Sarrainodu

Sarrainodu

If all you want in a movie is plenty of gory fight scenes and a couple of good tunes then Sarrainodu is probably the film for you. But on the other hand, if you prefer a cohesive story with an actual plotline, semi-plausible romance and an attempt at more than one-dimensional stock characters, then best to steer clear. The one saving grace in Sarrainodu is Allu Arjun, who manages to entertain even while playing a violent, psychopathic stalker who nonetheless is actually the hero.

Bunny is Gana, ex-military, although ‘ex-‘ exactly what is never specified in a general vagueness that afflicts every character.  Gana spends his days bashing up offenders his lawyer uncle Sripathi (Srikanth) has failed to bring to justice in court, much to the frustration of his father (Jayaprakash) who feels he should be doing something more worthwhile with his life. The rest of the family dramatics follow Telugu Mass Movie Formula No 1, with the addition of a comedy track featuring Gana’s sister-in-law (Vidyullekha Raman), a Tamilian obsessed to the point of mania with sambar and Brahmi as a philandering brother-in-law. Neither of the two comedy tracks is funny and Brahmi’s sleazy character is particularly off with little relevance to the rest of the film but then that’s nothing unusual for this type of film.

With some nice symmetry, while Gana is belting the living daylights out of gangsters to reclaim land they appropriated, uber-villain Vairam Dhanush (Aadhi) is cheerfully slaughtering villagers to grab their land for his pipeline project. Vairam likes the sound of his own voice and witters on about ‘background’ as if the concept may have some significance to the plot later on. Perhaps it was meant to, but since the background of neither Gana nor Vairam (or anyone else for that matter) is given anything more than a brief mention, Vairam’s insistence on the concept makes little sense.

As a villain, Aadhi has a good sneer and appears appropriately nasty, but his character is so one-dimensional that Vairam himself has very little impact. He’s evil purely for the sake of being evil and naturally (adhering to TMMFNo1) he’s rich and privileged with the Chief Minister as his father and a large criminal network at his beck and call. Aadhi tries hard to give Vairam some personality but he has little to work with and his villain pales beside the spectacle of Gana’s righteous fury.

Gana falls in love with Hansitha Reddy (Catherine Tresa), oddly cast as a very unlikely MLA, and decides to follow the usual path to true love (TMMFNo1 again) by stalking the girl until she falls for his charms. This is even less viable than usual given that as an MLA Hansitha has the wherewithal to send Gana about his business, but bizarrely she declares her love for him instead. The path to true love is not smooth however and there is a complication in the form of Maha Lakshmi (Rakul Preet Singh), who falls heavily for Gana when he rescues her from Vairam’s thugs. Sadly neither of the romances works well at any point in the film and there is zero chemistry between Bunny and his two leading ladies, probably due to a lack of screen time together and therefore little opportunity for any relationships to develop.

Bunny is on top form here and single-handedly manages to hold the film together despite the many flaws and gaping holes in the barely-there plot. Whether he’s fighting or dancing he looks amazingly fit, and effortlessly switches between his devotion to Hansitha and his uncontrollable fury when he sees injustice against the helpless. As always he looks awesome in the song sequences where every dance routine features excellent footwork, amazing energy and that trademark Bunny grin. S.S. Thaman’s songs are catchy and memorable too, and the choreography is well suited to showcase the stylish star. He gets to wear some incredibly bright and colourful costumes and fares rather better in the wardrobe department than Catherine Tresca and Rakul Preet Singh, who both suffer from the curse of inappropriately skimpy Western style costumes in the songs, although both look stunning for the rest of the film. Anjali has a better time of it with her guest appearance in the item song blockbuster – which I love for many reasons, not the least of which being that one of the backing dancers is totally rocking a cool pair of specs – you go girl!

The other aspect of Sarrainodu that works well is the action, with fight sequences that are well imagined and expertly staged despite being incredibly violent and completely over the top. Where else would you have a fight scene on roller blades for example, or a wonderful stand-off by the hero beating numerous thugs while the participants in Puli Kali leap energetically around the fight? Most of the action contains a lot of slow-motion, but this highlights the choreography and showcases the small vignettes in the background – the bystanders, a horse bucking as it runs past and the portentously displaced gravel with every one of Gana’s footsteps. And it’s just as well that the action sequences are good as there are a lot of them – Gana spends most of the film fighting in increasingly violent and bloody encounters, throwing thugs around like confetti at a wedding and inflicting maximum damage on Vairam’s crime empire.

Boyapati Srinu adds almost every possible masala ingredient in this mish-mash of a film, but fails to provide a coherent plot or any rationale to his characters. I love a good mass entertainer – I don’t expect great character development or logic and realism in the plot, but there does need to be an actual plot and some sort of reason for the antagonism between the hero and the villain.Sarrainodu does not succeed by any of those criteria and yet I still enjoyed the film. The fight scenes are excellent, the dance sequences well worth watching and Allu Arjun puts in a magnificent performance that just about manages to overcome all the flaws in the film. One for the fans sure, but if you’re a fan this is Bunny at his best and that’s all that’s needed.

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10 thoughts on “Sarrainodu

  1. Somethings get lost in translation.

    The word “background” in Telugu vernacular (it is peppered with lots of word borrowed from English and Urdu) refers to a person’s antecedents, connections, wealth and track record. It has nothing to do with the story. When someone says, “You don’t know my background, he actually means, “You don’t who I am.”

    Disclaimer: I have not seen this movie.

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    • Hi Dellnar
      Thanks for your explanation. Love it when I get to learn more about the language 🙂 What you say makes perfect sense – and since the film follows the standard mass movie formula you really don’t need to have the seen the film!
      The word was used quite a few times by both Gana and Vairam so I thought there was going to be some disclosure about their relative ‘backgrounds’, but I can see now why that never happened 🙂 Background does sort of mean the same in English but in the context here we’d be more likely to say ‘You don’t know who I am’ or ‘You don’t know who you’re dealing with’. Much as you say is lost in the translation, or at least in my interpretation!
      The subtitles for Sarrainodu were actually pretty good 🙂
      Cheers, Heather

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      • Thanks, Heather,

        I agree completely with your comment on TMMF; if you have seen one, you have seen them all 😃.

        However, TMMF is like Hyderabadi Biryani….one knows what it tastes like, must have eaten it umpteen times, yet one craves for more…….

        PS: I wonder how the word Sarainodu has been translated. It is a colloquilism for a 3 word phrase Sari (correct), Ayina(one who is) and Vaadu (guy) – A Suitable Boy?

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      • 😀
        Exactly!
        I think it’s being translated as The Right Man – as in the right man for the job.
        Mostly the credits weren’t translated, including the title.
        Cheers, Heather

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  2. I gave this movie a pass initially, but it is doing so well at the boxoffice I decided to see what the fuss was all about. It was quite entertaining and yes it’s totally bunny’s movie with the catchy songs, the dance, over the top fights etc., This is the biggest hit for bunny as far as BO collections is concerned. It’s doing very well in the neighboring states of karnataka and kerala as well. Bunny earned such a large number of dedicated fans in kerala, he is also called mallu arjun lol.

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    • Hi Santosh,
      It’s not my favourite Bunny film, but he does work very hard and singlehandedly holds the film together. It’s all very OTT and mass, but I guess that’s what you expect from Boyapati Srinu 🙂
      Good songs though!
      Cheers, Heather

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      • Hi Heather,
        It’s not my favorite bunny film either, but it still was entertaining probably because I know what to expect from a Boyapati film 🙂 Although story is wafer thin and the movie is out and out a mass masala entertainer, I would say performances especially of bunny and aadhi are good. Even the supporting characters have done their job well in my opinion. I didn’t feel bored at all through out the movie. It’s definitely a one time watch.
        Btw, have you seen Trivikram’s A Aa? Samantha apparently has a meatier role than usual and the story is told from her character’s pov. Reviewers are lauding her performance in particular. So you might like it.
        /Santosh

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      • Hi Santosh,
        I saw A Aa on Friday. I thought it was good, but not amazing. The film is all about Samantha’s character so it is a more realised role, but I just didn’t like her personality in this and I also found the story lacked something – maybe energy? Samantha and Nithin were good, but the standouts for me were Nadhiya and Ananya as Samantha’s mother and Nithin’s sister respectively. They were fantastic!
        Definitely a bit of a different film for Trivkram though and I’m quite impressed that he’s moved away from his more usual hero centric action based style of film. 🙂
        Cheers, Heather

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      • @Heather
        I agree with you about A Aa. When you said you didn’t like Samantha’s personality in the movie, did you feel like she was bit of a spoiled brat? That’s how she came off to me anyways. Also, would you agree that the climax is very similar to the climax of Attarintiki Daredi?

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