Film: "Mr. Pellikoduku"; Actors: Sunil Varma, Isha Chawla, Vincent, Ali, Dharmavarapu Subramanyam, L.B Sriram, Ahuti Prasad, M.S Narayana and Ravi Babu; Director: Devi Prasad; Rating: ** - unsatisfying remake.
Not all remakes are as good as the original. In fact, most remakes fall short of expectations set by its original, and in that list, comes "Mr. Pellikoduku", the Telugu remake of "Tanu weds Manu".
As much as it tries not to be a frame-to-frame copy, sadly, all that it manages to do by the end is persuade its audiences to go back home and re-visit the original. Neither is the film as lively as its original, nor are the lead characters as adorable as R.Madhavan and Kangna Ranaut.
Buchi Babu, played by Sunil, is the ideal son any parents would wish to have. An NRI-returned boutique owner, he is taken all over Andhra Pradesh in a bid to find a suitable bride. Along the way, he meets Anjali, played by Isha, whom he likes and agrees to marry at first sight. A day later, Buchi comes to learn from Anjali that she was suffering a hangover and is not interested to marry him as she already has a boyfriend.
It is now Buchi's responsibility to find reasons to call off the wedding. However, destiny has it; he meets Anjali much later at his friend's wedding. What happens when they meet again? This forms the rest of the story.
It's extremely difficult to not wander off in to the past and do a comparative analysis of the original with its remake, which in this case is "Mr. Pellikoduku". As much as we know, it's not sensible to compare films. Yet we can't resist the urge to draw a parallel. Unlike the original, you don't get to see the contrasting characters of the protagonists and instead are forced to sit through elements of commercialism such as gags, songs and even few six-pack baring stunts. Sunil sported a six-pack in his last film because the script demanded it, but why the need to flaunt it here?
The biggest flaw evident throughout the film is that director Devi Prasad attempts to cash in on the screen image of Sunil. We understand he is a great dancer, but for the benefit of the character he portrays, why can't he refrain from dancing? This is what happens when you to take a comedian and force him to play a 'hero'. We all know what a hero does in most Indian films, and we get to see all that here.
You definitely miss the Sunil from "Maryada Ramanna", a role in which he fit effortlessly. Sunil's strength is comedy, but sadly, we don't get to see that side of him at all. He tries his best to keep everybody engaged with some breathtaking moves, but on the whole, he seems miscast. Isha Chawla was roped infor a simple reason that she already has a super hit "Poolarangadu" with Sunil. Therefore, the makers assumed that the pair will hit it off. In filmmaking, it's important to understand that no two films can have the same strategy.
If Sunil has to survive as a hero, he needs to understand that comedy is his strength, and so, needs to find scripts that will do justice to it. "Mr. Pellikoduku" is just not the kind of film he is made for.