Pelli SandaD Review: A listless drama where charade starts with the title
Movie: Pelli SandaD
Pelli SandaD Cast: Roshann Meka, Sree Leela, Prakash Raj and others
Pelli SandaD Director: Gowri Ronanki
Pelli SandaD Rating: 2/5
A whole generation was born after 'Pelli Sandadi', the classic, hit the screens in 1996 and became a run-away hit. It earned more than fifteen times its budget, if documented figures are anything to go by. Its legendary director, K Raghavendra Rao, is the supervisor of 'Pelli SandaD', the film under review. Roshan Meka, the hero of the 2021 film, is the son of Srikanth, the hero of its 25-year-old so-called predecessor. Quite honestly, 'Pelli SandaD' is more an awkward child of 'Gangotri' (Allu Arjun's debut movie, which was also directed by Rao) than a spiritual sequel to 'Pelli Sandadi'. Some filmmakers have the knack to mislead you with the very title itself, you see!
Vasishta (debutant Roshan Meka) is a wannabe basketball champion. His father (Rao Ramesh) is a control freak, but he is not the villain of the piece. Prakash Raj plays a feudal-minded moral police and he is the one you ought to hate. By a quirk of fate, his daughter Sahasra (debutante Sree Leela) falls in love with Vasishta, the free-spirited youngster who can fix issues between estranged couples as easily as Raghavendra Rao can deploy flowers and fruits in seductive duets. While he can make even an Olympic champion look like an under-achiever, he is doubly blessed to have as a competitor a buffoon named Chintoo (Vennela Kishore). A middle-aged housewife in the film often parrots what her husband utters. When asked why she does it, the good wife replies: "It gives me satisfaction if I repeat your words." The many age-old tropes in 'Pelli SandaD' suggest that the writing department watched masala films from a bygone era and told themselves: "It gives us satisfaction if we repeat those ideas as it is."
The male lead travels a few dozen kilometers to meet his lover and attributes the whole thing to destiny. Usually, Telugu heroes are shown heralding incredible mindset changes by delivering a monologue. 'Pelli SandaD' goes a step further. Its hero is shown heralding incredible mindset changes without delivering a monologue. Vasishta tells Sahasra that he can withstand any punishment in the world but not her silence. As he utters the line, we wonder when he fell so deeply in love with her in the first place. The love track takes off in the backdrop of a wedding, where the oddball characters (played by the likes of Raghu Babu and Tanikella Bharani) resort to slapstick comedy to extract laughs. Just so that you believe that a wedding is taking place, a character says, 'This is how things are in a wedding'.
Every single trope and every single sub-theme in the film is so archaic that when two dark-complexioned comedians bump into each other, you can predict what kind of nonsense they are going to utter in the name of comedy. Besides the lead pair, whose performances are surprisingly good (Sree Leela is cute and also dances really well, while Roshan is promising), MM Keeravani is one talent who delivers goods. Had the song 'Bujjulu Bujjulu' featured a medium-range hero, it would have been one of the biggest chartbusters of the decade. 'Madhura Nagarilo' and 'Premante Enti', too, are charming.