Cinema

Okka Ammayi Thappa: An idea that goes waste

Sundeep Kishan and Nithya Menen

Sundeep Kishan and Nithya Menen  

‘Okka Ammayi Thappa’ could have been a gripping thriller, but ends up being unintentionally funny

Three bombs are placed at different points on a flyover. Vehicles come to a grinding halt after a nasty accident. It’s a remote controlled operation with a demand that a terrorist be released from prison. Unaware of all this, a romance blooms. Okka Ammayi Thappa has an interesting premise. It had the scope to be an entertaining, edge-of-the-seat thriller that shows how a hero rises above a sticky situation.

Instead, within 30 minutes into the film you are left wondering what’s happening on screen. At regular intervals, annoying characters pop up. Ali, supposedly an American return, is a suitor to Nithya Menen. He walks in with a huge tissue roll stating that Americans use it for everything. That roll is a warning that the film will unleash more toilet humour. Ali waits for Nithya to return home, as her mother (Nalini) tries to make polite conversations and mother (Rohini) serves mug after mug of coffee. Sapthagiri arrives on a traffic gridlocked flyover with a cameraperson (who is in dire need of going to a washroom) for some live television reporting. Thagubothu Ramesh is a beggar who wades through that traffic wearing a nightie. Prudhvi is a veterinary doctor who, nearly in every sentence he speaks, announces that he is from Padmarao Nagar.

There’s a knack of weaving in humour into a thriller, with the fun serving to lighten tense moments without shifting the focus from the central plot. Rajasimha Tadinada’s writing is a far cry from this. We don’t know if he roped in a bunch of comic actors to play safe at the box office. There’s a spoof on Baahubali as well.

But the film never picks up steam. You end up not feeling for the people stuck on that ill-fated flyover and least interested how Krishna (Sundeep Kishan), who becomes a pawn in the operation, will wriggle out of it.

The childhood romance between Krishna and Mango (Yes, that’s how Nithya is referred to) also doesn’t make the cut. Sundeep and Nithya can do little to salvage this shoddy narration. Ravi Kishan is over the top like only he can be.

The director indulges in a bit of sermonising through Tanikella Bharani on religious harmony. He makes valid points that are wasted in a film that makes you look towards the exit door. The amateurishness on the technical front, if at all, can be overlooked in a small budget film. But the lackadaisical writing? The final showdown between Krishna and Anwar (Ravi Kishan) also falls flat.

As an afterthought, are there small dustbins with lids on any flyover in Hyderabad? The flyover near Hitec City isn’t open to pedestrians, so what was a dustbin with a lid doing there? Never mind, that’s the least of the problems with this film.

Okka Ammayi Thappa

Cast: Sundeep Kishan, Nithya Menen

Direction: Rajasimha Tadinada

Music: Mickey J Meyer

Rating: 1.5

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Printable version | Apr 2, 2020 12:36:34 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/cinema/Okka-Ammayi-Thappa-An-idea-that-goes-waste/article14416621.ece

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