Disclaimer. Strictly for Telugu movie goers and people who are wondering who the big-butt in the picture is.
Am just back after watching Shankardada Zindabad; the remake of a truely brilliant movie Lage Raho Munnabhai. I remember I watched Lage Raho on the day of its release in Ahmedabad and immediately after the show , i said "Send it to the Oscars" . It came close to being the Indian nomination but in the end missed out. I wanted to see how good it's telugu remake would be. For starters, the movie's directed by Prabhudeva and Shankardada is played by Mega Star Chiranjeevi.
The telugu version did not open to the regular Chiranjeevi crowds. The fact that i bought the ticket straight from of the counter is a testimony to that fact. It doesn't happen often with big
starrers in this part of the world.The first day talk too didn't live up to the expectations. All the more reason i wanted to watch it.
The director Prabhudeva played safe and sensibly so by making a frame-to-frame remake of the original.I actually liked what the director did because i think he would have missed the point had he tried to fiddle with original and include something of his own . So first things first, he respected the original like i wanted him to. Prabhudeva and his film one set up for their right intentions.
This being a remake i won't comment on the plot and the screenplay of the movie but one thing to watch out for was the performances. I felt a couple of roles were terribly miscast. The villain and especially the heroine. She looked inadequate in the movie and we missed Boman Irani and Arshad Warsi bigtime. So a few scenes looked a little out of place. This made the scores level. One set each.
But wait, that's only a part of the story.Having watched so many hollywood movies and having seen actors from Humphrey Bogart to the that little girl Abigail Breslin is Little miss Sunshine , we often tend to downplay our own actors. I did that too hundreds of times. But let me get things straight here. We have brilliant actors too and Chiranjeevi is one of them . I know some of them will hate me for but i mean to say Chiranjeevi is one great actor. Like it or not. So full marks to Chiranjeevi for carrying this role with his usual panache.
So that makes it 2-1 to Shankardada Zindabad.
The main surprise came when i was looking forward to watch that sequence which was excellent in the original . The pan-spitting and the old uncle-stripping episode. To everyones surprise Prabhudeva didn't remake them but simply dubbed them to telugu. I thought he could have done better considering there would be people who already watched Lage raho. So after a tuff fourth set, 2-2 it is. (Some of them might have liked it and sealed it 3-1 for the movie but i thought otherwise)
But here's the decider. The numerous guest appearances that were well timed. You will find a few biggies in the industry there but the highlight of the movie for someone who's already watched the original was the rocking item number "Akalesthe" rendered by Mamtamohan Das and to which none other than YanaGupta sizzled on screen.
So that long sentence seals it for Shankardada Zindabad. It wins three sets to two. Not extraordinary but definetely watchable. Especially if you haven't seen the original !!!
P.S: I confess, i thought "Neal and Nikki" was watchable. [:D]