earthern pots and playing second fiddle. The only saving grace is Srinivasa Reddy and company.
Mukesh Rishi doubles up as a villain and a comedian. He and his daughter zoom in and zoom out when ever the auteur remembers them. And Switzerland? Has it been created for Nandini or has Nandini been created for the place? She has maintained her figure, her work is good and she hogs more attention than Prabhas in this movie. The rest of the cast look superficial the lines hollow despite the writer stressing it's a film on friendship.
Shraddha Das gets into another clichéd role of a woman suffering from unrequited love. Prabhu and Tulasi did little to their roles but did complement themselves well. Ahuti looked different with a straightened version of his hair and Chandramohan chipped in with his dramatics. At one stage the film appears to be salvaged but the last 15 mts gets tiring.
The heat is intolerable right, but all one wanted was a nice cool love story from Karunakaran, not a frost bite after watching the Tank Bund and Charminar surrounded with ice and snow. There are no light-hearted stories in Telugu running currently in theatres, this might in their absence can pull a motley crowd but if you do go with some expectations, there's nothing but disappointment.