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Trivikram, the name says it all

Sequences from A..Aa, Julayi, Attarintiki Daaredi, Athadu and S/O Sathyamurthy Pawan Kalyan and Trivikram;

Sequences from A..Aa, Julayi, Attarintiki Daaredi, Athadu and S/O Sathyamurthy Pawan Kalyan and Trivikram;  

Ahead of ‘Agnyathavaasi’, we take a look at the world that completes Trivikram’s films

Trivikram, both as a writer and a director, commands attention. His situational humour even before he turned a filmmaker had set a standard that his counterparts found tough to match. Having grown in stature over the years, starting from simple films in a family setting to the larger-than-life colour it has attained recently, his themes have won both critical and commercial acclaim; his films continue to register great numbers on television too. As Agnyathavaasi, his third film with Pawan Kalyan, is set to hit theatres today, we take a look at a few tropes that define Trivikram’s brand of cinema.

Two dimensions

Trivikram, the name says it all

The fact that Trivikram’s films have two versions of the same incident appearing at different junctures contributes to a layered movie-watching experience. The moment where Boman Irani takes a gun to shoot his son-in-law is shown from two different perspectives in Attarintiki Daaredi, when Nadhiya leaves the house and one where the bullet accidentally strikes Pawan Kalyan’s mother too. Similar surprises were in store even in Athadu about who exactly killed the minister and in S/O Sathyamurthy where the revelation about Prakash Raj losing his life in an accident to save Nithya Menen is shown only in the final segments.

Some comic relief

Trivikram, the name says it all

Besides Brahmanandam, M S Narayana or Dharmavarapu Subramanyam, it has also been the female protagonist in Trivikram’s films who have ensured majority of the laughs; sometimes this is an excuse to dumb down their characterisation as well. Trisha’s humorous exchanges with Mahesh Babu in Athadu stand tall among Trivikram’s filmography. Although Samantha put her best foot forward in A..Aa the depth of her roles were found wanting in Attarintiki Daaredi and S/O Satyamurthy. Anushka and Ileana were good fun to watch in Khaleja and Julayi, though their parts didn’t have much scope.

Action and innovation

Trivikram, the name says it all

Trivikram’s films come with action sequences that tend to surprise. Sample these moments — where we don’t realise how Rajeev Kanakala faces the bullet instead of Mahesh Babu in a split second, the mystery behind the minister-death plot in Athadu or the 10-second blitzkrieg in Attarintiki Daaredi where Pawan Kalyan swiftly attacks the baddies in his introduction sequence or the intense climax chase in Khaleja where Mahesh Babu pronounces death to the filthy-rich corporate played by Prakash Raj. How can one also forget the Upendra’s sequence in S/O Sathyamurthy, where a man is killed within four corners of a house and the residents try their best to hide it from Sneha and prove Upendra’s transformed non-violent ways!

The family protector rises

Trivikram, the name says it all

Be it a Prakash Raj in Nuvve Nuvve or a Mahesh Babu in Athadu or a Nithiin in A..Aa, Trivikram’s protagonists are extremely guarded about their families and their emotional security. They don’t mind taking extra measures to protect them; like how Prakash Raj tries to pay Tarun to leave his daughter (Nuvve Nuvve), how Nithiin looks for the larger good of his family over his love interest (A..Aa) or a millionaire Pawan Kalyan turning into a driver to reunite his aunt with his family (Attarintiki Daaredi). His focus on the smaller pleasures of having a family — the dinner chats, the little fights, the self-respect, the relationships-over-money aspects ring in an interesting dimension to the plots too.

The curse of the ‘praasa’

Trivikram, the name says it all

How incomplete would a discussion on Trivikram be without his words? ‘Maatala mantrikudu’ and ‘guruvu gaaru’ are often-used tags to describe him thanks to his dialogues. Lines like ‘Dayyam kante bhayam maha cheddadi’, ‘Nijam cheppakapovadam abaddam, abaddhanni nijam cheyalanukovatam mosam’, his writing in sequences that show Pawan Kalyan’s desperate plea for acceptance in front of his aunt in Attarintiki Daaredi, the use of the numbers to describe the plight of Allu Arjun in S/O Sathyamurthy, Rao Ramesh’s counters in A..Aa are only glimpses of the magic he wields with his lines, but there’s a problem about it too. All his characters often speak the same way, with no clear distinction of their personality. Beyond situational relevance, Trivikram’s dialogues in the recent past have gone overboard and strain to be catchy, without much relevance. His writing ushered in the trend of ‘praasa’ (rhythm or rhyme) in Telugu cinema leading to other writers replicating it, often with mediocre effect. So far, few writers to have been able to match Trivikram’s writing repertoire.

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Printable version | Jun 4, 2020 12:52:02 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/trivikram-the-name-says-it-all/article22404276.ece

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