Film: Nenu Devudni
Cast: Arya, Pooja, and others
Dialogues: Sri Ramakrishna
Lyrics: Vanamali and Bharat Acharya
Cinematography: Arthur Wilson
Editing: Suresh Urs
Art: Krishna Murthy
Stunts: Kanal Kannan, Super Subbarayan
Produced by: KS Srinivasan
Story and directed by: Bala
CBFC Rating: U/A
Release Date: Feb 6, 2009
What’s it about?
Rudra (Arya) is left in Kasi by his father as astrologers suggested not to see the father and son each other. Rudra is raised as kala bhairav in Kasi and lead life as devout sadhu. 14 years later, his father comes in search of his son and is shocked to see him as Aghora. Rudra’s guru tells him to go with his father and come back after severing all the ties. But he doesn’t stay at his home and instead lives with other local sadhus on a temple mountain. A local mafia leader who controls beggars tries to sell off a blind beggar (Pooja). Rudra kills the mafia leader.
Tamil director Bala is one of the finest directors we have in India. His films Sethu and Shiva Putrudu (Pitamagan) ushered in new trends and inspired many directors in South India in portraying realism on screen. Hence, his latest offering, Nenu Devudni, created a curiosity among Telugu audiences too. Sadly, Nenu Devudni leaves all of us (including fanatic off-beat movie lovers like this reviewer) in a big disappointment. The story has no purpose and at the end of climax, the question remains on everyone’s mind - as to what the director has tried to say. It certainly not about ‘aghoras’ or ‘life of Kala Bhairava’s. The life of ‘aghora's part in Kasi is hardly 10 minutes, which, no doubt, is riveting. The film more delves on how beggars are treated by cunning local mafia leaders and how they are exploitated.
We don’t get any straightforward answers to the intention of the movie. Is the movie about the pretence of idol worship in Hinduism? Or about how ‘Dharma Bikshatana’ losing its meaning and has become a racket now? Or about a disgruntled son taking revenge on their parents? No clarity in the movie.
Climax sequence makes farce of the whole exercise of the director’s whatever intention. Rudra’s Guru asks him to come back after severing ‘bhava bandhalu’ and Rudra returns to Kasi after granting ‘maranam’ to the heroine with whom he doesn’t have any attachment in the first place. She is not his lover nor she related to him nor does they develop a bond or friendship. Then how does he got disheartened to return to Kasi? What is purpose in coming to his village – just to grant ‘maranam’ to a blind girl? If the girl wants to end life she could easily do on her own and why would she seek it from Rudra?
In one word there is no purpose to the script. As a director, Bala is undoubtedly a great technician but he disappointed us this time with his hollow plotline.
Aarya should be commended for his hard work and dedication. He looks menacing and maintains the same look through out the movie. Pooja as the blind girl gives award-winning performance. The glamorous girl has gone for complete de-glamorized role and she does it with honesty. Especially in the climax scene her make-up and acting is terrific. The look of the Guru of Kala Bhairav is good. Rest of the actors who acted as beggars and other roles have done neat job.
Cinematography by Arthur Wilson is excellent. Krishna Murthy’s artwork and Kanal Kannan and Super Subbarayan’s fights are realistic. Director Bala has shown his ‘master’ touch many scenes but he is disappointed by his own weak script.
Praise worthy points
- The first and foremost re-recording by maestro Ilayaraaja is outstanding. His music is haunting and sometimes very spiritiual. Best part of the movie is definitely Ilayaraaja’s musical score. In our country, he is god of re-recording.
- Performances by the lead actors – simply superb.
- The dedication shown by the filmmakers and realistic (really hard to absorb some visuals) portrayal of beggars and their life (like in Slumdog Millionaire)
Nenu Devudni is disappointment from director Bala. Except for the first 15 minutes, rest of the movie is hard to diges. It has very disturbing visuals and the movie is too dark than Bala's previous movies. Its script is weak and the movie has no purpose.