Radhika Rajamani reviews the Telugu movie Baava.
Actor Siddharth is seen in Baava, a Telugu film which has a complete bucolic backdrop for the first time. Director Rambabu, who makes his debut with Baava has come up with a story not just set in a rural milieu but one which uses a time tested formula. In that sense, Baava is reminiscent of many other films in that genre.
Siddharth is paired opposite Praneeta for the first time in this love story-cum-family entertainer.
Baava falls within the usual pattern: boy sees girl, falls for girl and then the problems start which have roots in the past. The twists are pretty predictable so there's no element of suspense.
Veera Babu (Siddharth) from Venkatapuram is smitten by Varalakshmi (Praneeta). Initially it's hate at first sight for Praneeta which eventually turns into love at 'second' sight. She is being chased by Samrat, her baava (cousin) for marriage. But she wants to marry Veera Babu. Both belong to different villages which were once divided. In fact the deities of the village Rama Lakshmana, Sita and Hanuman too are divided between the villages with Sita being in the one Praneeta lives in. In the spur of the moment Veera Babu marries Varalakshmi. But the repercussions are many as the two families can't stand each other on account of an earlier incident. So the whole thing assumes larger dimensions instead of simply a boy marrying a girl.
The film has some good moments between father Sitaram Prasad (played by Dr Rajendra Prasad) and son Veera Babu. It has its share of sentiments and emotions too. But they don't seem engrossing. It becomes a bit languid in between despite the energetic songs scored by Chakri. The rural backdrop also seems a tad enforced with some staid elements (including a bicycle race) which makes the film stereotypical.
The presence of the lead pair Siddharth and Praneeta is lively and zestful. They are fun to watch in the first half. Sadly they cannot do much as they are hampered by the script.
Siddharth showcases a gamut of emotions perfectly and is earnest in his performance. Siddharth moves on to do a village-based guy from playing many urban roles. He has worked hard on his language (the east Godavari dialect) and has dubbed convincingly.
Praneeta equally complements Siddharth's performance. She also brings the necessary enthusiasm to her role. Dr Rajendra Prasad is good and lends some vibrancy but one wished there was more screen time for him. His role seemed very sketchy for an actor of his calibre. The presence of Brahmanandam and Ali are totally unnecessary.
The film shot in the verdant areas of coastal Andhra is pleasing to the eye though the film could do with tighter editing.
All in all, Baava is rather pedestrian fare. It's quite disappointing to see performances by the artistes go waste in a script like this.