If I were to pose a question, what is cinema to you, what would be your answer? For me cinema is a way of life that that opens new horizons with each new film that I watch. It allows me to get a sneak peek of the various cultures around the world. And because of cinema I have made many new friends too and it is a joy discussing various topics with like minded people. And with that I have just finished watching the Telugu Flick Cinema Bandi on Netflix. I did not watch its trailer but did read its synopsis, and I was definitely intrigued by it. Is it worth your time, stay tuned.
Story & Screenplay
Cinema Bandi follows the story of a Rickshawala in a village who finds a camera left behind in his vehicle. And with that he decides to make a film. The premise in itself intriguing and hilarious. The screenplay compliments the story pretty well. It is taut and crisp and definitely will make you laugh and shed a little tears at the end. The best part about the screenplay is that it goes straight to the point without dilly dallying or beating around the bush. So you are into the drama right from scene one. The whole proceedings of gathering a team to shoot and then the histrionics of filmmaking will remind you of the 1988 film Cinema Paradiso but with a local twist and flavour to it. The twists in the screenplay will make you smile and laugh and overall marvel at the execution that I will get to in a minute. Simplest of premises transforming in a writing masterclass, that is exactly how the screenplay is.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are quirky and hilarious that will make you chuckle in some and laugh your hearts out in others. The music blends really well with the drama and best part is it does not stall the drama. The BGM is fantastic and really stands its own. Director Praveen Kandregula does a fabulous job keeping things light and frothy and never letting it get over dramatic. And the humour is intact throughout which makes this movie work like a gem!
Sindhu Murthy is such a natural in a cameo as Sindhu. Trishara as Divya exudes of innocence in an interesting character with an interesting fate. Uma Gopalappa as Manga is so cute when shes angry, her aggression will leave a smile on your face. Sirivennela Yanamamdhala as Gangotri is a silent support to her ambitious husband, a job very well done. Rag Mayur as Maridesh is hilarious to the core. There are plenty of scenes where he has to act badly and the great actor that he is, will make you chuckle every single time. Sandeep Varanasi as Gana who handles the camera is equally hilarious. He will make you laugh your lungs out. But he excels in that one emotional scene towards the end too. Great acting. Vikas Vasishta as Veera is the star of the show. A character who is bitten by the cinema bug and who has a passion for films, a complex character in a village setup with many aspects to him and he carries out his performance like a dream. Such earnestness with impeccable comic timing in a towering performance.
Cinema Bandi is a hilarious take on the histrionics of filmmaking, perhaps the best Telugu Film of 2021. This is a little gem you cannot miss. And a loud shoutout also to Raj and DK for backing this gem of a project. As the poster says, Everyone is a filmmaker such is cinema! Available on Netflix and Highly Highly Highly Recommended.