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Basanthi: Inane Genre Mishmash

Posted on the 28 February 2014 by Haricharanpudipeddi @pudiharicharan

Movie: Basanthi

Director: Chaitanya Dantuluri

Cast: Raja Goutham, Alisha Baig, Tanikella Bharani, Ranadheer and Sayaji Shinde 

Rating: *1/2

Having a film like “Baanam” in mind would do little good for a viewer who for a minimum at least expects out-of-the-box ideas from director Chaitanya Dantuluri prior to watching a lousy result like Basanthi which doesn’t even manage to fit into a particular genre to be given credit for whatever it presents or attempts to do so. The literal no-show is a fabricated excuse to setup a hero-worshipping scenario to revive Gautham’s acting career as the need to depict an elevated terrorism backdrop, a seige drama, a love story and a college rebellion all at once doesn’t also justify its very purpose, glorify its idol-like savior, the male lead Arjun, which sadly is its most uninteresting character too.

A Gaganam-like drama in the second half has the plane hijack episode conveniently substituted by a college. There are no true-to-life details that you get to hear whether it’s the terrorist groups or their budget-ridden avatars, they never have the aggression or the deeply ingrained beliefs of such groups. The actors make childish attempts to sound fearsome and shout at everything they get to see. Amidst these, there is nothing that possibly ensures a liking towards the lead character when he plans to propose to his lady-love. The pointlessness is on display when he confesses of having no real life beyond college besides weekend trips with his father giving him words of motivation to encourage his son’s love proposal. He has a die-hard friend circle to whom he devotes minute attention but only goes on to do a rescue act for his girl without a thought. How do we actually care for a character and a story written like this ?

Technical flair is something that would have made it a watchable result even forsaking its follies. Most importantly, you don’t need a dialog writer who lets his characters slip into fake English and Hindi accents amidst Telugu one-liners just because they are to be perceived as city-bred individuals who sound cheesy. When trapped by terrorists,the lines that the male lead and his gang utters are atrocious if the need of the hour is to use a kinder word, as they pointlessly go on about farewell treats and the names of the children that he and his romantic interest would go on to have in the future. “You are just impossible”, the heroine says describing her counterpart and we get the point of the director-writer exactly.

Emotion is a far-fetched supposition in “Basanthi” as its intense situations never even bother to alter the blank expressions that you put-forth through its entire running time. The premise of an early unconnected bomb blast, marketing a dummy device  in place of a signal jammer and an out of nowhere Vandemataram background score when the commando arrives are a few examples of how outdated and uninteresting the under-nourished plot is executed. Alisha Baig, Shinde, Tanikella Bharani and Ranadheer too fall prey to the futile child’s play here. Chaitanya for having made a mess of all the resources at his disposal inclusive of Mani Sharma’s score makes you cringe for having lost two hours that went on to amplify nothing but nothingness.

Review by Srivathsan N, who had originally written it for Cinegoer.net

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