Rayudu - Movie Review

Friday, May 27, 2016 - 12:30

Film: Rayudu
Cast: Vishal, Sri Divya, Kulappulli Leela, Radha Ravi and others
Produced by: Hari
Story and directed by: Muthaiah
Release date: May 27, 2016

'Rayudu' comes with a formulaic design. Set in a village in Anantapur district, it tells the story of a grandma, her grandson, a friend on the one hand, and a father-daughter duo on the other.  These two sets of characters cross paths with Rolex Bachi (R K Suresh), an ambitious thug aspiring to become the town's MLA with the backing of a biggie, played by Radha Ravi.  
Right from the word go, everything about certain elements gives us a yawning feel. The film begins with Rolex Bachi threatening to eliminate a sincere public servant.  More of the same, isn't it?  Cut to the story of Rayudu, who in the very first scene, comes into direct confrontation, albeit a low-intensity one, with Bachi.  This sets the tone for a hero who, with his gutsy ways and aggressive attitude, can question any one.  The one person whom he won't question is his grandma, played by Kulappulli Leela. The doting grandma is a picture of love and affection; her world has none but Rayudu and his friend (played by comedian Soori).  
The grandma, known for her strength of character, is proud of her grandson's guts.Bhagya Lakshmi (Sri Divya) shares a similar attitude as the grandma and Rayudu.  The gutsy daughter of a lawyer is waging a legal battle against Bachi. In the process, the father-daughter duo are threatening the future of Bachi. The rest of the film is about how these many lives converge toward a macabre climax.

Rayudu is dubbed version of Vishal's Tamil movie 'Marudhu'. This film is in the mold of those Madurai school films. We have seen what their atmospherics are like, how their characters look (read the malevolent male characters out to suck blood), what their temperament is like, so on. 'Rayudu' only re-introduces these elements in boring way.
As the film progresses, one feels the screenplay is faltering. The authentic locales and visuals notwithstanding, the decently good dialogues (Sashank Vennelakanti) notwithstanding, the good cinematography (Velraj) notwithstanding, we miss something or the other.  
The screenplay reveals some details kept secret in the first half (details we don't know are not known to us) in the second half.  Even this tact is not a savior idea. The element of ordinary but bold men and women taking on a corrupt system blighted by blood-sucking monsters (represented by Bachi's character) is good. However, the theme of the film doesn't appeal to us. Does the film lack a distinct Telugu nativity? Well yes, but that's only one of the problems with 'Rayudu'.
The portrayal of Bhagya Lakshmi, grandma and Bhagya's mother as strong women is a good element in the story. But in the absence of a scale for the story, all this helps only to a certain extent and not more.
As for the comedy, everything from grandma egging her grandson to fall in love to the first night humour are there. There are some good light-veined moments out there. Musically, the songs don't pass muster. but Imman's BGM scores well, though.
Both Vishal and Leela walk out with nice performances. Sri Divya is OK. As for other actors like RK Suresh and Radha Ravi, they pass muster.  
With he lack of a fresh story line and no novel approach, 'Rayudu' is a tedious watch. Despite some good moments in between, 'Rayudu' bores us.

Rating: 2/5
Reviewed by Vishwanath V