At the conceptualisation stage of the Telugu film Vinaro Bhagyamu Vishnu Katha, directed by Murali Kishor Abburu and starring Kiran Abbavaram in the lead, perhaps the makers thought they had a few incredible ideas and some twists and turns that add to the intrigue. Look at one or two scenes in isolation and viewers’ curiosity may be piqued since they didn’t see it coming. However, the story ends up as a string of ideas that were intended to be innovative but end up seeming absurd.
The childhood story of the protagonist Vishnu (Kiran Abbavaram) is crucial to his characterisation. He and his grandfather (Subalekha Sudhakar) are privy to the ill fate of the boy’s parents who have earned the wrath of the village. The grandfather tells the boy that life is all about being warm and helpful to those around us. Help your neighbour, he says, and his idea of a neighbour is not limited to the house next door; it extends to the field next to theirs, the neighbouring village, city, country… You get the drift.
Vinaro Bhagyamu Vishnu Katha (Telugu)
Cast: Kiran Abbavaram, Murali Sharma, Kashmira Pardeshi
Direction: Murali Kishor Abburu
Music: Chaitan Bharadwaj
Vishnu grows up as a Good Samaritan who behaves like some universal problem solver. He will magically find a lost pup, dole out unsolicited advice to anyone in the vicinity, and even carry parcels to his ‘number neighbour’. The film introduces the concept of number neighbour — someone who has a phone number in which a last digit is a number that is one more or less than yours. What one would construe as an intrusion of privacy or spam, takes on a different meaning in this story.
The idea of number neighbours doesn’t come from the Good Samaritan hero but from the leading lady, Darshana (Kashmira Pardeshi), a YouTuber who thinks it would be fun to find her number neighbours and make a video! Just as Vishnu’s grandfather never advised some caution when being helpful to the world around, Darshana’s parents never caution her about trusting strangers or safety issues.
Her number neighbours happen to be Vishnu and Sharma (Murali Sharma); the latter is a mysterious character who is made to act silly in the garb of providing comic moments. There are clues to indicate that there is more to his character. However, the otherwise dependable actor is wasted in this film.
Just when you think the overdose of the hero’s helpful acts coupled with preachy dialogues and the YouTuber’s dumb video ideas make the film a tedious watch, the narrative brings in twists and turns. Early on we also see the NIA officials trying to track a terror group.
By the time the several twists and reveals are done with, the culprits are nailed and a character’s true identity is revealed, I was just thankful that the film is over. Not yet. It ended with a supposed hook for further development of the plot. Shudder.
Kiran Abbavaram’s expressions and dialogue delivery remain pretty much the same through the film; the music and technical departments too do not add much to the narrative.
In this messy narrative, one Muslim character states that people like him have to keep proving their patriotism every single day. If only all this had been depicted in a better-written and narrated story.