Folk tales have always fascinated story tellers since the inception of filmmaking. They’ve always found likeable audiences appreciating the enriching content in the characters of the stories that establish a deep connect with a spectator. There’re plenty of examples to cite the same, such as Mother India,Naya Daur,Saudagar or say our very own ‘Padaharella Vayasu’. Despite the lack of any embellishments or commercial gimmicks, the stories were compelling and heart wrenching. In fact the era of 1970’s in the film industry saw bulk of its characters making it big hailing from the villages. Bala too explores the same arena fabulously assimilating his style in crafting Vaadu Veedu into a thoroughly engrossing experience.
The story basically surrounds itself with the lives of two half brothers. Naturally their relationship is awkward with the two groups merely abusing,amusing and insulting each other. Both the sons try hard to establish their supremacy in their living space but to no avail. While one of them excel in dramatics, the other outsmarts him in pilfering about his surroundings. The two share an unconventional bond with the paunchy landlord, essentially a person who’s treated with utmost respect. The duo always hog the limelight for all the notorious reasons. To add on, they’re literally an utter disgrace who are self satisfied.
As the film initiates, the characters test your nerves. Their pranks and antics appear strange, but once their lifestyle settles in, you’ll be appealed by their child at heart simplicity despite their stale exteriors. That’s where the film hits the bulls eye instantly. It charmingly captures the native flavour of the place bracing you with the impromptu conversations,celebrations of the crowds. Just when you sit back and expect an engaging story after an intriguing premise, you feel slightly let down. The interval bang strikes at the right time post which the plot starts to appear contrived. The story incessantly feels dragged and their histrionics no longer win you over. However, the best part is packaged flamboyantly for the climax sequence that’s equally disturbing and shocking. The raging emotions of the go lucky characters are put to a stern test for which the response is earth shuddering.
When a filmmaker sets out to explore the lives of such intense characters, there rests a thin line between creativity and vulgarity. Bala profoundly balances such situations with extreme care and does his homework with a startling intricacy. It may not match the emotional depth of his earlier works, but he deserves due credit for the research he’s put behind in scripting such unique characters that stay with you after your watch. Just that a tighter screenplay would have registered a better impact. Vishal passionately sinks into his role titled ‘Walter’ pitching in such a dramatic act marvelled with the perfect sensitivity required for his character. The actor who has been a part of melodramatic films previously tries his hand at realist cinema and yes,he does it with aplomb. Arya appears out-shadowed by Vishal’s presence looking uncomfortable in his golden haired look. Yet, he manages to convince and looks more at ease in the comic department.The female leads aren’t entrusted with much screen time but they’re efficient in most of the sequences. The landlord’s character is aptly sketched out barring a few circumstances where the situations look repetitive.
There’re a good number of stages in the film that shall surprise and enthrall you. The scene post the dance performance of Vishal in the latter half between Arya and the landlord will leave you in splits. Vishal donning a saree for his introductory sequence stuns you with the sincerity that he’s embarked in his act. The action sequences are distinct, at times impressive, at times hilarious, at times wicked that go hand in hand with the inconsistencies of the characters. Bala’s films have always provided scope for dark humour and this film isn’t an exception either. As a matter of fact, its indeed the humour aspect that keeps you glued to your seats for three-fourth’s of the film. In a film such as this, you would definitely expect music to impact the proceedings. The folk music in accordance with the unbalanced emotions of the characters should’ve provided wonderful situations for a composer to exploit. Unfortunately, the tunes seem grim and pale for such a hard hitting flick.
The film once again reinstates the fact of content being the essential ingredient for a good film. With the narrative not indulging in slapstick entertainment relieving you off the formulaic cinema, Vaadu Veedu is a welcome break for avid film buffs. If dubbed films such as this,Rangam and Vaishali are being encouraged by the audiences, Telugu filmmakers have a lot of catching up to do with regard to script work to ensure quality cinema. Nevertheless, if being bizarre is fun , you won’t mind sparing a couple of hours for Vaadu Veedu.