Eenadu, the Telugu remake of the critically acclaimed and commercially successful Hindi movie A Wednesday, is almost like the original, barring a few scene insertions and making the story contemporary with the times in the twin cities -- which was essential in the adaptation.
It has a huge plus point -- the coming together of two super stars of the south -- Kamal Haasan and Venkatesh on the big screen -- something not seen in Telugu cinema. Therefore, it scores high on that ground. Shruti Haasan's (who makes her debut as a music director) background score enhances the narrative. That again is another bonus.
Story wise, it's certainly something new for the Telugu audience. So that's three brownie points. But don't go about comparing it with A Wednesday, if you have seen the original.
The story of A Wednesday scripted by Neeraj Pandey is quite fresh in people's minds. We have Kamal Haasan and Venkatesh taking the places of stalwarts like Naseeruddin Shah and Anupam Kher in Eenadu. Of course, Venkatesh plays the younger cop in uniform as compared to an older Anupam who is in mufti. Dr Bharath plays Bharath Reddy (role of Aamir Bashir) and Ganesh Venkatraman is Arif (played by Jimmy Shergill in the original).
There are some additions. For instance, there is the character of a chief secretary (played by veteran actor Lakshmi) created here and a bit of tension created between the two posts -- that of commissioner and chief secretary (more of an IAS-IPS squabble) which is supposed to heighten the tension (but perhaps is reflective of the actual goings-on in the times today).
The chief minister makes an appearance in the original, whereas he doesn't in Eenadu. The ending of Eenadu is also slightly different. The whole script is set against the backdrop of the terror attacks at Lumbini Park, Gokul chat bhandar which took place in Hyderabad about two years ago.
Comparisons with the original are bound to arise. The original had a certain sophistication about it. It was shot well too. Eenadu has a native flavour given to it due to the adaptation. In the process, one feels a certain dilution of things. The power created by the original seems missing in the remake to a large extent.
The dialogues in Telugu written by Neelakanta are punchy in some places -- especially the commissioner-chief secretary altercation.
Director Chakri Toleti has a fairly easy job as the film is a remake and he does a fairly neat job barring the unnecessary inclusions in the script. Thota Tharani's art direction is commendable.
Kamal Haasan does a good job as the commoner. He is quite cool and unflustered. Venkatesh, on the other hand, is a government official who has a difficult task on hand but carries it out effortlessly. Both the actors portray a restrained performance. This movie should encourage more such multi-star films to give the audience an opportunity to see variety.
Lakshmi fits the role of the chief secretary. Bharath and Ganesh are adequately suited to their roles.
For the Telugu audience, Eenadu is a film which is out of the formulaic pattern and the hero warp Telugu cinema is in, and shows that films like it can be made too which can be seen and enjoyed with the audience taking home something extra too!
Watch Eenadu for what it is!