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Arjun Reddy - Ratheesh KrishnaVadhyar's Journal
November 4th, 2017
05:59 pm

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Arjun Reddy
Out of the Indian regional language movies I watch - mostly Malayalam, Tamil and Hindi and occasionally those from Bengali, Kannada, Telugu and Marathi - the most atrocious films are from Telugu. The musical classic Shankarabharanam(1979) is one film that I have watched several times, but I am yet to watch a mainstream Telugu film made in the last three decades which can be called as tolerable.

When I think of Telugu movies, what comes to my mind are some of those violent and barbaric fight scenes in them where the heroes stand covered with blood, wielding ancient weapons like sickles or machetes, and the way these scenes are interleaved with item songs, forming a pattern that is tirelessly used in these films. The pathetic way the female lead characters are consistently portrayed purely as an eye-candy material without any sort of personality attached to them, is also something that I have noted as a signature of the Telugu commercial movies. When I read articles by GP Ramachandran who critically analyzes Malayalam films to bring out the hints of male chauvinism in them, I would want him to go and watch Telugu commercial movies which would make people hunt for new terminologies to describe the extreme psychic forms of male chauvinism which are presented as very normal and model behavior in these films.

I happened to notice the posters of Arjun Reddy a few weeks back, which featured a man wearing cooling glass and smoking, and assumed that it may be some sort of gangster film possibly surrounding the real estate industry. Later I read several positive reviews about the film which praised it as some sort of cult masterpiece, so decided to watch it, with great hopes. But I could not figure out what was there to praise so much in this film. Certainly the narrative style of the film is better than the usual Telugu flicks which made it watchable to some extent; However I could not find much in it to feel so excited about. Also, we see the usual patterns here too - A hero who thinks that the world revolves around him, who unilaterally declares that a girl "belongs to him" the moment he sees her for the first time, and just goes ahead and kisses her in full public view, and a few sidekicks ("friends") who would do anything for him, etc., etc.

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