(For SI Blog reader Araj)
By the criminally low standards of the steaming pile of Telugu dung like Nuvve Na Rakshasi, Nenae Nee Pisachi, Pitchee Donga, Dongana Koduka etc, Eega is a watchable film but certainly not a great one.
Unless you’re hiding under a rock in Timbuktu, you know that Eega has been a phenomenal hit at the box office.
Such has been the success of Eega, that even small back of the beyond towns in distant USA are screening the film a second time.
Last night, at the behest of SI blog reader Araj I joined the crowds to see what all the hullabaloo about Eega was.
To my great surprise, there were over 100 people for the late-night show in what’s surely a record for a Telugu movie being screened for the second time in a small American town.
Besides directing Eega, S.S.Rajamouli (of Magadheera fame) also penned the story and screenplay.
Eega – Just Average
My verdict is that Eega is at best an average Telugu film.
Among people blessed with civilization, Eega would have been pushed out of the theatre after the first week.
But in the large community of Telugu bushmen the movie is being hailed as a sensation and a masterpiece and continues its remarkable run.
Like with 99.9% of Indian movies, Eega too has young love, thwarted of course, occupying center stage.
When micro-artist Bindu’s ardent admirer Nani is killed by Sudeep, the victim does not pass off into the state of everlasting sleep like the rest of us ordinary mortals, never to return.
Au contraire, he returns as an Eega (fly) to torment his murderer and ultimately kill him.
Telugu actor Nani plays the eponymous young lover and Kannada film star Sudeep is cast as the villain Sudeep.
Samantha Ruth Prabhu, the current handjob favorite of some 25 million Telugu boys (and girls?), plays the young girl Bindu.
Although not too exciting, the concept of a dead lover turning into a fly and returning to torment his murderer is not a bad idea for a Telugu movie.
But the execution of the concept is fatally flawed in typical Telugu crass fashion in Eega.
Eega – Too Many Issues
First, there are the many shoddy elements in the Eega story, a blend of young love, crime, revenge and Tantra.
For instance, the villain Sudeep is unconvincingly presented with little context as a maniacal figure and playboy from the outset.
Sudeep is a business magnate casually killing people, including his associates. Sure, Andra Pradesh is not an idyllic peaceful haven but I’m certain even in Telugu desham businessmen don’t go around like they’re on a crack cocaine binge all the time.
Also, Nani is killed too prematurely and the Eega introduced in haste.
Nani’s transformation into a fly also has little context unlike the Japanese movie Ghost, where you see the ‘logical’ transformation of the murdered lover/wife into the ghost.
The second big letdown of Eega is the very ordinary graphics.
By current Hollywood standards, the graphics around the Eega or fly is zilch.
There’s not one scene in Eega where the graphics made me go wow.
Now for the acting part, traditionally the most unendurable aspect of Telugu films.
Nani is all right.
Samantha wouldn’t recognize acting if it bitch-slapped her, which makes her ideal for Eega or for that matter any Telugu film.
Utterly hopeless girl.
That this talentless creature has become the darling of 25 million Telugus is a testament to the poor taste of these people.
Sudeep is one of the better Indian actors. But he is hamstrung by the shoddy script and tries hard not to go overboard.
I found Eega’s music tolerable.
But I’m not sure it’s original since the film’s music director Keeravani has a dirty reputation for being a thieving scumbag.
Overall, I didn’t think my $12 yielded a great return with Eega but I’ve seen infinitely worse Telugu films.