Cast: Allu Arjun, Pooja Hegde, Murali Sharma, Tabu and Jayaram
Trivikram’s Ala Vaikuntapuramlo is stitched from the same cloth as his previous film Attarintiki Daredi, but what separates his latest outing is the overall comical treatment and toned down drama. Keeping the festive season in mind, Trivikram keeps the overall mood of the film very entertaining with some quirky writing and equally exciting characters. There is also ample drama to tug at the heartstrings but thankfully, it doesn’t go overboard. Both these films are about broken families and how it takes one person to fix it. If it was Pawan Kalyan in Attarintiki Daredi, it is Allu Arjun in Ala Vaikuntapuramlo.
Ala Vaikuntapuramlo is centered on a character called Bantu (played by Allu Arjun) and his efforts to please his cold-hearted father Valmiki (played by Murali Sharma). Born in a middle-class family and forced to live life with compromises, Bantu gets a shot at turning his life around when he crosses paths with millionaire Ramchandra (Jayaram). The rest of the story is about how Bantu makes his way into Ramchandra’s family and fixes some broken relationships.
Ala Vaikuntapuramlo lets Allu Arjun transform into the kind of performer we haven’t seen in recent years. He plays his character with a kind of ease that is rarely seen in mainstream heroes and he makes Bantu one of the liveliest roles of his career. Allu Arjun shines in almost every department but his dancing makes you realise why he is one of the best dancers in the country. He is well complemented by Murali Sharma, who is terrific as one of the pivotal characters of the film.
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Scenes between Allu Arjun and Murali Sharma, which work due to the writing, leave the audience in splits, and the credit goes to Trivikram. Some jokes about middle-class families and their lifestyle land very well, and Trivikram handles even the most dramatic scenes with a touch of comedy.
Tabu plays one of the important characters but her role doesn’t quite keep you engrossed. I wish more weightage was given to her character, which never makes you root for her. Jayaram has a better etched out character and he plays his part convincingly. Both Sushant and Nivetha Pethuraj are wasted in roles that have no importance and barely make any impact.
The romance portion between Allu Arjun and Pooja Hegde is problematic in the beginning as he cannot stop staring at her legs. But Trivikram balances it by making his hero talk about women and consent in one of the crucial scenes. As much as I cringed in the romance scenes, I feel that a star of Arjun’s stature talking about consent is a big deal.
Ala Vaikuntapuramlo is undoubtedly one of Trivikram’s better films in recent years. While one can argue that he plays it safe by taking the tried-and-tested family template, at least he doesn’t disappoint and that is laudable.
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