In what could have been another Shiva, the violence, sentiment and the young blood in Bezjawada gets mashed up into a montage of Ram Gopal Varma's earlier films. Right from the first frame, you're led into a world where pulling out knives and slitting throats or stabbing through guts in broad daylight is as easy as eating pie.

Kali (Prabhu) is the gangster that everyone respects and fears, bearing resemblance to Godfather Don Vito Corleone. His power hungry brother Shankar (Abhimanyu Singh) is jealous of his confidante and Man Friday, Vijay Krishna (Mukul Dev); he wants to gain the power that Prabhu yields. Predictably Abhimanyu kills his own brother, leading to a series of revenge attacks and death blows, marking the beginning of a (over)dramatic story of revenge and counter-revenge with mock-heroism and gratuitous romance thrown in. So when hero Shiva Krishna (played by Naga Chaitanya) says, Ee Bejawada naadira you wonder if he really means it. It doesn't take much time to realise that he hasn't shed his chocolate-boy image.

Like other films from Ram Gopal Varma's factory, Bejawada showcases shots from peculiar angles. Close-ups and extreme close-ups and worm's eye-view adorn the film. Post-killing, when Abhimanyu Singh comes back home and looks at the coveted chair in a crazed fashion, the shot through the photo frame of his dead brother captures his heinous nature brilliantly. Subtlety could have been a win; however, it's in these small angles and frames, the intellect within the film shines through, only to be bogged down by excessive ‘dishoom-dishoom'. The recipe to rob a serious story of its impact is easy; add meaningless songs, force down a love angle and mix in a comedy track. That's precisely what director Vivek Krishna dishes out here.

Amala Paul as Geetanjali is the eye-candy amidst all the gore. The chemistry between her and Naga Chaitanya fizzles and the songs are irksome - right before the climax; the duo is transported to dance in the deserts of a foreign land. Brahmanandam as ‘Sketch' Gopi provides a few laughs along with M.S. Narayana. Subhalekha Sudhakar's talent isn't justified with a small role.

An interesting plot is brought down by the repetitive element of chaos and bloodshed. The film washes ashore on the banks of Krishna River, wet and covered in a mould of flaws.

BEZAWADA

Cast: Naga Chaitanya, Amala Paul, Abhimanyu Singh, Mukul Dev, Prabhu

Genre: Action-drama

Director: Vivek Krishna

Music: Amar Mohile, Tutul

Bottomline: An angry sigh instead of a thunderous roar!

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Telugu Cinema ReviewsOctober 18, 2011