Ever since the film’s publicity began, director Puri Jagannadh had been saying that Devudu Chesina Manushulu is a film that has no story. He probably thought that preparing the audience by giving them the least expectation was intelligent marketing, but why would people see a film that the director himself has no regard for and speaks of in a complacent manner? The prelude is a joke, it says watch this film with faith in the existence of God and you will not have doubts.
Perhaps the producer took that line seriously and spent a bomb on this preposterous movie. The audience (not the film industry folks) who saw Puri Jagan’s The Businessman and believed that his next story which would be nothing short of a wonder, must be thoroughly disappointed and cheated; in fact feel they’ve been taken for a ride.
The film begins with Narada creating mischief by telling Goddess Lakshmi (Kovai Sarala) that it is Akshaya Trithiya a day when wives are being gifted with gold jewellery, and wonders what Vishnu (Brahmanandam) may have given her. Vishnu treats the sulking Lakshmi to a love story that revolves around Ravi Teja (Ravi Teja) in India and Ileana (Ileana) in Thailand.
Ravi Teja makes a living by making ‘settlements’ in India and Ileana is a cab driver in Thailand. A bystander Papayya (MS Narayana) eats a banana and throws the peel on the road leading to commotion, cacophony and accidents and in the process Circle Inspector Subbaraju kills a mafia don’s (Prakash Raj) aide by mistake. Subbaraju asks Ravi Teja to settle the issue and the latter reaches Thailand where the love story takes off.
The lovebirds bump into Prakash Raj. What next? The director seems to be at an absolute loss here, so the next part of the story is about Goddess Lakshmi wondering what could have happened if Papayya had not thrown the banana peel on the street and put it in a trash can instead.
The viewers are made to go through the torture by re-living the entire scenes and episodes all over again just to see what major change in the story would come up next. The director unleashes his creativity by portraying Prakash Raj as a man suffering from selective amnesia and dementia. In the first half , he takes a fascination for Ileana and wants her at any cost. In the next half he sees a sister in her and what’s worse is Ileana who is seen loathing him, screams “Annayya” and Prakash Raj is desperately addressing her as Chellemma.
Prakash Raj in an agonisingly boring role makes a mockery of himself and Ileana and Ravi Teja take their work seriously as if the content has the potential of winning a national award. Dialogues show a glimmer of hope but they fade away in the story that appears to be a spoof Puri Jagan’s films. Raghu Kunche’s music and cinematography by Shyam K Naidu are the redeeming factors. This is one film that joins the list of Jagan’s most embarrassing movies.
DEVUDU CHESINA MANUSHULU
Cast: Ravi Teja, Ileana, Prakash Raj
Direction: Puri Jagannath
Music: Raghu Kunche
Plot: Two orphans find love and then what?
Bottomline: Puri and a banana slip!