Cast: Nara Rohit, Sree Vishnu, Tanya Hope, Brahmaji, Sasha Singh and others
Director: Sagar K Chandra
Rating: 3 stars
Nara Rohit’s latest, Appatlo Okkadundevadu is a fair ride. He shares screen space with Sree Vishnu, Sagar K. Chandra is the director while Tanya Hope plays the female lead. Nara Rohit also marks his debut as producer with this film.
The film starts with journalist Ria (Sasha Singh) who seeks to know more about cricketer Railway Raju (Sree Vishnu). She comes to Hyderabad and starts hunting for more angles and soon meets a few of his friends who take her back to the early 90s. Raju wishes to be part of the Ranji team but an honest police officer, Imtiaz (Nara Rohit) who lost a father to a landmine attack makes a connection between a woman Naxal and Raju. He proves the ultra is actually his sister. Imtiaz soon brings Raju in for questioning and this destroys his cricket dreams. A furious Raju decides to take revenge on Imtiaz and goes down a path of violence.
After made his debut with the thought-provoking Ayyare, director Chandra proves why he is extremely good with direction and plot-making. His plot relies on a few Naxal-related incidents that took place in the early 1990s. The weaving in of fiction has been done with considerable skill by Chandra. The movie rides on the emotional journey of Railway Raju who wants to be a cricketer and goes down a wrong path because of his links with his Naxalite sister. It’s tragic because he is not really involved in naxalism so the plot reeks of a thousand true stories.
But it’s the same with the police officer Imtiaz Khan, who wants to take revenge on Naxalites. The director very cleverly mentions a few incidents between 1992 and 1996 years and has made the second half of the film incredibly gripping. The climax especially, is a big surprise and the last half an hour of the movie is an emotional roller-coaster. But there are few problems with Appatlo Okkadundevadu. The first half-an-hour of the movie is a major drag and the it bores moviegoers. Chandra’s casting has been impeccable. The director should also be appreciated for coming out with a unique topic — one that’s worth making a movie on.
Nara Rohit too, has picked an interesting script to both act in and produce. He doesn’t play the main lead because he has focussed his attention on other matters. He has done a very good job as the cop and has actually lived the character. For Sree Vishnu, this is the ultimate showcase of his talent — the movie has brought out his best. Brahmaji too, is a revelation, and we find his role refreshing. He plays Vittal Shetty — a video parlour owner who has been a long-time Raju supporter. Tanya Hope is strictly okay and not very impressive. Rajiv Kanakala, Ajay and Prabhas Srinu are also found in supportive roles. Sasha Singh plays the young journalist and she is good. Appatlo Okadundevadu is an interesting film with an unexpected climax. Director Sagar K Chandra’s neat narration and the way he has handled the cast and the movie certainly speaks volumes about his skill.