‘Bedurulanka 2012’ movie review: A quirky social satire that’s partly amusing, partly patience testing

Written and directed by first-timer Clax, the Telugu dramedy ‘Bedurulanka 2012,’ starring Kartikeya Gummakonda and Neha Shetty, is an indie-spirited narrative that’s delightful in parts 

Updated - August 25, 2023 05:52 pm IST

Published - August 25, 2023 05:45 pm IST

Kartikeya Gummakonda in director Clax’s Telugu dramedy ‘Bedurulanka 2012’

Kartikeya Gummakonda in director Clax’s Telugu dramedy ‘Bedurulanka 2012’

Live like there is no tomorrow is a statement we have come across. What does it truly mean to be unmindful of how we might be perceived by society? Towards the end of Bedurulanka 2012, debut writer and director Clax explores this idea with a motley bunch of characters on the island of Yedurulanka in AP. It’s December 21, 2012, and they have been closely following the doomsday predictions and think there is no tomorrow. The central character, Shiva (Kartikeya Gummakonda) watches as each villager reveals dirty secrets and then gives in to revelry, with no fear of tomorrow. This is one of the many interesting segments in this social satire that looks at superstitions, exploitation of fear and mob behaviour.

A certain suspension of disbelief is essential to enjoy Bedurulanka 2012. A decade ago, would an entire island village in Andhra Pradesh have been so naive to listen to fake godmen who promise to save them from the impending end of the universe? Clax presents fiction with exaggerated, quirky characters. 

Bedurulanka 2012 (Telugu)
Cast: Kartikeya Gummakonda, Neha Shetty, Ajay Ghosh, Satya
Direction: Clax
Storyline: A pragmatic protagonist tries to make a village understand that the world isn’t ending and that they needn’t listen to fake godmen.
Music: Manisharma

This story of pragmatism winning over superstitions is narrated with references to the fear of the falling of the Skylab satellite, the Hollywood science fiction disaster film 2012 and a hilarious reference to Kate Winslet and Titanic.

Since Clax wants to paint the entire island inhabitants as naive and vulnerable, he depicts the only pragmatic character of the lot, Shiva, as an educated youngster who works in the city. Through a fun initial sequence that takes a dig at run-of-the-mill film producers, the film establishes that Shiva is no pushover. A graphic designer, he creates a photorealistic tiger only to be told that the graphics have to ‘show’. He leaves his job in a huff and returns to his island village, where Chinese whispers concoct a whole new story of why he left the city. The hilarious sequence serves as a trailer to understand the psyche of people in the village.

With the doomsday approaching, what happens when a bunch of men set out to take advantage of the villagers? Gripped by fear, Yedurulanka turns Bedurulanka. Ajay Ghosh who calls himself Yedurulanka Chiranjeevi, along with fake godmen — one Hindu and another Christian — begins to exploit people. The president of the village (Goparaju Ramana) is equally gullible. 

The tussles between these men and Shiva and the exploration of how people are taken for a ride, is narrated with occasional fun lines such as ‘gorrelu vacchhayi’ (the lambs are here). This is punctuated by the romance between Shiva and Chitra (Neha Shetty) that banks on the latter’s glam quotient and nothing more.

Soon, Bedurulanka 2012 runs out of steam with the gags getting repetitive. The film redeems itself in the final segment with the arrival of Satya and Vennela Kishore and Shiva (whose full name is a hat tip to superstar Chiranjeevi) taking control of things to make the villagers look at things pragmatically. Several gags orchestrated by Shiva and gang work.

The performances from the leads are effective, even though not too special, and the actors playing the several villagers also do their bit. The characters played by Ajay Ghosh, Srikanth Iyengar and Rajkumar Kasireddy become grating after a point.

If only Bedurulanka 2012 had not stretched the idea too far, it could have been a game changer of an indie film.

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