'Arjun Reddy': A modern day ‘Devdas’ tale of love which neither provokes nor inspires but merely tells us a captivating story

By Rohith Raju

Featured in IMDb Critic Reviews

Well, it's not the every year that we get the privilege to witness a movie that is raw, intense and has an out of the box performances. The cross genre - black comedy, romance - make this film a sensation. Debutant Sandeep Vanga manifests how far can a true film maker can go barring all the commercial segments. Here is a genre-defying film that have many nostalgic moments.

The film’s prologue is very poetic. It has two images; the former has two couples, seems to be our lead, lying barely on the bed. It emphasizes this situation is the  essence for purest form of love as both the bodies are united by a single soul. The latter has a old lady (Kanchana) telling us that as no thing is eternal in this earth why the people are adamant! She tells a small story to justify her statement.

Right in the next scene, Arjun Reddy (Vijay Devarakonda) is seen lecherously intimidating a woman. He’s trying to be ‘cinematic’ while copulating, in fact, he goes crazy, but ends up getting disappointed.

Arjun Reddy is a chain smoker, a seducer, later a  ‘compassionate’ doctor, and a lot more. He appears to be depressed with something. He’s not happy with his current life. There’s a intense wound burning inside him. Life seems to be turning harsh for him. Consequently, his memories goes back to his medicine days.

There he’s very ill-tempered, vulgar, chain-smoker, and he can go to any extent if he wishes to. He’s a radical in fact, but has nous. His outlook is rational. He never extenuates. Distraction is what acts as a antidote for his short tempered-nature.
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Being introduced to us as an arrogant bruiser and a tough guy, it’s very delightful to see him awestruck gazing at a fresher (named Preeti). He contemplates her. There’s a sign in him that it is his first love. From here, we can perceive character contrast in him. He behaves very soft spoken with her. Soon he develops a fervent bond with her which looks to be never ending. In between, we are introduced to his other side, which are his compassionate emotions on Preeti. He had developed a very extreme love on her, which made her love in return. His every word with her is absolute contrast to his general diction and posture. There’s no self-importance in him. He does everything with love and there comes a situation where Preethi becomes everything to him. They both have many sensual moments expressing purest form of love. But at one point, due to recurrence, the long kisses lack the authentic emotion.

Later he happens to leave for Mussoorie to do his masters. This brings feeling of longing in both. But this space makes them even intimate and enlightens their bond. It gives them a reason to love harder.

He finally returns, and she too completes medicine. Now everything seems to be going softly in the eyes of Arjun. He’s unaware of the things dealing with marriage and its repercussions. That poses him trouble.


His rigid, uncontrollable mindset along with their caste disparities separates them. He misses her to the core. He’s angry on her for getting married. In hindsight, the repercussions hatches a poignant scar in him. A scar that is not going to heal in distant future.
Well, there are some interesting things in this movie. Arjun feels embarrassed to define ‘private space’ to his dad. He doesn’t know the real meaning of marriage. He doesn’t know the limits of a traditional girl on her home, all he knows is to show his anger on his face whenever he feels irritated. But there’s love in it. Nevertheless any short-tempered person should have a restraint where he needs to behave himself.

Lets extract a few lines from ‘Break-up’ song of this movie which is also my core favourite this year. It’s deftly woven into the narrative.

“Thelisene naa nuvve naa nuvvu kaadhani
Thelisene nee nene nee nenu kaanani
Naalo sagam ika ledhoo ani
Naa ninnale nannu choosi navvele…
Maru naadu annadhe ika undhabodhani
Naa praanam nuvve
Naa gunde nuvve gundello mande
Nippai cheraave…”

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These are one of the best lines I have heard in the recent past. It defines what Preeti means to him, how much he misses her. She has become a poignant reminder as he perceives that she no longer belongs to him. He knows he’s changing day by day. Visually his emotions are very vehement, he is terribly missing her. His anguish says it all. He is really frightened of tomorrow without being with her. But it's the way life makes us torment at tough times. He seems to be lost in a world of his own. There’s no panacea for his desolation.

He, later, becomes a doctor, but still we can observe he has very ardent feelings for her. Alcohol befriends him, he becomes a drug addict, only to get distracted. But his emotions for her is much stronger than his intention to let go his feelings. He becomes a lost soul.

He finds solaces with alcohol, becomes  womanizer and does everything he can to forget Preeti. Yet all his efforts go in vain. But there’s one thing impeccable about him, despite having all bad habits, he never loses integrity of him. And his righteousness lands him in trouble, cancelling his license. This brings some realization in him, he presumes he doesn’t deserve to be a doctor. So he tries to let go alcohol, but he couldn’t. There’s something ceasing him.

Post his grandmother’s death, we can perceive a change in his behavior. He is seen with clean shave, meaning he surrendered alcohol. There’s no proper justification for this unforeseen change over. But change can happen at any time for Arjun, and people of such kind. He later decides to go on a holiday to get things settled. While leaving he glimpses at Preeti, she’s not the same girl that she had been in college, now she has become a woman carrying. Arjun peeps through her, becomes saddened sensing agony on her face. He reckons when he’s suffering, then how can she be happy. He straightway goes to see her after returning from the trip.

He tries to make a conversation with her, he tries to convince her to come with him. There’s a lot of love in his words and the way he behaves. But she’s very angry upon him. Soon her anger melts and she understands his flawless love when he says he would take care of her baby and would be his father. She then slaps him many times, with love, and bursts out remembering the difficult days she has spent without him. She finally conveys that it’s his child that she’s carrying. This makes him shed tears too giving utmost life to their characters.

Sandeep Vanga has lots to do from now as he, to a certain extent, transfigured the mainstream cinema, leaving barriers and formulas aside. Really a path breaking attempt that deserves great applause.

“Cinema is not completely gone in Tollywood”, this is what comes to my mind when I get to experience these kind of films.  

Readers, please feel free to share your opinion by leaving your comments. As always your valuable thoughts are highly appreciated!  

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