Naa Peru Surya Naa Illu India; That’s How You Make a Masala Flick!
Naa Peru Surya Naa Illu India is a Masala film Bollywood can learn from. Maybe they’ll re-make it with Salman!
Naa Peru Surya Naa Illu India is an ultra-violent, hyper-national, almost three hour film. In other words, the average Telugu flick.
BUT, it is undeniably enjoyable, and a cut above the rest, in terms of entertainment, thanks to the film’s surprising ability to lean on the co-actors.
Starring Allu Arjun and Anu Emmanuel in the lead, it features yesteryear superstars Arjun and Nadiya as the hero’s parents.
Oh, and there’s Boman Irani. Yeah!
Too caught up to read? Listen to the review here.
Seething Anger, Super to Watch
So, Allu Arjun is Surya (stating the obvious, I am), an army officer, who can’t control his anger. How angry can he get? Well, in the first ten minutes, he beat up an entire police station full of cops, took the inspector’s gun, and used it to put a bullet through the head of a terrorist in the custody of the Army, the next morning.
He didn’t do it because he was the hero. He did it to blow off some steam. That’s how angry he gets. The movie is all about how he learns to control his anger, in a bid to get a sign of approval from his father (Arjun), a leading psychiatrist, so he could fulfill his ultimate dream; to die in battle on the Indo-Pak border.
He loses the love of his life, his father, mother, friends, all because he is unable to control his anger. But in a bid to keep the veins from popping, he grows docile, ignores atrocities that occur in front of his eyes, and ends up losing his own ‘character’. And so he decides to screw it all and go on a killing spree, to rid the city of Vizag of all of the villains.
But when the guy gets angry, it’s a sight to watch. Allu Arjun has been a brilliant dancer and fighter from the very beginning. Barring his first movie, in which there was neither fighting nor dancing (very clever move, different story), he’s been able to bring to life movies that have no perceivable story, simply by the weight of his unbelievable dance moves and convincing fights.
You may think the plot is convoluted (it is), but what you can’t appreciate unless you watch the movie, is that it’s absolutely entertaining, from start to finish; the illogical bits and all.
An ‘Item’ Song Just Before the Climax?
The audience (myself included), collectively went ‘Aah! WTF!’, as the hero and heroine suddenly broke into a song, right after a brilliantly choreographed fight that was building up to the climactic showdown.
But fifteen seconds into the song, the audience (myself included), were gyrating (myself only tapping toes) to ‘Iraga Iraga’, a typical Telugu ‘item’ number, which has somehow shifted onto the shoulders of the leads instead of vamps, since about five years ago.
The point I’m making, is that Vakkantham Vamsi, a debutante director and veteran writer, has been able to hold the audience right till the very end, despite the movie being almost three hours long. It’s not just the dialogues (I’ll get to them in a minute) or the story (it’s there, but un-trapped by logic). Where Vamsi hit the mother-lode of the idea, was in his choice of the supporting cast.
Leans Surprisingly Heavily on Supporting Cast
This is how the movie works.
It’s got ‘Action King’ Arjun, who plays Allu Arjun’s estranged father, who comes to grips with his own failure in dealing with such a singular son.
Actor Nadiya, who’s been much more successful in her comeback after a ten year hiatus, plays the mother who displays gut wrenching histrionics, when she sees her prodigal son, the hero, after a ten year ‘agyaathvas’ (incognito mode).
Sarath Kumar, who was one of Tamil cinema’s leading actors all through the 90s and early 2000s, plays the main villain, who’s surprisingly charming for his age.
Thakur Anoop Singh, who had an amazing sting on TV as Dhritarashtra in Star’s Mahabharat, plays Sarath Kumar’s villainous son, a whiner with bulging muscles.
And Boman Irani plays the army major, who kicks Allu Arjun out of the army, BUT with melodramatic emotion.
All of them (and a few more actors), get ONE scene each, in which they deliver. And how!
None of the characters in this movie are based on persons in real life. It’s impossible for these characters to exist in real life. And that makes for an awesome story. Watch it. Occasional ear plugs needed.
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