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Character artiste Jayaprakash Reddy’s dream Telugu film project

Jayaprakash Reddy

Jayaprakash Reddy   | Photo Credit: By arrangement

The actor's ‘Alexander’ is ready and he’s waiting for the right platform to take it to the audience

Character artiste Jayaprakash Reddy aka JP Reddy held a screening of the film Alexander a few days ago to a select few and he hopes it gets appreciated. JP Reddy has made this stage play popular by portraying the central character. He says he is aware that since there are no commercial elements and no hero or heroine to sell it, it might find place in the digital media if not a theatre. It has him play a retired major who establishes a helpline on his name ‘Alexander Helpline’ and counsels people who are in problems and suggests solutions to them.

The play Alexander, written by the late Poosala, has been staged 66 times times in the Telugu states. The writer believed the content will help future generations. It has been directed by Davala Satyam.

The movie takes place in a penthouse. We see Alexander living alone, waking up and wearing his military dress and singing the National Anthem and saluting the flag on his terrace every day. He loves his drink as much as he loves cutting vegetables and cooking them. He is mostly on the phone and the conversations with various people gives us an insight into their problems. Alexander has people from various walks of life, of all ages calling him and discussing their issues and he has an instant solution. They call him again later to tell him that his suggestions worked and they are thankful to him.

There is a hitch here, the people who JP speaks to are only heard and those who watch Telugu cinema can immediately guess who these people are. Sadly none of their voices match the age of the characters they play and the intensity with which they speak is very shallow. For instance, a couple who are in their 20s, about to kill themselves on a railway track, call him and ask him for a solution which seems highly improbable and incredulous. The voices belong to popular comedians who have worked with him in many of the films and have obliged to be a part of it. Some of them have passed away years back which obviously means the film had taken time to come this far and has stripped the content of its emotion.

These days too, we do have helplines for people with suicidal tendencies and help is offered in terms of advice and a patient listening. Here too in retirement, JP as Alexander encourages people to treat life like a battlefield and not give up. The concept is good but perhaps a new director with fresh thoughts might have dealt it differently. The high drama in the climax notwithstanding, the advice to the people in need is nice and sensible.

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Printable version | May 26, 2020 12:13:09 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/jayaprakash-reddys-dream-telugu-film-project-alexander/article31126011.ece

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