Touch Chesi Chudu starts with a scene that demonstrates like a routine Physics experiment how dangerous the antagonist is. Bad omen. The scarier the villain, the funnier his demise at the hands of the hyperactive, testosterone machine that our protagonist will turn out to be. Then cut to the hero – he is the perfect family man. That level of over-action can only mean one thing – there is a flashback. Surprise, surprise!
The flashback cannot arrive anytime before the interval bang. So, the genius that is the modern-day moviemaker gets to work – how to kill time until we reach the interval. And lo and behold, the role of the heroine is moulded. Bring in an actor, make her sing a couple of songs, show a couple of emotions in the usual order – indifference, irritation, anger, condescension, realisation and finally, yes we’ll get there, love.
By this time the protagonist has moved on to another girl – he is in a hurry to get married – arranged, mind you – because family is ‘devine’ (this is not the spelling I use, it is from a poster in the movie). After conniving cutely (what’s with Telugu movie heroines and the over-dosage of forced cuteness), in a weird twist of her affections, Pushpa (Rashi Khanna) gets Kartikeya (Ravi Teja) to fall for him. A collective sigh of relief mixed with perplexed amazement emanates in the hall.
With her purpose achieved, Pushpa disappears from the screenplay – she symbolically appears during the end titles. Oh, the irony! ‘We’ve got to please the feminists,’ a sneaky voice probably whispered during the screenplay writing sessions.
Kartikeya was once a cop, a killer cop, who breathed duty to the extent that he forgot his family and his fiancé (Seerat Kapoor). Frustrated with his attitude, she breaks up with him – why she even fell for him in the first place is the million-dollar question; he barely even looks at her at any point.
Kartikeya believed in heroic encounters, eventually leading him to a confrontation with a politician from the Old City and his gangster scion. And the movie dangles in front of us cliffhanger questions – will Kartikeya, who took a sabbatical (was it?) from his cop duties for almost half a decade, return? Is Irfan Lala, whom he had once supposedly killed, alive? Imagine three turns of the head, TV serial style.
These edge-of-the-seat questions (sarcasm is exhausting) ensure we resist the headache right till the end when Kartikeya, now a changed, balanced man, proposes to Pushpa. But not before he shoots the antagonist. Almost an anti-climax, right? No furniture-breaking, no glass-scattering. No punch dialogues. Count these as a plus.
With a shake of the head, amused at how low Pushpa’s standards are and how little she expects from her Main Man Ray – probably bred on Telugu movies from her teenage – we leave the place. The movie was shot in Pondicherry. Ravi Teja looks really slim. Rashi Khanna has improved immensely in the acting department – acting cute, because there is barely any scope beyond that for the heroine in a commercial blockbuster. There, added three positives about the movie too. They are enough, if our standards are the usual.
Vikram Sirikonda’s first major outing as a director barely excites considering the standard template he has chosen from Vakkantham Vamsi, who churns out popcorn blockbusters – for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The staid plotline doesn’t really get a lift from the score Pritam (another import) offers. The leading ladies are probably the only ones who can walk away with their heads held high.
What was Suhasini even doing in a movie like this? That and many other questions need to be buried for now.
Disclaimer: This review was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the film. Neither TNM nor any of its reviewers have any sort of business relationship with the film’s producers or any other members of its cast and crew.