Upendra Matte Baa movie review: Soggade Chinni Nayana remake works in some bits, falls flat in others

Upendra Matte Baa is not tiresome — it’s just not entertaining enough.

Karthik Keramalu November 17, 2017 17:47:33 IST

2/5

Upendra is one of the few actors who are good with the pen, too. That’s how he made his name in the film industry in the 90s. However, after directing and starring in some path-breaking films, he chose to sit in the remake-chair.

Upendra Matte Baa movie review Soggade Chinni Nayana remake works in some bits falls flat in others

Still from Upendra Matte Baa

His remakes are a mixed bag. Some have hit the bull’s eye and others have missed it by a mile. Upendra Matte Baa, a recreation of the Kalyan Krishna film Soggade Chinni Nayana, falls somewhere in between. It’s a recreation in the strictest sense since everything from the original has made it to the remake — right down to the way the characters are dressed. If there’s any change at all, it’s the actors who are headlining the film, along with the dialogues. Unfortunately, the lines too seem like they have been translated from Telugu to Kannada. Like Bangarraju’s punch line from the original — “Vaasi vaadi thassadiya” — Upendra Raju has a similar dialogue: “Idara aliyaasana badiya”. This leaves no room for innovation in any manner. Remakes aren’t bad if they manage to tap into the emotions of the original — whether they do it anew, or by capitalising on the memories of the previous film is up to the makers. Upendra Matte Baa delivers the goods through the latter approach in some portions.

The idea to rope in Prema to fit into the shoes of Ramya Krishnan must be appreciated. Her pairing with Upendra brings the 1999 film Upendra to mind. This bit does work pretty well.

When it comes to the soul, this movie falls face first. Soggade Chinni Nayana cleverly offered the audience a good dose of humour. Nagarjuna’s romantic star image made his portrayal as a charmer of women convincing. The remake fails to capture this.

Upendra, as the son Ramu, is meek and geeky. As the father (Upendra Raju), he goes all out to brand himself as a ladies’ man. He isn't able to sell the audience on this latter avatar, however, as his performance seems too mechanical. He uses flattering adjectives and poetry to impress women, but they feel unrealistic.

In the original, the scenes where the father flirts with women in the guise of his son (to solve the latter's marital problems) were peppered with comedy. In Upendra Matte Baa, devoid of the essential masala elements, these sequences simply don' work.

Sruthi Hariharan, as the neglected wife, plays her part well, and so do the supporting actors (Avinash and Vasishta N Simha). Vasishta especially, is compelling in the role of the baddie.

As a film, Upendra Matte Baa is not tiresome — it’s just not entertaining enough.

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