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Arjun Reddy Review – Modern Day Devdas

Arjun Reddy (2017)

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[Total: 1   Average: 5/5]

Directed By: Sandeep Vanga

Cast: Vijay Deverakonda, Shalini Pandey, Rahul Ramakrishna, Kamal Kamaraju

Language: Telugu

Arjun Reddy is the biography of the modern day Devdas. Its an ode to modern day lovers who lack patience and are not into religion, cast or creed. For me, Arjun Reddy was a big relationship advise on what to do and what not to.

Arjun Reddy (Vijay Deverakonda) is a final year student in a Medical College in Mangalore. The college is his kingdom and he rules with an iron fist. Initial few scenes establish that he is the top student with anger management issues. Arjun Reddy falls in love with Preethi (Shalini Pandey): a first year student. And so no one in the college pursues Preethi and because of his aggressive nature she is initially afraid of Arjun. But slowly and steadily love blossoms and she falls for him. Preethi’s father doesn’t approve of the relationship because of caste difference and Preethi ends up marrying a local Tulu guy. Arjun becomes mad out of the rage and grief and sinks into alcohol and drugs . From there on his life goes on a downward spiral and he becomes a high-functioning alcoholic. How tragedy pans out forms the rest of the story.

Arjun is a non conformist who believes his actions are always justified. If you meet him, you will love him and at the same time fear him. He has his ideals and he sticks by them. He won’t back off if he is not wrong- he won’t do anything to please anyone. Arjun has done everything the way he wanted. A rank holder in a national-level exam but he chooses to study in Mangalore because of the beach. Arjun’s father is a chilled out guy who hasn’t questioned his choices ever. Arjun doesn’t believe in cast, creed or religion. Arjun Reddy has never faced rejection in his life and thus his ego gets hurt when Preethi’s father insults him.

Preethi is also a standout character in Arjun Reddy. Initially she is a timid girl and accepts his advances out of fear for him. The fear is not explicit as she never utters any word. From that she transforms into a strong willed woman who stands by her convictions. Your viewpoint changes completely about her from pity to respect along the length of the movie. Her twist in the end will make you fall in love with her and I believe she exemplifies every woman in a relationship: beautiful and strong. Kudos to Sandeep Vanga for writing such a role.

The movie like its protagonist is real and hard hitting. There is a lot of sex but none of the scenes are lewd. There are expletives thrown about and drugs snorted and injected. The movie, like its protagonist doesn’t believe in hiding anything. Arjun Reddy: the movie like its titular character is hypocritical too. Arjun is not fine when Shiva’s (Rahul Ramakrishna) would be brother in law objectifies women but he wants Preethi to be friends with fat chicks. The movie deliberately makes you judge Arjun and justifies violence and his character. A scene shows an outcome where he has punched someone and then a scene follows justifying why.

Arjun Reddy tells you the importance of communication in a relationship and the need to swallow your ego once in a while. It builds up trust and more importantly the identity of a relationship. Another debatable aspect brought out by the movie is when people say while judging a person the professional and personal life has to be separate. But, can any person live two separate lives? Would you trust your life with a doctor like Arjun Reddy who is struggling with alcoholism and drugs however brilliant he might be? Would you trust a man with your love who completely takes over your life and makes all the decisions in the relationship?

Vijay Deverakonda is perfect as Arjun Reddy. He is good as a lover and too good as an alcoholic on a downward spiral. There is a scene where he passed out because of overdose and he is shown peeing in his pants. Kudos to Vijay for agreeing to do such scene. Not many actors would have the balls to do that. Shalini Pandey is also good, just in the end she steels the thunder from Vijay. Also a special mention for Rahul Ramakrishna who has acted as Shiva. Shiva is a friend everyone should have in their life. He is the person who sticks with you no matter what. Shiva takes up all the shit from Arjun and is with him through good and bad. Another beautiful character written by Sandeep Vanga and aptly acted by Rahul.

Arjun Reddy was too long for my liking. 3 hours for turnaround is asking for too much. Also, despite taking so much time in setting up and brewing the conflict and angst in the characters, their resolution is abrupt. If only alcoholism and resentment and distrust would go away so promptly in real life! The movie has a very powerful ending which leaves a mark on you. Watch it and share your rating above.

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