Tenali Ramakrishna movie review: This Sundeep Kishan, Hansika starrer is no less than a punishment
Tenali Ramakrishna BA BL doesn’t even make a sincere attempt to stay true to its genre.
Tenali Ramakrishna BA BL, directed by G Nageshwara Reddy, is so awful that every joke is an insult, every set piece makes you squirm, and every pop culture reference falls flat. If people are still writing jokes about ‘Madhya Pradesh’ of human anatomy and infidelity in this day and age, it tells you a lot about how outdated their idea of humour is. And that’s precisely what happens throughout this film.
The story is about a struggling lawyer Tenali Ramakrishna (Sundeep Kishan), who doesn’t get any opportunity to fight a case in the court despite several attempts. He falls in love with another young lawyer Rukmini (Hansika), whose father Chakravarthy (Murali Sharma) is a famous criminal lawyer. Soon, Tenali gets lucky when he unearths a conspiracy hatched against a local humanitarian Varalaxmi Devi (Varalaxmi Sarathkumar), who’s falsely implicated in a murder case. The rest of the story is about how Ramakrishna uses the opportunity and his intelligence to get the culprits punished in court.
In the first act of the film, Tenali Ramakrishna and his father (Raghu Babu) have an argument about Ramakrishna’s petty ways of earning money. His father tells him that respect is important to earn for a lawyer and that’s what he expects from his son. For all the emotional drama about earning respect, the film itself makes a mockery of the very theme it tries to dig into. Nothing about this film is respectable. In one scene, the hero tells the heroine that she looks like a ‘hybrid tomato’, a reference to her complexion and how red her cheeks are. That’s just the beginning of a long list of dumb things that are ubiquitous in the film, but then, everything else pales in comparison when you come to terms with how this film tries to infuse comedy in a court room drama. How did this brand of humour and the treatment of the film earn a consensus even before the film was shot? We will never know. Even the more ‘heroic’ and ‘intelligent’ parts of the story feel like someone is taking you for a ride without even realising how mediocre it all looks on screen.
As if the drama inside the courtroom isn’t baffling enough, the film subjects us to more lousy drama surrounding Varalaxmi and her team of goons. The big twist in the tale, upon which the whole film hinges on, might be the only redeeming factor, but the drama after the secret is out, it falls flat. Not a single actor is spared from this whirlpool of mediocrity and it’s not their fault when the source material is itself so weak.
Comedy is a tricky genre to crack and if the gags don’t work as much as they should, it’s understandable. But that’s not the problem with Tenali Ramakrishna BA BL. The film doesn’t even make a sincere attempt to stay true to its genre and it confuses its brand of humour as something which is still relevant and appropriate. Because, to sit through this film is no less than a punishment.
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