Quiz: How many bad guys can Badri (Allu Arjun) single-handedly kill or maim at the Bellary Railway Station with just a sword and without suffering so much as a scratch in the new Telugu film Badrinath?
d) Several Dozen
If you answered from a-c, you’d be grossly wrong but still get credit for retaining a vestige of sanity. Since it’s a Telugu film after all, the correct answer must perforce be d.
Folks, with each new movie, Telugu film star Allu Arjun’s acting gets worse and the plots of his films get further bizarre.
In his latest film Badrinath which premiered in the U.S. Thursday night, Allu Arjun not only, yet again, grossly overacts a la Sivaji Ganesan from an earlier era but the storyline is straight from the loony-bin.
Set in the Hindu holy city of Badrinath in North India, the movie is a mindless Telugu paean to senseless violence (Allu Arjun), asinine romance (Tamanna) and juvenile humor (Brahmanandam).
Trashy as most Telugu films are, one can, if one searches long and hard, spot some redeeming element in the form of acting, music, settings, photography or, if nothing else, seek solace in the scantily-dressed voluptuous heroine.
But Badrinath’s claim to fame is that it comes to the screen shorn of any semblance of artistic merit or any whiff of redeeming elements save that a bunch of wannabe filmmakers had money to burn.
And proceeded to toss Rs 41-crore into the fire if media reports are accurate.
Allu Arjun, rippling muscles, 8-pack physique and all, plays Badri, the favorite young disciple of a saintly, white-bearded old figure Bhishma Narayan (Prakash Raj) in Badrinath.
Serpent in Eden oops Badrinath
Given to flashing his sword and performing endless leaps on the high peaks, the young disciple’s idyllic life in the serene heights of the temple town is disturbed with the entry of a serpent in the form of the fair-skinned Alakananda (Tamannah Bhatia) accompanied by her Tatayya (grandfather), who’s coughing up blood (you’re never sick in an Indian movie unless there’s an effusion of blood).
Oh yeah, the girl hates all mention of God and is given to sacrilegious actions, one of which nullifidian act has our valorous, devout hero angrily flinging her into a fast-moving Himalayan river from high above.
Alas, to our great distress Badri’s Guru orders him to save her, which he dutifully proceeds to do so and in the process shaves us of any peace for the next two hours!
But Cupid will always worm his way in or at least Badrinath director V.V.Vinayak (also responsible for the screenplay) will.
Soon, the devout young lad is distracted with the skimpily-clad girl who sports a mouth perennially agape as if longing for a hard-object, a pout at home in a nut-house, a brain smaller than a pea and simian antics characteristic of diapered children.
One such “Rajinikanth” antic has an elephant charging after her and only the timely intervention of her savior Badri prevents the pachyderm from planting its large feet squarely on her lissome midriff.
Bare-chested Badri is soon lovey-doveying with bare-midriffed Alakananda on the mountain top even as her evil relatives in the sultry Andhra plains, who seem to be on an overdose of crack-cocaine, plot nefarious schemes that will soon reach the mountains and separate the love-birds.
Allu Arjun’s character Badri has a weird tendency to suddenly break into moon-dances a la Michael Jackson in the company of a large troupe, a hint that his Valium dose needs to be increased if we’re to calm him down.
By the way, Tamannah Bhatia sets a new record in Badrinath, albeit a dubious one, for being the first Indian heroine to go through an entire movie without covering her midriff and belly-button and lavishly displaying her wares, small as they are, in a desperate effort at inducing lecherous eyes, drooling mouths and priapic organs. We’d say she failed in all three.
Did we tell you, her character goes to a funeral dressed as if to a late evening party! Seriously, do they do that in Andhra Pradesham?
Neither the music nor their picturization were in any measure adequate to lift us out of our misery at the distressing spectacle. The Nath Nath shrieks in the second half that pretends to be a song had us gasping for breath.
As if all of the aforesaid were not torture enough, we were subjected to more grief from that infernal sine qua non of Telugu films Brahmanandam, who plays a crook masquerading as a 2,000-year-old swami.
SearchIndia.com strongly recommends that if you value your sanity you must stay away from this endless abyss of nonsense a.k.a. Badrinath.