It is a Tuesday and before our review, we at Popcorn Reviewss would like to wish you a very happy Holi. May everyone be in the pink of their health and wishing everyone prosperity. With that, I finished watching the new Telugu film Butta Bomma which is the official adaptation of the original Malayalam film Kappela.
A reason why I am a fan of Malayalam cinema is their ability to weave unassuming stories which a good sense of world building and characterization. And this was exactly why I had loved Kappela, which by the way had suddenly popped up in my recommendations in 2020. What began like a sweet love story, soon turned on its head at the end which did make my jaw drop in shock. The ability of the writing to make you believe in a certain manner, only to flip it at the end was a tricky proposition and that is where Kappela had scored and how! So I was a little curious and skeptical on how Butta Bomma would shape up and fair as compared to the original. Now that I have finished watching, here are my two cents on Butta Bomma.
Story & Screenplay
An official adaptation of the original Malayalam film Kappela, Butta Bomma follows the story of a young girl falling in love with a stranger wherein their future together lies in uncertainty. What happens next? The story is really good and quite layered with a tinge of a relevant social issue introduced at the end. But it is the screenplay standing at about a 110 minutes that is slightly patchy and doesn’t quite excel in its execution.
One of the major drawbacks of the film lies in the first hour wherein the love story needed to be established. In Kappela, there was an undercurrent of innocence on which the leisurely paced screenplay was built on. This in itself was an acid test here. But the proceedings are slightly sluggish and patchy although quite watchable. The organic flow in the screenplay was missing and instead you were served a couple of subplots which are cringe-worthy including the romantic track of the protagonist’s friend which was totally off the mark with its portrayal.
One important flaw in the screenplay was the characterization of Surya Vasishta(originally essayed by a brilliant Roshan Mathew) wherein there was a complete lack of sincerity and innocence to the character in the first half. This was a crucial cog for a spectacular pay off towards the end. The lack of connection to this character just weakened the drama further in my opinion. Another drawback was the leisurely buildup in the first hour which was edited in a way to make it fast paced. What that did was that it did not allow the audience to form opinions about the characters which was an important ingredient in the original.
Things begin to get better post the spectacular interval block with the drama becoming a faithful adaptation of the original. And this had more to do with the screenplay of the original shifting gears in the second half which did match the pace which was set here right through the first half. The proceedings do get interesting except that if you have watched the original then you would know exactly where this film is headed. The twist at the end is handled well here with a good little messaging at the end, thus summing up a screenplay which does end well but the patchy first hour ensures that it falls well short of the original.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are decent here but I really did wish that they had more conviction in the first hour. The music is alright, as is the BGM and both of them do add their moments to the drama. The cinematography is good but the editing is off in the first hour although it does get better in the second hour. Director Shouree Chandrashekhar has a bit of a mixed outing here. While the direction is found wanting in the first hour where the drama is disjointed, sluggish and lacks conviction, the second hour is slightly better and more faithful to the original.
The performances here are good but definitely several notches below the original. It was only Arjun Das who matches the performance if Sreenath Bhasi from the original. He is terrific here and has a great screen presence. Surya Vasishta is severely miscast here as he is unable to replicate the innocence of Roshan Mathew from the original. Looking at him, you could sense that something is off and it probably had a little to do with his eyes which did lack the conviction. This is not to say that he did a bad job but it was way off from the original. Anika Surendran as Satya has a sweet presence and is sincere but I really did miss Anna Ben and her charming innocent presence here. You were always invested in the original due to the conviction with which Anna essayed her role. The conviction was present here too but in lesser quantity.
Butta Bomma is a patchy and less convincing adaptation of the original Malayalam film Kappela. Available on Netflix.