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Tuesday, Nov 19, 2019

MLA movie review: Nandamuri Kalyan’s film suffers from endless cliches

MLA movie review: Nandamuri Kalyanram and Kajal Aggarwal’s film is hodgepodge of old ideas and unbelievable action scenes.

movie-reviews Updated: Aug 03, 2019 11:58 IST
Priyanka Sundar
Priyanka Sundar
Hindustan Times
MLA Movie review: Nandamuri Kalyanram and Kajal Aggarwal starrer is nothing new.
MLA Movie review: Nandamuri Kalyanram and Kajal Aggarwal starrer is nothing new.

Director: Upendra Madhav
Cast: Nandamuri Kalyanram, Kajal Aggarwal, Ravi Kishan
Rating: 1/5
Take a lot of clichés, string them together and the result will be Nandamuri Kalyanram-starrer film MLA - Manasikki Nachina Abhayi. Other than Balayya, the film has Kajal Aggarwal and Ravi Krishan in the lead.

Let’s take the ‘hero intro’ scene, for example. In the foreground is the prevalent problem in Veerabhadrapuram, Andhra Pradesh, where kids are losing limbs and in some cases lives due to working in glass factories. A journalist does a sting operation, but is caught by the antagonist played by Ravi Krishan. Just before the journo is killed, he says: “You can kill me, not my ambition. Someone else will come to take my place.” And lo, Kalyan enters.

Next is the love story. Indu (Kajal) somehow features in all the selfies that Kalyan (Kalyan) and his family take in Bangalore. When Kalyan comes face to face with her, he concludes that they have a magical bond, and that they are destined to be together forever. He then tries to convince Indu of the same and fails initially. Here director Upendra Madhav inserts songs shot abroad. What has to be pointed out here is that stalking is stalking even if it is done abroad in a romantic locale. Indu meets Kalyan again in a professional surrounding. She is the boss’ daughter who is frustrated with Kalyan who keeps babbling about magical bond. As a last ditch effort, she tells him that if he can solve the land grabbing issue that the company is currently facing, she will tell him that she loves him.

So far into the film, all we see is cliches and a man who cannot take no for an answer. The villain takes a back seat until the director is done churning out a couple of romantic numbers. Just before the intermission comes a shocking reveal about Indu, but this is not new either.

Nandamuri Kalyanram film is predictable a mile away. At places the film also reminds one of Mahesh Babu’s hit film, Okkadu. There is a man in power who is obsessed with power and the girl runs away to escape him. It is here that she meets the love of her life. Okkadu and MLA’s storylines are similar, give or take the stalking. MLA, unlike Athadu, also lacks sense.

The writing is sloppy and happily lifts ideas and scenes from multiple movies. The way Kalyan gets loan from bank reminds one of Vikram exacting revenge in Tamil film Dhool. The bet between Kalyan and Gadappa harks back to Arjun and Raghuvaran’s bet in Mudhalvan. The combination of this and the predictability leaves us in disdain.

The icing on the cake is the unbelievable action sequences. The hero throws a huge spanner at the tyre of a running vehicle. The tyre comes off so beautifully that if it could really be done, it will make changing tyres a breeze. The best scene, of course, is when a mother does this amazing jump and dive to save her son. Superheroes will shudder in shame when compared to this talent.

MLA is not a new film, it is a hotchpotch of old formulas and old films that is best avoided.

Author tweets @Priyanka_S_MCC
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