Imagine someday that you start forgetting things just like that, not on purpose but casually and as a matter of fact. Then try imagining that the same thing becomes a habit by default, not under your control at all. Added to this is the prospect of getting distracted easily and hence losing focus. Ever imagined the kind of problems one would end up facing on account of this malady? The prospects of getting into trouble are unlimited and it takes someone with a lot of acumen and street smartness to manage his/her life despite all odds. You don’t have to trouble yourself to imagine hard about someone like this, right here in our midst is one such guy, the hero of Maruthi Dasari’s recent Telugu release, Bale Bale Magadivoy. Maruthi Dasari has been a prolific industry professional, having already directed 4 movies in the last few years, apart from producing/co-producing a few more.
Starting off by making films on a shoestring budget without stars and making them a commercial success, Ee Rojullo and Bus Stop (both released in 2011) being examples. After the surprise success of Prema Katha Chitram (2013-written and produced by him), he went on to make Kotha Junta (2014) which was produced by Bunny Vas for Geetha Arts. Now once again Maruthi’s latest film, Bale Bale Magadivoy has been produced by Bunny Vas. The film’s title draws inspiration from a popular song from K.Balachander’s classic Maro Charitra (1978). Though the film was released without too much of fanfare, the film has taken the audiences and the industry by surprise thanks to the freshness to the tale.
Lucky (Nani) is a scientist who lives with his parents (Naresh and Sithara). He has almost everything in his life in control, well almost, except for one problem-his memory is his weakness. Lucky keeps forgetting things and is easily prone to distraction. Due to this reason he unfortunately ends up spoiling a likely marriage alliance for himself, alienating the girl’s father in the process. Lucky then falls in love with Nandana (Lavanya Tripathi) who is unaware of his problem of forgetfulness. Fearing that she may not like him if she discovers his memory problem he hides the same and smartly covers it up brightly every time when in trouble. But things get crazy when Lucky realizes that Nandana’s father (Murali Sharma) is the same person whom he had alienated earlier unknowingly. So how does Lucky go on to handle Nandana and convince/treat her father in the processand how does the forgetful Lucky emerge triumphant in the tale is what the rest of the film is all about.
Surprisingly here in a welcome departure from his more “adult” oriented themes Maruthi Dasari comes up with a completely family oriented film with a rather simple plot. However what’s unique about the film is not really the plot as such, instead it is the character of the main lead, as the protagonist Lucky is someone who has a genuine problem with a potential to get into a lot of issues. However the challenge I guess lay in making sure that the audience relate to Lucky as a believable and an extremely likeable character. By now considering the response that the film has generated it is indeed right to say that Maruthi Dasari has managed to walk the thin rope and emerge victorious. An added advantage being the fact that Nani and Lavanya Tripathi make a great pair on screen, she provides an ideal foil to the super charged Nani. Another positive aspect of the film lies in the form of Nandana’s father portrayed by Murli Sharma, thankfully it’s not a typical father’s character and he lends the tale a lot of dignity and charm.
More or less the film tries hard not to try the beaten path and the only moment when the film gets a little formulaic is when the climax approaches as there is the mandatory long drawn fight, most likely a chance to show off the heroic side of Lucky. Besides that the film is quite innovative in terms of writing. References to films like Atharintiki Daaredi, Baasha and Shankar Dada MBBS/Munnabhai MBBS happen in an interesting fashion, Nani’s imitation of Rajinikanth in particular is a treat to watch. Nizar Shafi’s cinematography is top notch as the film is filled with vibrant visuals. With a run time of 145 minutes, the film never really has a dull moment, credit to editor Uddhav S.B for lending a big hand to director Maruthi Dasari. Music by Gopi Sunder is another plus point for the film. The songs (all of them written by Ramajogayya Sastry) have a lot of variety and come in at the right time, without breaking the flow of the tale.
While “Motta Modatisari” (sung by Sachin Warrier) is a lovely romantic number, “Hello Hello” (sung by Karthik and Chinmayi) and “How How” (sung by Karthik) are fun numbers. It’s also heartening to see a good rendition of “Endaro Mahanubhavulu” (sung by Renuka Arun) which is a pleasing to the ears. Bale Bale Magadivoy has a good star cast, all of them doing justice to their roles. Sithara and Naresh are wonderful as Lucky’s parents; the interactions between Naresh and Nani are a treat to watch. Madhumita as Nandana’s sister in law and Srinivasa Reddy as the pesky relative of Nandana are competent, while Praveen and Vennela Kishore handle the comedy element without going overboard. It’s heartening to see the leading man Nani himself leading from the front as far as the humour quotient is concerned. Ajay as the wicked cop with an eye on Nandana is effective but predictable too. In particular it’s a delight to see Murali Sharma in the film, is the surprise element of the film, as Nandana’s father he brings in a whole new dimension and has probably even dubbed for himself, quite a feat indeed. Lavanya Tripathi seems to be improving with film after film and here she not only fits into the role of Nandana well but also shares a great chemistry with Nani.
A film like this totally rests on the shoulders of the leading man and Nani doesn’t disappoint Maruthi Dasari or the audience. If you can ignore a logical problem with respect to the memory issue faced by Nani, it is totally to his credit for the way he looks so convincing in going about his actions. In the bargain we actually end up completely loving a character, a character which ran the risk of being seen as negative otherwise. If you wondered why Nani has been tagged as ‘Natural Star’ during the opening credits then it becomes clear as the film ends. Eventually Bale Bale Magadivoy totally reasserts that Nani is a talent to watch out for and that Maruthi Dasari has indeed surprised us with a clean family entertainer. Go watch Bale Bale Magadivoy, this is one film you can be happy to laugh along with and believe me you wouldn’t have any issues on this front at least :).