Movie: Nela Ticket
Cast: Ravi Teja, Malvika Sharma, Jagapathi Babu, Sampath Raj
Direction: Kalyan Krishna
At a time when Telugu cinema is building a new identity by pushing the envelope with some fascinating storylines, here comes Ravi Teja-starrer Nela Ticket which sticks to the safety of tried-and-tested formula.
The film starts off with the swearing in ceremony of Aditya Bhupathi (Jagapathi Babu), the new home minister, who is driven by greed and fear of failure. He plans a premeditated conspiracy to assassin his father, a senior politician Ananda Bhupathi (Sarath Babu) for property and money. As expected, someone (here, a reporter) nails the culprit through a video footage and is being attacked by the minister's henchmen and eventually slips into coma. When everything seems going well for Aditya Bhupathi, he meets Nela Ticket (Ravi Teja), an orphan with a philosophy -- 'Chuttu janam, madhyalo manam, ala undali ra life ante (Surround yourself with people that make the life happy) and has a temper that flares when anyone humiliates elderly people. The rest is all about how this happy-go-lucky youth turns into a tireless messiah figure for the old, oppressed and is focused to expose the wolf in the sheep’s clothing.
Director Kalyan Krishna almost tries to tap into every relatable issue to derive some of the dialogue in the story. You will see some of the things leading to all sorts of silly banter between the protagonist and the antagonist. Predictable to the point of being a bore fest, this film is really a psychic test for everyone who's brave enough to sit through 167 minutes.
The hero goes to great lengths and comes out of the blue to make sure some instances doesn't happen again. What's really hard is that way in which the story unfolds, and the annoying side characters you get introduced to, including hero's friends, the house owner and his friend with benefits and also Brahmanandam, who doesn't have one significant dialogue and is relegated to the background!
The promotional videos and the posters of Nela Ticket make it a point that it is a masala entertainer. And with Ravi Teja hailed as the darling of masses in the lead, one would expect the film to be high on entertainment with a gripping narrative. But, it falters right from the word go owing to the lacklustre presentation and amateurish treatment. Although the contrast between the hero-villain is stark, the internal conflicts between them in the tale should make the audience nostalgic. It should mirror the struggle involving enough thrills to outwit one another. But, it’s at surface level and doesn't look appealing as the villain’s strategies backfire, seem vulnerable, imperfect and imbecile.
Ravi Teja is shown in a larger-than-life role and everything about him is predictable. He carries the film on his shoulders and plays it to the galleries displaying varied emotions. The perfect enhancement to Ravi Teja's character comes from Jagapathi Babu, who has an impressive body language and a menacing grin that he brings some amount of gravitas to the film.
Despite her poorly etched role, Malvika Sharma looks real as a medico. Prudhvi just about manages to evoke a few laughs but his efforts are in vain as it doesn't work in most cases. Posani Krishna Murali, Raghu Babu, Ali, Priyadarshi and Subba Raju make up for a weak plot. Sampath Raj and Surekha Vani lift in an ordinary part.
Shakthikanth Karthick's music has no shelf-life and Ravi Teja's dance movements don't give any props for his fans.
To say the least, Kalyan Krishna has churned out a film that doesn’t bring the audience to their feet and falls short in many places literally testing their patience.