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Monday, 13 August 2018

Manu trailer breakdown

Manu started as a small indie film but has grown into a promising film over time. The film was crowd-funded and later Nirvana Cinemas joined onboard to present the film. The popular short filmmaker Phanindra Narsetti, who is known for Madhuram and Backspace which were loved by both audience and industry personnel alike, has written and directed the film for his debut into feature films. Raja Gowtham and Chandini Chowdary starred in the film.

Manu trailer breakdown

Phanindra Narsetti may not be a popular name among the regular Telugu audience but his ideas from the short film, Madhuram, were adapted in at least 3 Telugu feature films in last couple of years. He was obsessed with the creative freedom and doesn’t like to commercialize his films and that’s what made him to prefer crowdfunding over studio production. He is well known for his poetic expressions, novel ideas, nonlinear narrative and unconventional look in his films.

The trailer of the film was released on 12th Aug to positive response from audience. The 3-minute trailer expressed the idea and genre without revealing too much story. The film is going to be a mystery thriller with an unconventional setup. Majority of the story happens within an apartment and revolves around 3 characters: Manu, Neela and Akbar.

Timeline:
The film is possibly set around the year 2000, when the typewriters and landline phones are common. There is also a scene featuring either cordless phone or first-generation mobile phone. The art design was impressive in bringing the contemporary look to the film. There are many props in the trailer such as foldable chairs, switchboards, lamps, photo frames etc, which were designed to match the timeline.

There are either 2 or 3 timelines in the film based on trailer. The basic story happens within a day as Neela, Akbar and Manu were shown in same costumes throughout the thriller track. The love story of Manu and Neela runs in a different timeline over several days as the costumes of Neela keep changing but Manu is more or less same. The fight between Manu and Akbar in the bar could be another timeline as there is an LED TV in the background and Akbar had a different costume.

Themes:
The sea or ocean in the film represents loneliness. It’s vast and resourceful but is always lonely. Manu is shown wearing the black dress throughout the trailer which signifies the pain he is carrying. The colour back is also associated with power and mystery which might be the characterization of Manu. The fish trap could be the central idea of the film. Neela is the bait (earthworm) and Manu is the thread. The whole premise of whether Neela is safe is to make audience fall into the trap and think about Neela while ignoring Manu. It’s important because Manu has some goals. He traps the rats and leaves them in the apartment. He rearranges the things in Akbar’s flat. This could be either to trick or to mentally torture Akbar. The reason could be that someone is hospitalized because of Akbar (probably stabbed with a knife) which links to the initial shot of blood transfusion. An Alternative could be the drug addiction of Neela or her psychological problems.

Multiple tracks in trailer:
Manu throws away the key and as he is walking away, he either hears something inside the flat or gets suspicious of something. He returns and peeps into the flat through the keyhole. He sees something shocking and returns to get the key.

The rats are trapped within a plastic container. Manu carries them and leaves them inside the flat of Akbar.

Manu gets inside the flat of Akbar, rearranges things and throws cigarettes in dustbin. Akbar complains about it to Neela on phone. She tells him to keep the room clean.

Neela and Akbar could be the same person otherwise it doesn’t make any sense to have same furniture (sofa) in their flats. There could be similar furniture if it’s a hotel but there is typewriter in Akbar’s room.

Technical aspects:
The background score and rerecording are better than many contemporary Telugu films. The center staging is used for most of the shots. The shooting is mostly done with a handheld camera and the pov is subjective. The subjective shots are a sign that the director wants to take control of the scene instead of leaving it to audience. Most of the shots in the trailer have shallow depth of field making it difficult to understand the background. The sports camera like Go Pro is used for some tricky shots. The lighting is minimal with occasional experimental lighting setup. The visuals are more inclined towards European cinema. The trailer cut is good with a perfect blend of multiple tracks.

Manu is gearing up for worldwide theatrical release on 7th September.

Saturday, 11 August 2018

Vishwaroopam 2 movie review

Vishwaroopam 2 is a sequel to the spy thriller Vishwaroopam starring Kamal Haasan, Andrea Jeremiah and Pooja Kumar in lead roles. It was produced by Kamal Haasan and Chandra Haasan, and was written and directed by Kamal Haasan himself. It was released on 10th Aug, 2018.

Vishwaroopam 2 movie review

Story:
RAW agent Wisam Ahmad Kashmiri (Kamal Haasan) deceives the dreaded terrorist Omar (Rahul Bose) and defuses an atomic bomb in New York. Jihadi terrorists Omar and Saleem escape from the authorities. The film Vishwaroopam ends here and the sequel continues with Wisam leaving for a mission in UK along with his wife Nirupama (Pooja Kumar) and another agent Ashmita (Andrea Jeremiah). Wisam learns that Omar is still alive and is plotting against India. The rest of the film is about how Wisam protected the country against the terrorists.

Story Analysis:
The story structure is very bad. When the film gets intense and suspenseful, the story drifts into the flashback episodes which doesn’t convey much. His motives and ambitions in the past are not important to the sequel but he keeps bringing them forward. The first part was good because it has a normal story, a twist and then a flashback episode. But this time, the story moves back and forth and is stuck between a prequel and a sequel. There are too many subplots that weaken the main plot.

The story is heavily cliched and at its core Kamal Haasan treats terrorists as politicians and politicians as terrorists. It is totally fine that he wants to express his political views through the film but what went wrong is his poor understanding of terrorism and politics. At some point, he suggests that the politicians should discuss with terrorists and solve problems. Throughout the film, he keeps criticizing the politicians for everything.

Performances:
Kamal Haasan is great as a spy but he has aged and he couldn’t hide it. While he impresses with his stunts and performance, he appears to be slow which is partly covered with camera tricks. Pooja Kumar is good as Kamal Haasan’s wife and the chemistry between the lead pair worked out very well. She is superb in the scenes where she has to express suspicion. Andrea Jeremiah has a sizzling role where she seduces Kamal Haasan and teases him. Their relationship offers some drama to the film. She is impressive in action scenes too.

Wahida Rahman is superb in a brief role. She brought in emotions into an action-packed film. Rahul Bose and Jaideep Ahlawat are convincing as terrorists. Shekar Kapoor and Anant Mahadevan are good in their roles.

Technical Analysis:
The script has too many stereotype elements which take away the excitement and suspense elements of the first half. The dialogues are either comical or sarcastic in many scenes. The production values are very good and the art design is realistic. The music and background score are disappointing. The cinematography is decent which syncs pretty well with the theme.  The choreography of action scenes in bad and it is mostly manipulated with a shaky camera. The editing is mediocre and the Telugu dubbing is decent. The direction could have been a lot better. The film disappoints mainly at editing, music and direction.

Conclusion:
Vishwaroopam 2 is a tedious and confusing spy thriller with too many subplots and slow narration. The action sequences and the genre elements don’t engage much. Overall, Vishwaroopam 2 is a disappointing sequel.

Friday, 10 August 2018

Srinivasa Kalyanam movie collections

Srinivasa Kalyanam is a drama film starring Nithiin, Raashi Khanna and Nandita Sweta in lead roles. Apart from them the movie had an ensemble cast of Prakash Raj, Rajendra Prasad, Jayasudha, Giri Babu, Annapurna, Sitara, Poonam Kaur etc. It was produced by Dil Raju under Sri Venkateswara Creations and directed by Satish Vegesna.


Srinivasa Kalyanam movie collections


It was released on 9th Aug, 2018 to mixed reviews. The traditional values showcased in the film were praised by the audience while the story and narration were criticized. The boxoffice collections (share) of the movie are listed below:

Area
Theatrical rights
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
First Weekend
First Week
Closing Collections
Nizam
7.5
1.17


3.83


Ceded
3.6
0.37


1.10


Uttarandhra
2.6
0.32


1.07


East
1.8
0.23


0.60


West
1.5
0.15


0.41


Guntur
2.0
0.27


0.66


Krishna
1.7
0.16


0.50


Nellore
0.9
0.08


0.25


Total (AP+Nizam)
21.6
2.75


8.42


Rest of India
2.0
0.23


0.70


Rest of World
3.4
0.20


0.73


WW Total
27.0
3.20


9.85




Read complete review of Srinivasa Kalyanam. Follow this page for Srinivasa Kalyanam Day 1 collections, Srinivasa Kalyanam first weekend collections, Srinivasa Kalyanam first week collections and related information.

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Srinivasa Kalyanam movie review

Srinivasa Kalyanam is a drama film starring Nithiin, Raashi Khanna and Nandita Sweta in lead roles. It was produced by Dil Raju under Sri Venkateswara Creations and directed by Satish Vegesna.

Srinivasa Kalyanam movie review

Story:
Vasu (Nithiin), an architect, grows up with the traditions instilled by his grandmother (Jayasudha) and believes that marriage is a festival that comes once in a lifetime. He meets and falls in love with a diligent girl, Sri (Raashi Khanna). Her father (Prakash Raj) is a billionaire who strongly believes that marriage is like an agreement and not necessarily requires lifetime commitment and he considers celebrating and attending marriages as a waste of time. The rest of the story is about the celebration of marriage and preaching its importance.

Story Analysis:
It’s a single line script about Two people falling in love and getting married in a traditional way. This has been stretched for over 2 hours without any serious conflict. Prakash Raj is the only character that is serious about his profession and he is ridiculed for it. Nithiin is never shown working in his office. Raashi Khanna does normal day jobs but lives a lavish life. Most men in Nithiin’s family sit in their home whole day doing nothing. While the film preaches too much about the traditions, there are several scenes such as explaining the importance of marriage using whiskey, soda and ice cubes. These scenes didn’t help the theme of the film but rather spoiled it. The narration follows regular old school methods of forcing scenes into the script. Another problem with the film is forced comedy with themes such as fat shaming.

The climax is the most ridiculous part of the story. The Bommarillu climax might have influenced the makers to come up with another confession climax. The conflict is forced into the story to make the climax interesting but the drama didn’t work out. The confusion between premarital agreement and divorce papers comes as a shocker. The filmmakers could have done a little research before coming up with fabricated scripts. There could be a lot of things going wrong in traditional marriages, but the writers seem to have no knowledge of traditional marriages happening in villages. Srinivasa Kalyanam is just a fabricated script with a lot of outdated ideas.

Performances:
Nithiin is good in subtle emotional scenes but he seems too dull in majority of the film as if he is carrying the Earth. Raashi Khanna smiles, blushes and cries without involving too much into the film. She doesn’t have much scope to perform. The chemistry between the lead pair is somewhere between close friends and arranged marriage couple. They don’t look like lovers anywhere in the film. Nandita Sweta is just a filler without a life of her own. Her role is a stereotypical ‘maradalu’ dreaming to marry her ‘bava’ someday. But her performance is good within a limited scope.

Prakash Raj is simply brilliant in the film. He is the most important character and he carries the conflict on his shoulders. There are many popular actors like Jayasudha, Rajendra Prasad, Amani, Naresh, Giri Babu, Poonam Kaur, Annapurna etc but they remain in the background. They are not memorable except for Jayasudha whose sole purpose is to preach the importance of marriage.

Technical Analysis:
The script is fabricated out of many old Telugu films. It is evident throughout the film. The characters, scenes and dialogues don’t fit the story and narrative. Except for a few emotional scenes, there is nothing good about the script. The production values are excellent. There is richness all over the film with lavish sets and great costumes. The art design, particularly the during climax is impressive. The cinematography is good and elevates the scenes. The songs are good but are shot on a dull note. The background score keeps forcing emotions even when nothing happens on screen. This would’ve worked well if the emotions are evoked through direction and performances. The editing is extremely bad. The scene transitions and the shot placements are messed at several parts of the film. The direction is mediocre. There are many instances in the film where things could have been better.

Conclusion:
Srinivasa Kalyanam is poorly written and poorly made film with a star cast and good production values. The film can be watched for its family drama and cultural aspects. There is nothing interesting or impressive about the film.

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

An introduction to screenwriting (Part-1)

Screenwriting is the art and craft of writing scripts for the films. The greatest films, most memorable characters, breathtaking action sequences and the astonishing dialogues are all started at the desk of the writers. Screenwriting includes the research, development and writing of the scripts. The final scripts are delivered to the studios or production houses with screenplay and dialogues in a prescribed format.

An introduction to screenwriting (Part-1)

This is the first part of a series on screenwriting that deals with following aspects of screenwriting:
  • ·        Basics of screenwriting
  • ·        Developing a basic storyline
  • ·        Story structure
  • ·        Characters
  • ·        Scenes
  • ·        Dialogues
  • ·        Formatting
  • ·        Rewriting/Editing

The first part is an introduction to the series which describes the basics of screenwriting and choosing the genre and theme.

Let it be either a screenplay or a novel, there are basically Two approaches to writing: the first is to outline the entire story and start developing scenes, the second is to start with the beginning and develop the story sequentially. The second method is undoubtedly most tedious and not suitable for everyone. The major problem is that the theme could change midway or the story could end abruptly. This series follows the first method, that is to outline a story and develop individual sections.

Genre:
The story could happen anywhere, at any timeline, and deal with any characters. This randomness makes the screenwriting a broad spectrum. The writers should start with a genre, otherwise a James Bond style script could become a Sci-Fi or worse a horror film. There are Two aspects of selecting a genre: knowledge and interest. The writer should have knowledge of some real-world topics. This usually comes from formal education or extensive reading. The students of science can write Sci-Fi stories better than those lacking the knowledge of it. The Sci-Fi could be about anything from futuristic worlds, fossils, time machine, mutation etc. The journalists or people with an interest in crimes or investigation can write thriller and crime genre scripts better than others. Apart from knowledge, interest plays a key role in choosing a niche. The writers who are interested in a particular subject could master it over the years. The regular genres include drama, comedy, romance, horror, Sci-Fi, thriller, action etc. Most of the popular writers are good at one genre because of their knowledge and interest.

Theme and Research:
After choosing the genre, the theme should be selected to develop a specific script. The genres although seem like a subsection of story world, are broad and includes several subgenres. It’s not easy to choose a theme out of a genre. The research helps in picking the right theme. For example, to write a script in action genre, the Newspaper articles about how police captured a dreaded criminal could narrow down the options to a secret mission about capturing a criminal, or to write a script in Sci-Fi, a recent research paper about mutation of life forms in oceans due to pollution could suggest a monster thriller or imbalance of ecosystem and repercussions. The options are innumerable which is not always a good thing. In case of high budget films, the target audience play a crucial role in deciding the theme. The research is done generally from Newspaper articles, research papers, material available online, novels, television shows, interviews, records or even other movies. The list is endless as there is plenty of information available.

After choosing the genre and theme, the basic storyline should be developed. This will be discussed in detail in the second part of the series.