'Bangarraju' is the biggest festival release this Sankranthi. Let's find out what are its hits and misses.
Chinna Bangarraju (Naga Chaitanya) has a low-key dislike for Naga Lakshmi (Krithi Shetty), his childhood frenemy. Pedda Bangarraju (Nagarjuna) and Sathyabhama (Ramya Krishna), his grandparents, are in Swargam. They descend on Earth in order to see them get married. There is a divine purpose too behind their arrival on Earth. As 'Soggade Chinni Nayana' showed, it has to do with a temple and the greedy villains who want to rob its treasures. The lives of the lead pair, the grandparents and the temple are intertwined.
The coming together of the father-son duo, Nagarjuna and Naga Chaitanya, has enthused the festival crowds. Nagarjuna, after doing a serious movie like 'Wild Dog', is wow here. Although he could have been less cute in some scenes, he is enjoyable through and through. Naga Chaitanya is better than how he was in his previous films like 'Rarandoi Veduka Chuddham'. He shows ease, thanks to the director's grounding in the milieu of the film. His chemistry with the likes of Faria Abdullah, Daksha Nagarkar, and Simrat Kaur is nice.
Ramya Krishna gets to act in emotional portions and she dominates other female actors. Krithi Shetty glams it up with her easy charm. She is as cute as she was in her previous two movies.
The comedy involving Vennela Kishore and Praveen is poor. Rao Ramesh is not nuanced but watchable enough. Brahmaji and others get to play inadequately developed characters, so also Sampath Raj, who is a cardboard villain character. Meenakshi Dixit, Darshana Banik, and Vedhika have small parts.
A film of this sort had to be a musical entertainer. And Anup Rubens tries his best to uplift the spirits with his songs. 'Laddunda' takes the cake, while the song 'Vaasivaadi Tassadiyya' is a well-staged one. The choreography is tailored to suit the image of Nag here. The other songs, especially the melody 'Naa Kosam', make a mark.
J Yuvaraj cranks the camera with decent skill. He elevates Brahma Kadali's art direction.
For the unversed, 'Bangarraju' is a sequel to 'Soggade Chinni Nayana'. Some sequels are smartly done; they don't have predictable elements and plot points. 'Bangarraju' doesn't fall in the rare category. Its plot points such as the temple treasure, the villains going to any extent out of avarice and the villainy are routinely done.
The film over-indulges the romantic vibes between Nagarjuna and Ramya Krishna. It doesn't feel fresh after a point. The scenes between Naga Chaitanya and Krithi Shetty, in comparison, would work if you have not watched the trailer especially.
Like a true-blue Sankranthi film, 'Bangarraju' is long. It goes on and on for 2 hours and 40 minutes. The finale is stretched out because of the somewhat tastelessly done visual effects.
The fights, far from being unique, are jaded. There is no dynamism in them and one is let down by the lazy execution.
'Bangarraju' is a predictable fantasy-comedy with an ordinary trajectory.