Arjuna Phalguna Review
Teja Marni is the author and director of the 2021 Indian Telugu-language criminal comedy film Arjuna Phalguna. Gaurav Pareek, Amritha Aiyer, and Sree Vishnu are the main actors. The movie opened in theatres on December 31, 2021.
Priyadarshan composed the music, and Niranjan Reddy and Avesh Reddy, under the Matinee Entertainment brand, produced the movie.
Cast and Crew
Storyline and Screenplay:
Sudheer Varma P.
The Plot of the Movie
Arjun, Ram Babu, Thadodu, Oscar, and Shravani are five buddies who live in a tiny East Godavari hamlet together and share everything. The protagonist Arjun is a fan of Jr. NTR. Instead of moving to a major city and working for more money, he would prefer to remain in his hometown and work for less. He continues living with his parents and supports his dad in the family dairy.
One day, the bank tries to confiscate Thadodu's home, but the bank manager grants additional time at the request of their village sarpanch, who also acts as a private lender. However, the manager demands a payment to control the issue, so Arjun is compelled to provide his beloved cow security to Naresh by borrowing Rs. 50,000 to pay a bribe.
Arjun, skilled at creating the ideal soda, subsequently wishes to launch his own soda company with his buddies. He files for a loan, but the bank manager demands a Rs. 50,000 bribe. Arjun and his buddies can earn money needed to liberate the home and the money needed for the bribe by transferring cannabis to their old enemy Vamsi, who is now a rural gambler.
Despite their initial reluctance, they eventually agreed to the stipulations due to their pressing requirements. The transfer is unsuccessful, and Subba Raju "Subbu," a dishonest police officer who poses as a rigorous officer, pursues the group. But with Sravani's unexpected assistance, Arjun and his crew can escape his grasp. When they finally arrived at the Andhra-Orissa border to transfer the marijuana, they discovered that Subbu had switched the bags while hunting for the Rs. 50 lakhs in cash.
After a scuffle and an attempt by the gang to steal the money from them, they flee to Vizag. There, the gang of smugglers and the cops that support Subbu were once more apprehended. But Arjun plays a cunning trick on them by having them face off against one other before fleeing to their village. Knowing the truth, Subbu joins the smugglers and becomes determined to apprehend Arjun and his companions.
They concealed the bag in a haystack when they got to their hamlet and then started waiting for the right time to distribute the money. They chose not to approach the Sarpanch since they knew Sunita, the daughter of the Sarpanch, was engaged to be married to Subbu. Later, the bank manager arrived to confiscate Thadodu's residence, claiming that the time window had expired.
Arjun then proceeded to take the money, but to their surprise, the haystack and the entire amount had been torched. The group opted to labor in the city because all hope had been lost. Arjun surreptitiously encounters his favorite cow one final time there, where he also gets to glimpse the Sarpanch's face.
The Bank manager, the Sarpanch's accomplice in crime, decided to seize the peasants' lands on the cheap. He gives the villagers a loan with a low-interest rate to pay off their bank debts whenever they cannot make their payments by convincing them that the villagers are honorable guys. At the same time, he agreed with the manager that he would purchase the confiscated lands from the bank at a reduced price in exchange for a fee that the manager received in private.
Sarpanch is fully aware that because impoverished farmers like Thadodu cannot repay their loans, it is simple for him to seize such properties from them and launch his scheme. Arjun threatens the Sarpanch by revealing his true identity to the community after learning the truth, leaving him no choice. The Sarpanch arrives to negotiate, believing that his son-in-law is very strict and that if the truth were out, it would damage his family's reputation.
Then Arjun strikes a deal with the locals to return the lands he had taken. Except for Thadodu's house, which he confesses he had given Subbu as a dowry, the Sarpanch complies with his request. Then Subbu threatens Arjun for the first time, displaying a private film he had made while on the run with the money saved for his protection. The intentions of Subbu indicate to their pursuers that Subbu is organizing an animal trade by collaborating with the state's minister of forest care.
A journalist who keeps track of his activities and holds him for ransom was apprehended and detained by Subbu in a cheating case. Unfortunately, the cannabis bag was switched for the facts and the cash.
Then, with no other choice, Subbu falls on Arjun's knees to negotiate, hoping his father-in-law is sincere. Then Arjun gives the polite command to surrender Thadodu's territory.
The plan then succeeds as expected. Later, Arjun hears via a news article that Subbu arrested Vamsi for trading false currency and was given a promotion. When Arjun conceals the bag, Vamsi notices it, steals the full sum, and burns the haystack, revealing that it is made up entirely of phony notes. The movie has a joyful ending.
Based on Critics
For his second picture, Teja Marni, who made his directorial debut with Johar in 2020, opts for a crime-comedy. He attempts to keep his grounded sensibilities while being a little more commercialized than in his debut. The outcomes aren't even inconsistent. The results could be better from the beginning.
Arjun Phalguna's issue, however, stems from the commercialization factor. The filmmaker makes an effort to include humor in the story. The title Arjuna Phalguna's significance is clarified in the first scene. No, Arjuna's last name is not Phalguna. According to a mythologically significant narrative, when the protagonist is in crisis and requires courage and fortitude, he says, "Arjuna Phalguna," and everything turns out OK.
The goal was to create a criminal comedy set in a small town. The narrative occurs in contemporary coastal Andhra, where four male pals are all inevitably unemployed and reckless. Tiny employment for their female companion is secured. The character of Rangasthalam Mahesh is discouraged by Sree Vishnu from moving to the city in quest of work. He creates a business strategy. Their families plunge into the depths before they realize it for various reasons.
He blames his buddies' actions and behaviors for this. Their encounters with other world figures comprise a significant portion of the first half. Contrary to what the movie's trailer led us to expect, neither the five friends nor the warriors are super-honest. They appear to be pranksters whose portrayals are deceptive.
Four unemployed pals strive to find work in the movie's opening scenes. Then, as the scenario changes to Vizag and the perspective of marijuana smuggling enters the narrative, it turns out to be an action drama. Later, the cops (played by Subbaraj) and the hero appear to be playing a game of cat and mouse. It also makes an effort to be an emotional melodrama.
Additionally, it mimics "Jathi Ratnalu." The movie's second section details their struggles and how they meet a police officer (Subbaraju), flee, and eventually arrive at their hamlet. They bury the loot under a haystack with the joyful intention of helping the locals whom loan sharks are terrorizing, only to discover that the haystack has burned and the officer has returned. However, how did Arjuna escape this situation?
By illustrating how Arjuna's sheer brilliance allows the protagonist and his allies to escape from impossible circumstances, the filmmaker wants to pique viewers' curiosity. This movie is about friendship, yet it feels like the hero is the only one who has to keep moral principles. After a brief excursion outside of the village, the story returns there. There is a significant dramatic change in tone that was briefly mentioned in the first half.
The writing could be more well-balanced between the action, emotional drama, and underlying situational comedy. Ultimately, the tone's lack of clarity is Arjuna Phalguna's worst issue. The movie makes us question whether it is a sad drama about the condition of the underprivileged and jobless in a village or a slice-of-life drama that combines comedy and seriousness.
In any scenario, it is OK if the plot doesn't provide anything new; the writing and characters should be able to make up for it. But something other than the type is provided here. We are presented with a dull story that proceeds without generating any interest. Moments that are commonplace, practical, and grounded remain grounded without leaving an impact.
As a result, the emotions exhaust one's energy and make watching tiresome. Arjun Phalguna's goal of creating a grounded, authentic emotional drama is good overall. The picture wanders for two hours because the filmmaker frequently changes the tone. The 2-hour film is a 4-hour narrative.
A fantastic song was wasted by music director Priyadarshan B for a narrative that didn't merit it. The cinematography of Jagadeesh Cheekati is simple. The chases and fighting could be better, while Sudheer Varma P's speech is commonplace. The performance of Sree Vishnu barely makes it.
While he excelled in "Raja Raja Chora," this storyline fails to live up to his previous brilliance. Compared to Mahesh, Amritha Aiyer needs to be more coherent. Devi Prasad fails to create an impression, whereas senior Naresh goes above and above. In a nutshell, Arjun Phalguna is one of the worst films of 2021 and has nothing to say.
Based on Viewers
The movie Arjuna Phalguna received a range of reactions from the audience. Several of them awarded the film 8, 9, and 10 on a scale 10, praising the director and plot. On the other hand, some viewers rated the film less than five on a scale of 10. Some individuals gave the film average ratings as well.
One audience member said after seeing the film that it was the worst movie he had seen in the previous three years. After seeing the movie, another person stated that the film's director was absent. The director should first attempt his hand at directing after serving as an assistant for at least another ten films. The small plot line and lack of vision, he further added.
Another negative review of the film stated that the first half was disappointing due to several cringe-worthy jokes and subpar narration. There are some moving moments in the second half, which is all right. Additionally, he claims that, in reality, Arjuna Phalguna disappoints because of its mediocre writing, lackluster director, and poor narrative.
The crew tried to build a movie out of whatever material was captured after realizing that the desired outcome of the film was not occurring, he added further. Another criticism of the film was that the filmmaker expected us to trust his illogical film and that the film's direction destroyed logic in every manner conceivable. The movie doesn't have a narrative.
There were a few more negative remarks about the film that one might read from the spectator. I expected Sree Vishnu to make something other than this kind of film. He trusts the comedic touches and storylines in the Sree Vishnu and Nara Rohit flicks. But it's not even worth viewing this once. A total headache script with annoying songs and sequences, along with an outdated film format.
Regarding the statements made in the movie's acclaim, one spectator said, "This was a great movie!" He couldn't understand why the other evaluations were so bad since his entire family had enjoyed the film. It's spotless and lovely. One of the greatest films he's seen in a while.
Another person praised the movie's plot, saying it had a lovely village, an emotional link between friends, and the characters' naivety. Their cooperation in difficult circumstances. The characters are all excellent. Sri Vishnu played a wonderful part. He adored the film.
Another individual praised the film, stating it was peaceful and profound. Vishnu, Mahesh, and their pals behaved extremely naturally. In his opinion, the twists worked well. The movie's overall result is excellent.
Additionally, the movie received some average reviews and ratings from the audience. One of them stated that the film began, especially with the tale of Arjuna and how his qualities as a hero parallel those of Arjuna in the Mahabharata. The script and plotline were poor, and the actors and crew were excellent, but the plot, setting, and background music were all excellent.
This would have been another success for Sri Vishnu had the director had some expertise. It is an ordinary movie overall and may be skipped. Another commenter said that while the movie was nice, the songs and background music were atrocious. Forwarding songs allows for watching. However, some of the background music is seriously making people anxious. Whatever the case may be, it's still entertaining.
Although Arjuna Phalguna has a grand idea and some aesthetically arresting sequences, the execution is lacking. The complicated plot and inconsistent pacing make it challenging to get completely involved in the tale. Although the movie has brilliant moments, the spectator eventually wishes it had more cohesion and consistency.
The movie Arjuna Phalguna has divided reviewers and spectators alike. Although it features beautiful cinematography and a distinctive plot, it must provide a seamless and enjoyable experience.
The movie offers a feast for the senses visually. The beautiful vistas and vibrant colors draw the spectator into a captivating realm. The well-choreographed and aesthetically beautiful action sequences highlight the film's technical mastery. The movie, nevertheless, needs help with its narrative.
Many viewers find it difficult to follow the story since the plot is complicated and frequently needs clarification. Long stretches of inaction are interspersed with flashes of furious activity, resulting in an inconsistent pace. This disparity makes it difficult for the movie to keep up a steady pace and keep the viewer interested throughout.
Furthermore, the characters could be more varied and developed, which makes it challenging for the audience to connect with them on an emotional level. The performances are good, but they can only make an effect if there is little to work with. The conflicting reviews from both reviewers and viewers highlight these flaws.
Some laud the film's novel technique and stunning images while complimenting its lofty aesthetic goal. Others, who yearn for a more compelling and persuasive story, find it annoyingly opaque and lacking in substance. Arjuna Phalguna is ultimately an ambitious yet imperfect movie. It surely has brilliant moments but needs to catch up to its full potential due to poor character development and plot.