Reviews

Kundanapu Bomma: Stale and silly

Sudheer Varma, Chandini Chowdary and Sudhakar Komakula in the film  

Family dramas have continued to be a staple diet for Telugu cinema spectators for ages now but Vara Mullapudi’s Kundanapu Bomma is proof the genre needs an imminent revival. A joint family boasting of two dozen people in artificially-hued palatial houses are tiring backdrops to revisit, especially when the storyteller has nothing to speak of beyond the atmosphere. Kundanapu Bomma lacks a concrete plot and its narrative tone raises a toast to the films made in the 90s. There’s no attempt to make the film contemporary even in the packaging. At best, you could spot a mobile phone or two in the narrative.

Set in Vizianagaram, the fairly unidimensional tale of a family headed by Mahadeva Raju (Nagineedu) revolves around the marriage of his confused-pampered daughter Suchi (Chandini Chowdary). She’s apparently the only degree holder in Bobbili who takes her academic authority way too seriously. There’s a bava-maradalu thread too, the decision on Suchi’s marriage being decided during her birth itself. Gopi (her cousin played by Sudhakar Komakula) isn’t keen on the alliance. There’s a new man (Vasu, played by Sudheer Varma) in Suchi’s life. A middling love triangle feels like a sob-fest stuck in a comic exterior. The film never manages to take off. The narration is tepid and dull.

Kundanapu Bomma definitely has plenty of opportunities; there’s this tale of an age-old car that the family is deeply attached to, good enough to cause a rift between the brothers Mahadevaraju and Sahadevaraju (Rajeev Kanakala). Ineffective emotional threads and weak performances make it all seem superficial. Ditto to the romantic track; Vasu helping Suchi copy during her history exam is a frail reason for their love to bloom.

Literal English translations of cuss words like ‘ Chetta naayala’ (‘dust fellow’) and ‘ Nee dumpa thega’ (‘Let your potato get cut’), the instance of an automobile engineer mistaken to be the one who repairs autos and mobiles, are what you get in the name of humour. Shakalaka Shankar’s portions are a pain to scrape through. Jhansi’s parts fare slightly better. Then there is a Keeravani soundtrack that feels more like a compilation of his rejected tracks over the years. K.V. Mahadevan’s recreated ghazal ‘ Chaitra Maasa’, though undone by the CG work, provides some relief. The lead actors Sudhakar, Sudheer and Chandini hardly register their presence; their characterisations do the damage. Kundanapu Bomma is a lovely title but the film is anything but that.

Kundanapu Bomma

Cast: Sudheer Varma, Chandini Chowdary, Sudhakar Komakula

Direction: Vara Mullapudi

Music: MM Keeravani

Rating: 1 star

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2021 5:52:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/cinema/cinema-reviews/Kundanapu-Bomma-Stale-and-silly/article14399284.ece

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