Venkatesh's 'Bodyguard' is better but not as good as the other versions. The emotional angle of the film makes it watchable.
3 out of 5 (Good)
| Haricharan Pudipeddi (NOWRUNNING)
After being made in four different languages in a span of three years, 'Bodyguard' may be the most viewed film in India. Telugu version of the film is no different from the other versions. However, if I were to vouch for one of the versions of the film, I'd pick the Tamil version for a simple reason that the film managed to entertain me. Hindi and Telugu versions failed to entertain because the film focused too much on the protagonists than on the plot.
Venkatesh aka Venkatadri is Vardarajula Naidu's loyal disciple, who grows up to become a bodyguard in a private security agency. On the order of his relative, Venkatadri travels to a village to protect Naidu from imminent threat. However, eventually he becomes Naidu's daughter, Keerthi's personal bodyguard. As time passes by, Keerthi feels Venkatadri to be a burden in her life, as he follows dutifully wherever she goes. In order to divert his attention, Keerthi chooses to become his invisible girlfriend. She calls and flirts and ultimately falls in love with him. What happens between them forms the climax.
There is hardly any difference in the story, except for the fact that this time all characters speak in Telugu. At 51, Venkatesh looks more like a brother to Trisha than a bodyguard. Salman may be in his late 40's as well but he at least had the looks and physique of a bodyguard. I believe that's where Tollywood is making blunders; trying to entertain audience through star presence than concentrating on the plot. Take 'Businessman' for instance, the film has nothing unique to offer. Puri was under the assumption, after the success of Pokkiri, that audience will honor his films irrespective of its plot. However, that theory has been proved wrong. If you're trying to feed audience with shit, they'll for sure give it back at you. Star presence may not decide the success of a film anymore. Long gone are those kinds of days.
Venkatesh's performance deserves special mention, as he steals everybody's attention with his commendable acting. Undoubtedly, he carries the film on his shoulder and uplifts it. Trisha having worked with the hero in the past adds spark to her role. Their comfort factor helped them to work collaboratively and pull this off with meager effort. Saloni as Trisha's friend is lost between her image in the industry and that of her own character in the film. She was trying to compete with Trisha and thus seems to have forgotten that she was only playing heroine's friend but not second heroine in the film. See, that's what happens when you bring on board an actress who's on the brink of becoming big and expect her to play a role of that of heroine's friend. Saloni was in dilemma throughout because she needed the money she couldn't decline the offer, neither was she ok being heroine's sidekick. Thumb rule: Don't put two happening, good looking actresses together and expect one to play other's sister or friend in the film. That's suicide.
Gopichand's direction is certainly beyond ignorable level. Thanks to his involvement in the film that crystal clearly reflects on the screen. However, he should avoid cliched comedy if he can't provide genuinely humorous moments in the film. Thaman's music hits the right chord and makes an impact. Overall, it's a better attempt by the crew, who ideally could've made the film look good.
In one line, 'Bodyguard' is definitely not one of Venkatesh's best films. It's not the worst either.
Critic: Haricharan Pudipeddi
3 out of 5 (Good)
WHAT THE RATINGS MEAN:
0.0 - 1.4 : Poor
1.5 - 1.7: Poor, A Few Good Parts
1.8 - 2.3: Average
2.4 - 2.9: Fairly Good
3.0 - 3.4: Good
3.5 - 5.0: Very Good