Sunday, March 13, 2011

Review: Arundhati [Ties of blood or "Khoon Chala, Khoon Chalaaa"]

- This review is not critically intellectual or similar, as this is my first Tollywood film. But don't get used to it, I'll try to avoid writing like that. -

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
Music: Koti
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 chose "Arundhati" for "debuting" in the Telugu film industry (Tollywood)... It's been several months now, that I'm maundering about watching more regional Indian films, and I had actually thought I was going to slowly "train" myself with Siddhart's Telugu films. But I'm very happy now, that I chose this film. Despite the fact, that I'm certainly not very familiar with this film industry, I think that the film is a good representative, and a good beginning for inexperienced people... of a curious nature. That's because it's just totally exaggerating - but it's still good.
 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).

Rating: 7.1
Thank you for reading,
Mette M. K.


  1. Isn't it a fun film! I love how much Sonu Sood appears to be enjoying himself as the evil Pasupathi. I also really like that as the heroine Arundhati isn't afraid to get her hands dirty and really gets right into the fighting :)
    Now that you've started on Telugu films I hope you'll watch some more. They remind me of the older Hindi films I fell in love with as they just have so many more masala elements as well as big muscial numbers. My favourite film is Arya2 but I do have to recommend Magadheera as a great introduction to TW :)

  2. Heather beat me to it, but yes Arya 2 is also my recco. Along with Pournami since you seem to be fond of mythical settings and over the top fights.

    And to confirm your suspicion, yes, the villains slip into Hindi a lot in Telugu films. We still haven't figured out why, but clearly there must be something there :)

    I have nothing else to say because I pulled the plug on Arundhati around the time when the blind girl gets offed, I just couldn't stomach the concept. But if this was your first Telugu movie and you want to try out more, then more power to it :)

  3. @ Both of you: Arya2 and Magadheera, all right then :).

  4. Very good review!
    Exactly how many film industries are there in India?
    I remember reading that Bollywood alone produces hundreds of films each year so I can't imagine how many the whole of India must produce.

    Anyway this film does look rather amusing, and when you mention that you were surprised by the amount of blood even though you had read about south Indian cinema before, can you enlighten me a bit there? is south Indian Cinema famous for being terribly bloody?
    Please excuse my lack of knowledge...

  5. @ Jack L: There are many, many film industries in India, and I think the amount of films released every year is about 800+. The biggest and most "famous" is Bollywood, followed by Tollywood I'd say (language: Telugu), though Kollywood is also quite well-known (language: Tamil). Tollywood and Kollywood is what we call south-Indian cinema, and yes, it's known for being quite bloody (though that's a little generalizing).
    Then there's the Bengali-cinema, which is more quite and you could say "intellectual" (still, I need to generalize to explain this), Punjabi-cinema, which I haven't seen yet and a many other small industries. I could name the Malayalam-industry, too, which is also... a little bit more well-known than the really small industries.
    Hope I could help you, though my experience in regional Indian cinema isn't the biggest (regional Indian cinema for me is everything but Bollywood, for others it's everything but Bollywood and south-Indian cinema).

  6. Thanks for the info Limette,
    That must make for thousands of films every year, I suppose it would be impossible to keep track of all of them.
    I might check out some Bengali films, I like intellectual stuff... By the way, the only Indian director I am familiar with is Satyajit Ray, would his films be classifed as Bengali?

  7. @ Jack L: Yes, Satyajit Ray worked in the Bengali film industry, I'm pretty sure.


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