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Annavaram is paisa vasool

By GP Aditya Vardhan
January 02, 2007 11:22 IST
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Pawan Kalyan turns big brother in Annavaram and cashes in on the current mood of the audience which is a bit indulgent towards the so-called 'sister films'. Telugu film Annavaram, comes after Rakhee, a film made on similar lines doing pretty well at the box office. However, Pawan veers away from the crybaby stuff and instead plays a protective big brother who is ready to do anything for his sister -- from getting his friend's long locks cut short on her whim to cleansing the city of bad elements to make it a better place for her to live in.

Phew! Now, that's a pretty tough task, considering the fact that the city in question is Hyderabad. But then nothing is impossible for our hero, and so the film rolls on.

Annavaram (Kalyan) is a daring and dynamic youngster, who stands no nonsense from anybody and is the sole curator of his village. He loves his sister Varam (Sandhya) dearly and aims to marry her off to a rich, city-bred guy. He dreams of a palatial bungalow for her to live in, a Mercedes for her to vroom around in, and many more such things for her to lead a 'cool' life.

Along with his close buddy, Narasimha (Venu Madhav), he finds Siva Balaji who runs the college canteen. He gets them married off but the itch to see his sister lands him in Hyderabad with Narasimha. He comes across some goons -- Patasu Balu played by Ashish Vidyarthi and Poorana pul Ganga enacted by Lal -- harassing the locals.

Annavaram tries to flex his muscles only to be subdued by his sister and brother-in-law. But the events that unfold trigger Annavaram into action. He drops his pregnant sister and brother-in-law to the village and returns to Hyderabad to make it a 'clean city' for her sister along with her hubby and the new born to live in.  This is the prelude to the drama that unfolds in the second half.

It is Pawan Kalyan's film all the way. He looks dashing and the stunts are quite stunning. His fans are sure to be delighted. His dialogue delivery too is impeccable. Sandhya does her part well. Asin, who teams up with Pawan Kalyan for the first time, has nothing much to do except sing songs with him. Moreover, she speaks a horrendous version of the Telangana dialect. It's a pity an actress of her calibre chose to do this part.  Pawan Kalyan's elder brother Nagababu appears as a police officer while Brahmaji gets a meaty role in this flick.

The comedy track had always been a plus point in Pawan Kalyan's films but this film lags behind in this area. Despite top comedians like Brahmanandam, Sunil, Venu Madhav and Ali, the director failed to give them enough footage. Barring Venu Madhav, the rest had just one scene each. The narration is pretty good, especially the second half with a taut screenplay.

Annavaram, a remake of the Tamil hit Thirupachi is set to rejuvenate Kalyan's sagging film career. First of all, director Bheemaneni Srinivasa Rao and Pawan Kalyan come together after a long time. Suswagatham, their first film together, was a runaway hit. Secondly, music director Ramana Gogula is back in Pawan's camp. Their films together like Tammudu, Badri and Johnny had some very good music but when Pawan decided to experiment with others, they parted ways. Ramana does dish out some good songs and the background score gels with the onscreen drama.

All in all, a watchable film.

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GP Aditya Vardhan