Andhagadu movie review: This Raj Tarun, Hebah Patel starrer spirals into a silly drama
Watching Raj Tarun, Hebah Patel starrer Andhagadu made me wonder what it lacks that the predecessors in this genre nailed it in the past.
It belongs to the 'it's all there right in front of your eyes' category of films, which build a story and just in the nick of time, the director pulls the rug under your feet to take you by surprise. One of the film that performs this trick extremely well is The Usual Suspects.
Andhagadu, although modeled on the same lines, is a rather silly drama which tries to do the same trick without understanding the rules of the game. This is one of the reasons why it feels like you are watching two different films once the 'twist' is revealed in the final act.
In the film, we are introduced to Gautham (Raj Tarun), a happy-go-lucky guy, who works as an RJ. He doesn't let his visual-impairment play spoilsport in his life, although he wishes that one day he's able to see the world like everyone else. And then, he meets Nethra (Hebah Patel), an ophthalmologist, and falls in love with her. With her help, he gets his vision back; however, soon, a ghost named Kulkarni (Rajendra Prasad) begins to haunt him. The rest of the story…okay…wait…there's a whole lot of stuff which happens and it makes no sense.
Andhagadu is what happens when you don't know when to stop.
The first half, which is fairly entertaining, is set up like a series of gags, some of which work thanks to Raj Tarun and Satya. It doesn't let you think or even wonder where the story is going, because for the longest time, the story doesn't quite reveal what the purpose of its lead character is. And the constant urge to 'entertain' the viewers leads writer-and-director Veligonda Srinivas to turn the second half into a mess, and it becomes hard to make sense of what's happening on screen.
Raj Tarun is pretty good in the film. Yes, he talks as if he's in a rush to finish the dialogue, but that's his usual style. The film owes him for many of its finer moments and he doesn't hold himself back in any situation. Subtlety isn't a forte of this film and no character imbibes that trait.
As a result, we make peace with whatever Raj Tarun does and move on. Then, there's Hebah Patel who gets a meaty role to play and she hits it off with her co-star Raj Tarun pretty well. Raja Ravindra, who plays the villain, is reduced to a caricature who delivers predictable lines and the usual threats to his enemies.
There's barely anything in Andhagadu which will hook you on to its story.
In an attempt to build the characterisation of Gautham, Veligonda Srinivas sidelines every other aspect of the story and the trick that he pulls off in the end comes as a big jolt. It's not because we weren't expecting that twist, but it does so in the most casual manner that it feels like the genre has changed too.
And just when you are about question yourself whether you've missed any hints in the process, Raj Tarun gets into a revenge mood to complete what he sets out to do, a mission which only he is aware of.
Andhagadu keeps the audience in the dark about what it wants to say, and when the twist is revealed, instead of being surprised by the magician's trick, it makes you wonder if you've been fooled. Maybe. Thumbs down for this silly drama.