PS: I'll be on mini-hiatus for the next 4 days - I'm on a class trip/ politics simulation from Mon-Thu.
ARUNDHATI (2009) అరుంధతి
Director: Kodi Ramakrishna
Author: Ramana Chintapally
Producer: M. Shyam Prasad Reddy
Starring: Anushka Shetty, Manorama, Sonu Sood
Plot: This film revolves around three generations. Arundhati is going to marry Rahul, so before marriage, she visits her native village. One night, she receives a phone call from Rahul, telling her that he's in fort Gadwal. But when Arundhati enters the fort, that is said to be haunted, the horrible past of her great-grandmother Arundhati, called Jejamma, fusions with reality and a fight of good against evil is once again held.
Written the 12th of March 2011
I haven't seen The House of Flying Daggers, sadly, but that's why I bursted into laugh seeing that drum dance sequence. Oh yes, colourful scarves playing the drums... Additionally, there's tons of pink-looking blood, a good-looking, but evil because of evil voice Sonu Sood, and a lot of mythology. Plus a language, that I do not understand at all. I felt drawn back to the starting time of my passion for Bollywood, at least I thought, that I probably felt quite similar at that time. Thrilled, though not as thrilled as I was by Hindi, which I began learning very quickly, I listened to the dialogues and admired the squiggled letters. I learned one word already, actually: "Raa" meaning as much as "come". Leading actress Anushka Shetty, whom I obviously do not know ("Arundhati" was not only my Telugu debut, but also only my second south-Indian film, after "Bumbai"), fitted her role perfectly, but if she's really talented, I can't tell, as her role consisted of over-acting, mostly.
Same for Sonu Sood, but as I already know him from other films ("Dabangg", "Jodhaa-Akbar"), this performance of his is only another plus point. It's namely quite different from his other roles. All supporting actors were all right, most of them over-acting grandly (by the way, does the fakir speak Hindi sometimes - it seemed as if?), only the fiancé is quickly forgotten.
Music... the aforesaid drum dance number did actually impress me, beginning very still and vulnerable, but then getting angry and fast, which is a great achievement of the singer. Otherwise, I don't recall any other fancy songs.
Now, let's focus on the last point: Special-Effects. Honestly: I found them very brave. Many Indian films of this kind just focus on "scary" background score or similar, but here they really tried to build a mythologic world of horror. Seemingly, they didn't have the best technical facilities (or maybe it's a matter of the budget), but just that giving-it-a-try made an impact on me. It is trashy, but lately I often find myself as a fan of (good) filmic trash, so nothing of this was annoying to me. Rather amusing and entertaining. And about the blood; well, though I had already often read reviews and articles about south-Indian cinema, I was still "surprised" by the floods or seas of blood, but I had a sense of humour about it. Yes, that's absolutely possible. Especially, when the blood is pink.
Okay, the coconut-stoning was really a little crass, but you can look the other way for a while.
You see, I could write much more about this adventure of mine, but particularly I can recommend it to everyone, except for the weak minds. As I've read somewhere: "Do something you haven't done before, every day". A great advice, and I try to follow it, really. Of course, watching an unknown film also counts, that's something new as well, but why now get over yourself and jump into the cold water of a new film industry? (PS: A Hindi-remake of this one is also planned).
Thank you for reading,
Mette M. K.