Posts tagged "Telugu"

Rebel

Rebel


2012
Written and directed by Lawrence Raghavendra

Rebel
Only Rebel has the power to defeat flaming torches with his chest!

If you want ridonkulous action sequences and stylized hyperediting like a music video on speed, then you quickly break out some Telugu action cinema. So we did, and the film we got was Rebel, a revenge story that sadly gets a little too much flashy without backing it up. There is still some entertaining parts, but a bit of schizophrenia and pacing problems keep Rebel from becoming engaging.

Rebel
Duh-Doy!

Rebel seems torn as to what kind of film it is. It’s a revenge action film, no doubt, but the question is just how serious should we be taking it? Before the intermission everything seems more action comedy, but after the intermission we’ve suddenly shifted into action drama. There are even actors who only appear in certain halves of the flick to emphasize the tonal shifts (comedic actor Brahmanandam appears in the humor section, while legendary actor Krishnamraju is only after the intermission.)

Rebel suffers from not introducing who characters are before major scenes where we are supposed to care that they are in danger or are committing acts of violence. Sure, a few of them are played by famous actors who are almost always heroes or villains, so it is expected what they are doing, but it’s not the case all the time. A good film will give you just enough to connect and care about a character you don’t know before things happen, while Rebel doesn’t bother to set that up.

Rebel
Needs more explosions flipping cars.

I’ll also complain about how this film treats women, because it does so very badly. There are two main women in Rebel. Nandini is the daughter of a criminal who is wooed by the hero as a ruse to get to her father. But of course she ends up falling for the hero anyway because of how awesome he is, and he ends up with her because she’s Tamannaah. Rishi wins her heart by doing the most ridiculous PUA technique I’ve seen in a film. He calls her ugly, which freaks her out so much she has a conference with all of her friends to reassure her, then spends the next few scenes trying to convince Rishi that she is attractive just to show him up that she’s attractive. Then he’s like “I was saying you were beautiful the whole time!” and she betrays her dad for him, even capturing him for torture. The other female is Deepali, who was Rishi’s great love and was murdered by the villains. She’s an orphan, and finally gets a family to belong to right before her death. Now, her character isn’t treated badly beyond being killed, but at the end of the film Nandini declares that Rishi should call her Deepali, which implies that Nandini is gone and is now playing the part of Deepali, a woman she never met, just to please her man. I find that insulting to both characters, and to the concept of grief. Yes, I’m complaining about how Rebel treats the concept of grief!

Despite the critical and TarsTarkas.NET complaints, Rebel did well at the box office because it’s designed for mass appeal. It’s got visual tricks up the wazoo, action action action, and villains who are hilariously evil. And Tamannaah. It even scored one of those rare things for Indian cinema, a BluRay DVD that doesn’t look terrible (except the moving watermark!) Eega got robbed.

Rebel
It’s called symbolism, people!

Rishi (Prabhas) – Rishi is a man on a mission, a mission of vengeance. Stephen Robert better watch their butts! Don’t worry, you will get filled in with great detail Rishi’s tragic backstory. Prabhas is a film star who achieved massive fame in recent years due to appearing in a string of hit movies. He has earned the nickname Young Rebel Star due to his acting style.
Nandini (Tamannaah) – Daughter of Nanu, the main guard of villains Stephen Robert. Nandini moved to Bangkok to teach dance because she disapproves of her father’s lifestyle Tamannaah is an actress and model who has made a name for herself in both Tamil and Telugu cinema. Tamanna Bhatia changed the spelling of her name due to numerological reasons.
Deepali (Deeksha Seth) – Deepali was the love of Rishi’s life. Then she was murdered! To death! It was very sad because she was an orphan. Deeksha Seth is an actress and model who has recently begun appearing in Tamil and Telugu cinema.
Nasa (Brahmanandam) – Narasa Raju – aka Nasa – is Rishi’s guide during the first half of the film, helps him get acquainted with the Stephen Robert situation and assists in the seduction of Nandini. Disappears after intermission.
Mr. Bhoopathi (Krishnamraju) – The strong-integrity father of Rishi who wants his son to not be in the tough enforcing of good things via goon squad violence business he is in. Is murdered. Krishnam Raju is a legend in the Telugu film industry and was a megastar in the 70s and 80s. He’s also Prabhas’s uncle and was also known as Rebel Star, thus his inclusion as our Rebel’s righteous father Bhoopathi is a legacy role.
Rebel
It stinks!

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - April 22, 2013 at 6:57 am

Categories: Movie Reviews, Ugly   Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Eega

Eega

aka ఈగ aka Naan Ee aka Eecha aka Makkhi
Eega
2012
Written by Janardhan Maharshi and S. S. Rajamouli
Directed by S. S. Rajamouli

Eega
Eega is the best movie of 2012, and I will argue this fact until you are blue in the face and die and are reincarnated as a fly. And I’ll be right, because Eega is a rocking awesome flick that keeps you entertained and has fun with it’s crazy story.
Eega
The concept of Eega is so utterly brilliant I am surprised it isn’t used more in films from countries where belief in reincarnation is more mainstream. But beyond the general idea of revenge lasting beyond the grave because the victim is reincarnated, which far too often is just depicted as boring old ghosts, Eega takes that and turns in into an awesome tale where the murdered victim reincarnates as a fly, and must take down a powerful and evil man while one of the weakest creatures on the planet. Flies are even used as a punching bag by bullies, as they say things like “what was that, a fly?” when hit or other such taunts. But a fly can be powerful, especially when backed by the intelligence of a human and the benefits of a micro artist fashioning tools and weapons for the insect.
Eega
Eega literally means fly, and when Nani is reincarnated from an underdog in love to an ultimate underdog, his hero arc is at one of the lowest points in cinematic history. How many heroes come back from being killed off in the first act? Only Bill Cosby and Patrick Swayze! But Nani returns in fly form, and his revenge builds from irritation and protecting the woman he loves to vengeance upon the man who ended his life because he stood in the way of getting said woman.
Eega
Eega was filmed in Telugu (as Eega) and Tamil (as Naan Ee – the name I first heard of this film as), and later dubbed into Malayalam (as Eecha) and Hindi (as Makkhi). All of these words can be seen flashing on the screen during the final musical number.
Eega

Bindu (Samantha) – A visual design sculptor that does micro art as a hobby. Bindu works for Project 511 charity helping educate underprivileged children. Nani has the hots for her, and she’s spent the better part of two years teasingly ignoring him and his advances as part of a long term game of hard to get. But this has tragic consequences when the night she finally professes her love is his last on Earth… Samantha also goes by Samantha Ruth Prabhu and has become one of the top South Indian actresses recently.
Sudeep (Kiccha Sudeep) – A corrupt businessman and womanizer, Sudeep even killed his wife for her money, though he’s not beyond using her memory as emotional manipulation. Sudeep enjoys killing his enemies beneath his bare feet, feeling the life drain out of his targets. Sudeep is the living embodiment of Gaston from Beauty and the Beast.
Nani (Nani) – A nice guy hopelessly in love with Nani, though she secretly likes him back. Nani donates the tiny paychecks he earns from his firecracker business to her charity just to get excuses to talk to her. Nani is his stage name, his birth name is Naveen Babu Ghanta. Also Nani is so close to the word Naan Ee it makes his choice as star be even better, even if Nani is only in 1/3 of the flick.
Nani Fly Form (CGI) – “Come into my parlor” said the spider to the fly. The fly then kicked his spider butt! That fly was Nani, who has reincarnated in fly form to take down the man who killed him and save the woman he loves. And Nani the fly taunt Sudeep by wiggling his fly butt throughout the pic!

Eega
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Posted by Tars Tarkas - November 13, 2012 at 11:47 pm

Categories: Bad, Movie Reviews   Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Superman (Telugu)

Superman (Telugu)


1980
Directed and written by Madhusudan Rao V.

Are you are familiar with how Superman got his powers from Hanuman and got revenge on three evil cowboys? If so, then you know all about the Telugu language Superman! Everyone else, read on to be amazed! This Telugu cinema borrows from the Western Superman but manages to also follow the revenge films popular at the time.

This is by far not the only Indian take on Superman. It isn’t even the most famous. That honor goes to the 1987 Hindi version of Superman that is generally considered the Indian Superman. That production even lifts scenes directly from the original 1978 film. But that was the FOURTH Indian Superman (This one is generally called Telugu Superman and is the third made) as there were two Superman films in the 1960s, Superman (directed by Mohammed Hussain and starring Jairaj and Nirupa Roy and there is no good information online about this film besides that) and Return of Mr. Superman which started out as another Superman film but got its title and concept altered slightly because the director was friends with the director of Superman. This title is available on VCD and we got a copy! There is also another film Dariya Dil that has a song and dance number where a character wears a Superman costume, but as that is the extent of the superhero antics it is not a true Indian Superman film.

You must learn about the Tollywood film industry – the Telugu film industry, also known as Cinema of Andhra Pradesh, is the Southern Indian film industry. The main language is Telugu, hence the name (There is also a Tollywood nickname for Tamil cinema, but that is a whole different beast.) The Telugu film industry is believed to be the most prolific film producing industry currently (several other regions have also claimed that)

NTR is the man! Rama Nandamuri Taraka Rao is what you get when you combine Elvis, Jackie Chan, James Bond, Cunyet Arkin, and John Wayne. Only ANR (Akkineni Nageswara Rao) even approaches him in popularity. NTR entered film in 1949, and eventually found fame in dozens and dozens of mythological films produced by the southern Indian film industry at that time. It is hard to even look up information about NTR without running into dozens of pictures of him in mythological garb. NTR starred in over 280 films, not counting the ones he wasn’t the main character in. NTR became a director and producer later, and eventually a politician.


Unhappy with the current government of his own state and the corrupt party ruling it, NTR became the founder of the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and served as Chief Minister of the state of Andhra Pradesh. India has a parliamentary system like Britain, so keep that in mind when you read the political things that happened. He served on full term, then when he was out of the country for open heart surgery one of his aides caused him to lose power, but the chaos caused no political mandate in the assembly, forcing the Indian government to appoint a new minister, who handed power back to NTR after a month’s time and NTR called for new elections. He served on for a second term, but after suffering a stroke he was unable to run for reelection on a third term and lost out on office for five years, until he was sufficiently recovered and ran again, getting elected minister for a third time in 1994. The TDP party encountered more turmoil in 1995 where it effectively shut NTR out, and NTR reformed a new TDP party but died in 1996 before any new action could take place. The TDP party continues to exist to this day as the most powerful regional party in India. NTR introduced many reform acts for common people, including equal inheritance rights for daughters, as well as price controls on rice for poor families and taking on corrupt officials.

NTR had seven sons and four daughters across two wives, his son Nandamuri Balakrishna is considered another great Telugu actor and his grandson N. T. Rama Rao Jr. is a current young superstar in Telugu cinema, although he is criticized for imitating his grandfather too often.

An NTR-only website could stay in business for years reviewing his films. Recently, scores of classic Telugu cinema has hit DVDs, to the point where the market is flooded and you can find old classics all over the place for cheap. So you have no excuse not to be able to see an NTR film. But please read this review first, so that way you don’t leave us mid-article! This presentation is in Telugu with no subtitles, but we don’t need no stinking subs!


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Posted by Tars Tarkas - July 25, 2009 at 5:45 pm

Categories: Movie Reviews, Ugly   Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

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