Director: Vivek Krishna
Cast: Naga Chaitanya, Prabhu, Mukul Dev, Abhimanyu Singh, Koti Srinivas Rao, Amala Paul, Brahmanandam, M S Narayana
The camera follows a man walking into the lair of Kali Prasad (Prabhu), who rules the streets of Bezawada from his rocking chair. The man wants help: a goon is trying to grab his land. Kali deputes his second-in-command Vijay Krishna (Mukul Dev) to settle the issue. In typical mafia style, Vijay approaches the goon, tries reason first and. then when it fails, hunts him down in the gullies of Bezawada.
This is supposed to be the resolution for the matter.
Kali's younger brother Shankar Prasad (Abhimanyu Singh) is against this execution but is chastised by Kali, which sort of sets up the brother against the sidekick. This sets the stage for ‘Bezawada’ and what follows is crystal clear for even a blind man to see.
But leave it to Ram Gopal Verma to befuddle his audience. The protagonist of the movie is none of the characters revealed thus far. So what next? A song, of course!
Calling on the holy gods, or rather just one really vicious goddess, Vijay Krishna's younger brother, Siva Krishna (Naga Chaitanya) bursts forth randomly on the screen, looking mean, determined and....the scene changes before you can figure out what else. Now you feel the movie is settling down; the hero has entered and is determined to do something -- though you don't have the slightest clue as to what. But the plot will plod along.
Now without as much as a segue, it goes along to a, er, a marriage proposal. The rest of the movie proceeds in a similar disjointed fashion, with characters randomly being introduced.
About 30 minutes into the movie, you find yourself comparing ‘Bezawada’ to RGV 's first opus, the Nagarjuna-starrer ‘Shiva’, which now seems like the prequel of this.
The same elements: a student union with Goonda connections, a politician looking for local mafia support and a police officer's kin playing the love interest of the hero (who, please note, is called ‘Shiva’ in this movie); almost similar characterisation: a dutiful brother and friends who swear by the hero; and even a similar team: Ram Gopal Varma for one, Nagarjuna's son in the lead, Kota Srinivas as the politician's ambassador and even Subhalekha Sudhakar, whose brief screen time indicates he was there just for old times' sake.
Before long, ‘Bezawada’ convincingly fails at recapturing the essence of the 1990 box-office hit. The verdict: even RGV can't replicate the brilliance of ‘Shiva’.
Granted, Ram Gopal is only the producer of ‘Bezawada’, but the film fails on the basic points of movie making: it lacks a coherent plot, erratically following the hero as he goes from being a studious pupil of a nondescript college to becoming a formidable adversary to the antagonist. It utterly lacks proper characterisation. The antagonist's lust for power is explained away in one tiny conversation and Naga Chaitanya's transformation from romantic college kid to the ‘Bezawada’ version of Micheal Corleone happens too fast and in the movie's trademark disjointed fashion.
Amala Paul's role as the heroine is restricted to just being there. In comparison to the sophisticated characterisation of Asha in ‘Shiva’, Geeta (Amala Paul) merely provides feminine relief in a largely male-dominated screen space.
It is also disappointing to see talent like Kota Srinivas Rao, Brahmanandam, Subhalekha Sudhakar, M S Narayana and Ahuti Prasad completely underutilised and underplayed. Besides all these blatant shortcomings, the movie could have still scraped through if the dialogues weren't clichéd. The only redeeming factor is the cinematography.
The director (for the record, Vivek Krishna) shows some signs of coherence only when it comes to depicting violence. Even then, ‘Bezawada’ still harks back to ‘Shiva’: Chaitanya picks up a knuckle-duster and a chain (surprisingly, not a bicycle chain) in the two main fight sequences.
The background score too borrows heavily from the feel of – you guessed it – ‘Shiva’ and ‘Rakta Charitra’.
All in all, it probably would have been better if RGV decided to do a sequel to ‘Shiva’ rather than this apology for it.