Ooru Peru Bhairavakona review: Sundeep Kishan perseveres, but film needed more - Hindustan Times

Ooru Peru Bhairavakona review: Vi Anand and Sundeep Kishan's horror film is more Disney than M Night Shyamalan

ByNeeshita Nyayapati
Feb 16, 2024 10:19 PM IST

Ooru Peru Bhairavakona review: Vi Anand’s Sundeep Kishan-starrer is a satisfactory horror film that could’ve been better.

Ooru Peru Bhairavakona review: Vi Anand’s horror comedy film, Ooru Peru Bhairavakona, hit screens this Friday. Starring Sundeep Kishan, Varsha Bollema, Kavya Thapar and Harsha Chemudu in lead roles, the film is more Disney than M Night Shyamalan, if you get the drift. While the film seems to have a deep metaphor driving the story, it never takes itself seriously enough for you to care. (Also Read: Akansha Ranjan Kapoor interview: Every friend I have is trying to bag a south film because they’re doing so well)

Sundeep Kishan in a still from Ooru Peru Bhairavakona
Sundeep Kishan in a still from Ooru Peru Bhairavakona

Ooru Peru Bhairavakona story

Basava (Sundeep) and his friend John (Harsha) have stolen some precious jewellery and are on the run. They’re not thieves, but Geetha (Kavya), whom they pick up on the way, might be. More than something as subtle as fate, a path brightly lit by fireflies leads them to a mysterious place called Bhairavakona. The stage is set for something Basava would’ve never imagined because he has to pay the price for what he has done.

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Ooru Peru Bhairavakona review

Look at Vi Anand’s filmography and you see these grand ideas that are innovative, fun and sometimes quite unique, but they don’t always translate into an engaging film. But unlike his 2020 film Disco Raja, Ooru Peru Bhairavakona remains watchable, and interesting when he reveals his hand. However, it goes go off the rails sometimes. The non-linear storyline might not be everyone’s cup of tea but it’s necessary for the final reveal.

Haunted mansions galore

Ooru Peru Bhairavakona has a haunted mansion that will remind you of Disney’s Haunted Mansion for obvious reasons. The film's treatment also goes along those lines wherein the protagonists might be scared for their lives, but you’re too busy chuckling to care. The film's first half takes its own sweet time to set things up, making you wonder where it’s all heading. You wonder if we even need to see Basava’s one-sided pining for Bhoomi (Varsha). Turns out we do, but the path to there is littered with men more horrific than ghouls, and hidden truths.

The deep metaphors

Even as Dr Narappa (Vennela Kishore) is making his distaste for women known, or there are secretive ninja-like warriors barring people from leaving the place, or a mysterious elderly woman everyone refers to as ‘peddamma’ doesn’t always seem transparent in her intentions, Vi Anand peppers the film with metaphors. Beyond all the old-school magic the film shows, it also explores the ‘magic’ of forgiveness -towards yourself or others. Fear drives humans (and sometimes ghosts) to be irrational, which is also something he explores well. Turns out, looking at the big picture is not as hard as it seems.

The irony

This is why it’s ironic that while all the puzzle pieces of Ooru Peru Bhairavakona do fit well by the end, the way the film is narrated tests your patience. Once you get over the gem-hued decadence of the frames, you realise for more than half of the film you don’t really know what’s happening. There’s a love story at the core of it all and it’s important you invest in that. But it’s so cliche and run-of-the-mill that you don’t really buy into it. Basava’s obsession with the stolen gold also feels excessive at times, even if he has a perfectly good reason for it.

At the end of it all

Ooru Peru Bhairavakona is a popcorn watch that is not as complex as it feels initially. It helps that the lead cast perform their roles well, ably aided by Raj Thota’s cinematography. Shekar Chandra’s songs are decent but they feel unnecessary, even if Nijame Ne Chebutunna is such an earworm. While Bhairavakona’s back story is engaging, the film could’ve been better. Not to mention, more campy!

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