Jio Rockers UKUP – Balakrishna and Lakshmi’s show
‘U Kodathara Ulikki Padathara’, the film starring Manchu Manoj and Nandamuri Balakrishna, has released today with a good buzz and a lot of hype. The movie has been produced by Lakshmi Manchu on Manchu Entertainments banner and Bobo Sashi has scored the music. Deeksha Seth is the female lead. Let us see how this movie is .
The story of the film revolves around a grand palace known as ‘Gandharva Mahal’. The palace belongs to Rayudu (Prabhu), the present head of a Royal Family that has lost its former splendour. Rayudu rents out the palace to outsiders in order to make ends meet and is shown as a soft and very generous guy. Some of the tenants take this generosity for granted and harass Rayudu, without paying their dues. Into this scenario comes in Manoj, as someone seeking a place to rent. He slowly gets rid of the problematic elements in the palace and restores control to Rayudu.
A happy Rayudu decides to get his elder daughter (Madhumita) married and decides to give away the Gandharva Mahal as dowry. But this palace has a history. The spirit of Narasimha Rayudu (Balakrishna) is known to inhabit the place. In the past, violent incidents involving Bhupathi (Sonu Sood) and Amrutha Valli (Lakshmi Manchu) have taken place in the palace.Now once again,strange events start taking place as the bridegroom and his family arrive for the wedding.
Is Narasimha Rayudu’s spirit happy with the marriage proposal? Who is Manoj? Why does he try to help Rayudu’s family? That forms the story.
Plus Points :
Balakrishna is majestic in the movie. He is the life and soul of the film and his entire track is fantastic. The movie’s emotions touch peak levels as long as he is present in the proceedings. His characterization and costumes are superb and it his best look in recent times. From his introduction shot to the climax episode, Balayya steals the show.
Manoj has delivered a good performance. He has developed a good physique and his dialogue delivery is reminiscent of Mohan Babu. He is using his voice to good effect. Deeksha Seth looks good but has little to do in terms of performance. Lakshmi Manchu is the surprise package of the film and her performance is a major highlight in the climax block. Sonu Sood is good, but his character is slightly similar to the one he played in ‘Arundhati’. Bhanuchander is good as Seshayya.
The interval block and the last 25 mins of the film are outstanding. Riveting drama, good background score and solid visuals elevate these sequences. Balakrishna and Lakshmi Manchu steal the show in the climax and their confrontation scenes involving Sonu Sood are superb. Ajay and Suhasini impress in their brief roles. Prabhu is ok.
Minus Points :
Picturization of ‘Abbabba Abbabba’ song and ‘Pratikshanam Narakame’ is highly unconventional and will not appeal to everyone. The movie moves along slowly in the first half. Comedy involving Raghu Babu, Dharmavarapu and others is not very entertaining. Care should have been taken with respect to screenplay and narration. Until Balakrishna comes in, the story does not take off.
Sai Kumar’s wig and look appear odd. His characterization is a little too loud and his sudden change of heart in the climax is unconvincing. Nilalgal Ravi is absolutely wasted in a ‘blink and miss’ appearance. Deeksha Seth’s characterization is poor and the love track between Manoj and Deeksha could have been better.
There is no proper justification for the title ‘U Kodathara Ulikki Padathara’. Story tends to turn predictable at times. Except for a few places, the sense of fear and thrill needed for such films to work is missing.
Technical Aspects :
Production values are rich and the movie has grandeur throughout. Background music is good, but some of the songs will not appeal to mainstream Telugu audiences. Cinematography is neat. Editing could have been crisper.
Dialogues are decent and Balakrishna’s lines are neat. Manoj has composed the fight sequences well. Visual effects by Pixion are good in most places. Sekhar Raja’s direction is good towards the climax. But for the first half, he should have taken more care. Bhupesh’s art work is excellent.
Balakrishna’s majestic performance is the biggest attraction for UKUP. Though the film has been made with rich production values and has a superb last 25 minutes, a below par first half and unconventionally shot songs work against the film. Better comedy, faster narration and better songs in the first half would have made a terrific difference to the movie. Overall, the production team of UKUP can be applauded for putting up a good effort, but it could have easily been so much better.