Film: Veedevadu; Director: Tatineni Satya; Cast: Sachiin Joshi, Esha Gupta, Kishore, Prabhu, Delhi Ganesh, Pratap Pothan
At the heart of it, Veedevadu is quite an interesting thriller that focuses more on the how and the why instead of being a regular whodunit. But due to commercialisation, or in this case, over-commercialisation, the end product ends up half baked. Here’s an example. In one scene, while playing kabaddi, a man picks up another and swirls him around his head with one hand. That’s one of the very few moments to evoke a chuckle (where it shouldn’t have) with the comedy scenes rarely hitting their mark. It’s high time filmmakers stop using transgender people as a source of humour. It’s crass, insensitive and anything but funny.
Veedevadu is a Tamil-Telugu bilingual, which may have more takers in Telugu than in Tamil. But, I think, even the usually masala loving Telugu audience may find this film a bit too much by the numbers. A cool-as-a-cucumber hero, a cigar-wielding menacing cop villain, a rich villain with a criminal background, a heroine who doesn’t get any screen space, despite supposedly being a major player, you name it, you’ve got it.
Fortunately, there’s more to Veedevadu than meets the eye. Beneath all those layers of triteness, including a love angle that’d make you forget the spelling of ‘chemistry’, people flying around in the name of playing kabaddi, people flying even more in the name of fight scenes and intolerable humour, lies an intriguing plot about a murder and why the lead finds himself in trouble. The cinematography is top notch, and the slow-mo scenes of actors playing kabaddi in rain are shown delightfully. Thaman’s music too works for the most part, sans the completely-out-of-place item number in the second half.
Veedevadu is a film that could’ve been much better if it wasn’t for all the unnecessary and counterproductive padding.