'Bhala Thandanana' is among the latest box-office releases in Telugu. It is produced by Sai Korrapati on Vaaraahi Chalana Chitram. Here is our review of the thriller:
Sree Vishnu plays an Accountant in an orphanage. He befriends Sasirekha (Catherine Tresa), an investigative journalist, who is covering a heinous murder. The hero starts giving her leads into the crime by claiming to have made accidental discoveries about the murder, with clues eventually pointing at a dreaded gangster named Anand Bali.
Eventually, Sasirekha realizes that the man she has been friends with is not a timid Accountant but a gutsy youngster with a master plan. What are the male lead's motives? Where do the murders fit in? What is Sasirekha's place in the scheme of things? Answers to these questions are found in the second half.
Sree Vishnu is no stranger to serious roles, as 'Thippara Meesam' and 'Veera Bhoga Vasantha Rayalu' attest to. He plays a slightly suspenseful character in the film under review with the confidence of a masala hero. The actor looks convincing even in weak scenes, which are aplenty.
Catherine Tresa's talent has been squandered away by many films and this one is worse. Ramachandra Raju aka Garuda Ram looks routine and nothing of the sort we saw in the pan-Indian film 'KGF: Chapter 1'.
Posani Krishna Murali and Satya evoke laughter in bits and pieces by playing contrasting characters. Srinivasa Reddy, Chaitanya Krishna, Ravi Varma, Srikanth Iyengar and Aadarsh Balakrishna have played different roles.
Mani Sharma's music is comprehensively bad. After a big-ticket film like 'Acharya', his songs are either insipid or unoriginal. The slow-paced 'Raasaanilaa' comes at the wrong time. 'Meenaacchee' is too inspired to be taken seriously.
Suresh Ragutu's cinematography is apt in dark scenes. Otherwise, there is nothing noteworthy about it. Peter Hein's action choreography is lackluster. Gandhi Nadikudikar's art direction is basic, while Marthand K. Venkatesh's editing passes muster.
The story and dialogues (by Srikanth Vissa, who penned the dialogue for 'Pushpa: The Rise') hardly redeem this thriller. The screenplay is by the film's director, Chaitanya Dantuluri, who has made 'Banam' and 'Basanthi' in the past.
If you have seen the trailer of the film, you would know that a big reveal about the male protagonist's character would arrive toward the interval. Trailers can reveal the so-called twist in the film, but the narration should be tight enough to keep the audience hooked regardless of the reveal made by the trailer. Several Bollywood thrillers manage to achieve this. On the other hand, the trailer of 'Bhala Thandanana' turns out to be damaging, in retrospect.
The love story between the hero and Sasirekha should have been emotional, given how its place is highlighted in the second half. But the way the two develop a friendship and fall in love with each other is devoid of believability. Sree Vishnu and Catherine lack chemistry, and their conversations are odd.
The tracks involving the bad guys appear haphazard after a point. The tricks pulled off by the hero are easy and lazily written. The climax plays out like a joke involving programmed robots. The dialogues don't add any credibility to the drama. The lines sound cinematic rather than realistic.
The fact that the film ends by teasing us to 'Bhala Thandanana 2' is proof that over-confidence can lead to laughable consequences.
'Bhala Thandanana' appears to take off on a strong note. As the rom-com track begins, it fizzles out. The second half, where the actual plot pans out, is replete with silly loopholes.