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Legend: Romance in Red

Posted on the 28 March 2014 by Haricharanpudipeddi @pudiharicharan

Movie: Legend

Director: Boyapati Srinu

Cast: Balakrishna, Jagapathi Babu, Sonal Chauhan, Radhika Apte, Kalyani, Hamsa Nandini

Rating: *1/2

Boyapati Sreenu is clearly in a hangover with his own films. He has made Legend to give Balakrishna another chance to romance blood, punch-lines and politics instead of his female interests in the cast who are barely half his age. There’s little point in worrying about a plot that doesn’t care for its actors and even give them even one properly etched sequence or a remote opportunity to prove their worth. Of course, you don’t look for novelty in a film such as Legend but when you are not even sufficed by a conventional cocktail of humour, emotion and fabricated intense sequences, you know there’s something sorely missing in the proceedings.

Making it a habit to save a bunch of girls from the world’s most treacherous antagonists, Balakrishna gets a typical B Gopal like entry where his car literally bites the dust. He as usual enjoys being the savior and rips them apart. Then arrives Brahmanandam who so badly wants to become a buffoon yet again and be abused verbally, physically by everyone surrounding him. In another sequence in the second half, Balakrishna gets back to talk about protecting the system, being very adamant on restoring law and order in the place he resides. And what does he do next ? Positioning himself on a horse, stifling Ajay’s neck and dragging him on the roads, he sits in a market, gives warnings about murders laced with his fond ego-boosting replies to Jagapathi Babu and orders the cops to arrest the latter.

It’s high time that Boyapati gets rid of the anarchic ideas which worked for Simha and Dammu. Here, he happens to just weave a fake political drama-like setting to possibly cash in on the pre-elections phase. He has an immensely fragile core on hand. Sample this. The Dubai returned Balakrishna isn’t even given a frame in the second half. The director for long loses himself to the flashback and never quite comes out of it, only to hurry towards a climax that’s far from the ending that a hero-adoring project deserved. He projects two different time-lines of the 80′s and the late 2000′s but not even a frame is altered except for colouring the aging characters with white-dyes.

The women in Legend meanwhile consistently crib about violence and are up with lines about making peace, especially Sujatha Kumar. It’s understandable that he also wanted Jagapathi Babu to look wild and smell like danger with often-animal-like tendencies. His baddie act doesn’t have a proper basis at all when he goes on a killing spree. There’s no real desperation from his side to avenge or match calculations. The once bankable actor merely puts up ugly menacing expressions and mouths a series of lines that end with a certain champestha,narikestha,eseyandra and chastha. It always seems as if he is too satisfied waiting for the right sequence to surrender to his opponent.

Balakrishna can afford to come out of the factionist trap that he has inflicted upon himself since Narasimha Naidu. He still has the method to time his one-liners well. Neither does he need to dance in female-objectifying numbers to entertain nor stamp hard on the floor to create terror. Rest assured, Legend is one of the weakest films in the recent times that rides high on baseless conflicts. No legendary stuff, this!

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

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