After delivering the sharp, racy blockbuster Pokiri, Jagan is back with what seems a surefire hit. Directing Desamuduru after Pokiri is truly a challenge, as the latter had a record-breaking run at the box office and had catapulted its hero, Mahesh Babu, to the top slot. Jagan also had a responsibility to reverse the fortunes of his Desamuduru hero, Allu Arjun, whose previous film Happy had failed to impress.
Desamuduru has a wafer thin storyline -- a predictable one, what is more -- but Jagan manages to dish up palatable fare, flavouring the film with enough masala keeping in mind the taste of the audience. He ropes old buddy Chakri onto his band wagon once again, and the latter obliges by crafting some racy songs. The director picked the breath-taking backdrop of Kulu Manali, and eye candy in the form of heroine Hansika. The director also got his hero to undergo a total makeover, with long locks and rippling muscles.
Bala Govind (Arjun) is a crime reporter working for a television channel. While working on a story, he gets entangled with the underworld while trying to save someone from the Dhoolpet goons.
The son of Dhoolpet don Tambi (Pradeep Rawat) is injured in the brawl and goes into a coma. Fearing reprisals, his father packs Bala off to Kulu Manali. There he comes across an enchanting young sanyasin Vaishali (Hansika Motwani), and is captivated by her beauty and charm. He begins to woo her, but she has no time for material things.
And then, in one of those twists so favored by film makers, it turns out that Vaishali was once married to the son of Tambi; it is to escape this marriage that she had turned recluse.
The story then moves along predictable paths, speeding through dances and action scenes that appear to have been conceived with Arun in mind.
To his credit, the hero is springheeled -- even so, some movements have the sort of unnatural speed that makes you wonder whether the frames were speeded up. Hansika is pretty, and that is all the film expects of her -- no histrionics are needed at any stage. Ali is a permanent fixture in Jagan's camp and, as usual, he is hilarious. For the front-benchers, there is a raunchy number featuring Rambha.
Since the target audience is youth, Jagan concentrates on romance and action, but it remains to be seen whether Desamuduru gets the same reception as Pokiri. The director, at times, appears a bit confused about whether to cater to the masses, or the multiplex classes; it is almost as if he was trying to cover all bases so as to get himself, and his hero, a hit.
Again, while showcasing the stunts and dances, the director forgets to pay attention to character development, with the result that the bonding between the couple is not too well established; you are left wondering why the hero takes such huge risks for her sake.
Music is clearly a plus point for the film; the song Ninne Ninnee has already become a chart topper. The beauty of Kulu-Manali is aesthetically canned, contributing to the film's visual appeal. On balance, you have to say the film is a mass entertainer, pure and simple, and at that level it works: there is not a single moment of boredom.