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Diary : Telugu Movie Review

May 31, 2009

Caution: Please read this review no matter what your age is or what ailments you suffer from!

Smoking is injurious to health but there’s something more worse than that. It’s called Stupidity. What happens when someone goes berserk with this trait? The result (when applied to Telugu film industry) is pretty much closer to a huge number of movies. The only saving grace is that there are flashes of brilliance and streaks of mediocre and passable scenes carefully stitched together which shroud the banality of the script (if there is any!). Perhaps the makers of Mantra completely forgot this Telugu movie making mantra and under the aegis of Machakanti Ramakrishna, they came up with a new Telugu film named “Diary”. Sivaji and Shraddha Das star in this flick “Diary” which was touted as a sequel to the 2007 release “Mantra”. And if you are intelligent enough, you will stop reading this review right here….(fading out)

(Lights. Camera.Action) Ah…we never learn from our mistakes! Now that you have made up your mind to continue reading this review, please do so at your own risk. “Diary” is the story of Vamshi (Sivaji), a son of a rich businessman who buys a bungalow adjacent to a beach near Vishakapatnam. He bumps into Maya (Shraddha Das), a dancer and due to some unforseen circumstances, both of them are forced to spend the (rainy) night in his bunglaow. The bungalow has a huge library where the duo comes across a diary written in 2002. As they start reading the diary probably written by an earlier occupant, they slowly delve into the lives of Albert (Sridhar) and Mona (Sajita). After a point of time, the duo come to know that Albert accidentally kills Mona and when Vamshi comes across a life size portrait of Mona, he’s shocked beyond imagination. The portrait turns out to be that of Maya. Is Maya the same woman mentioned in the diary? What happens when Vamshi confronts with Maya about this, forms the rest of the story.

The film heavily relies on the sound effects for the thrills, horror and suspense.  That’s where the problem lies. The major spoilsport here is the script itself, written by Aroon. To call it pretentious would be nothing less than a compliment! It’s prepostorous. Amateurishly written, it has all the components of a newbie trying his/her hand at horror stories. No  offense! How else can you explain the fact that the movie never takes itself seriously? A major part of the story is spent on retelling the contents of the diary, which doesn’t help! You would have guessed 3 pages into the story that someone was going to die! And even more shocking is, they have a song in that stupid flashback! I wonder what was the necessity to indulge in such inanity! Even the much touted “horror” element is completely missing. Barring couple of scenes there’s hardly a thing which would make a toddler jump from the seat. If you were looking for horror and suspense, I am sure the likes of  Zee Horror Show would be a much better option.

Sivaji’s performance is probably the only saving grace in this film. He’s good with his dialogue delivery and emotions. But even that fizzles out towards the end. Shraddha Das in her first major role is a disappointment. She hardly has any scope to perform in this film which is further aggravated by the unusually low footage on screen, although she does sizzle in a song. The other characters fade out in no time from your memory owing to the poorly written script. Yendamuri Veerendranath, a famous Telugu writer of horror genre has a special appearance towards the climax.

Machakanti Ramakrishna who took over the reins of this sequel to “Mantra” does an average job in the direction department when compared to his predecessor, Osho Thulasi Ram. Cinematography is good in parts. Music by Aanand is average. The sound effects, which was the hallmark of ” Mantra”, has flashes of brilliance. Here are few goof ups I noticed in the film:

1. In one of the initial scenes of the flashback (set in 2002), the lady unwraps a kettle from a newspaper – “Saakshi”. This newspaper came into existence only in early 2008.

2. When Vamshi has already seen the portrait of “Mona” (which turns out to be that of “Maya’s”) why does he still imagine the earlier girl as Mona in flashback?

3. Why would anyone “recharge” a BSNL Landline phone?! Hello…it’s not a prepaid Cellphone!

The film is a disaster right from the beginning. There are a thousand different ways of convincing that Spirits and Ghosts don’t exist, but not like this! I have never seen the titles scroll for so long. Thank God, the movie is only 110 minutes long. Anything more than that would have commanded the wrath of the audience. I wish they had displayed a note thanking the audience towards the end of the flick saying, “Thank You for watching this film. We are not responsible for causing any extra ailments!”.Pun Intended. Strictly avoid this movie, this “Diary” should have been shredded to pieces the moment it saw the daylight!

P.S: Loved this comment from one of the readers.

Sesha- “This movie is so bad that you can actually enjoy it!”

P.P.S: For all the movie buffs and film makers in Hyderabad, here’s an interesting event on 23rd August…”Cut It Short”-Short Film Festival…read more @ http://cutitshort.wordpress.com

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13 Comments leave one →
  1. arun permalink
    June 1, 2009 3:45 pm

    watch the movie and re-write the review ..

    • Hemanth permalink*
      June 1, 2009 4:17 pm

      @ Arun: I did and watching this flick another time will not change my opinion. If you have liked the movie, then that’s great!…:)

      Thanks for dropping by. Hope you have liked my other posts as well…

  2. sesha permalink
    June 1, 2009 6:22 pm

    I loved the following scenes also:
    1. An entry in the diary goes like this – ‘Next day when i met her’ – isn’t that actually time travel
    2. Jeeva stealthily moves around to kill the hero wearing ‘Gajjalu’ on one his ankles (i don’t know what Gajjalu is called in english)
    3. Yandamuri declaring that his Diary 2001 is a much better read .. hahaha
    Man, today i have realised that i actually enjoyed the movie. It’s one of those rare gems like ‘Plan 9’ which are so bad that they are actually good.
    Movies like these scare the sh** out of anyone who feel they too can make one.

  3. Hemanth permalink*
    June 1, 2009 6:56 pm

    @ Sesha: Hehehe…Point Noted! You are actually right in a way…:)

    Btw…”Gajjalu” are known as “Anklets” in English.

  4. aroon permalink
    June 25, 2009 3:39 pm

    hi,
    am the writer of the movie .. call be by 9885071571

  5. kavya permalink
    June 27, 2009 3:01 pm

    hey im waitin fr ur review of movie evrina epudina.. plz update at d earliest, ur reviews r apt n thnq fr dat!

    • Hemanth permalink*
      June 28, 2009 3:41 am

      @Kavya: Yeah…will try to update the review by Sunday…couldn’t go out to movies this weekend…got caught up with some work…

      and Thanks a lot!..:)..Shall do my best to present my perspective rather than just summarizing the whole movie….

  6. suresh permalink
    August 10, 2009 1:20 pm

    Its of the best movies i have ever wathed in telugu. I think you need to educate your self. Problably you might the movies like magadeera and othe movies of the megarstars.

    • Hemanth permalink*
      August 10, 2009 1:50 pm

      @Suresh: Dear Suresh, thank you for the patience to drop in a comment. Before you come to a conclusion about what kind of movies I like, allow me to enlighten you on few points…

      1. I am very glad to know that you think “Diary” is one of the best Telugu movies you have ever watched. The makers of the film will be very happy to know that the film does have its audience and that reviews like mine, don’t defer the audience from watching this film.

      2. Movie criticism is extremely subjective. Of course, everyone is entitled to his/her own opinion when it comes to films. It’s okay if you feel that this movie is good when I say that it is dumb!

      3. Thank you for the precious advice you have for me. I agree that I am not “professionally” trained to write a movie review, but do you have any idea how many movies I watch every week?? I can’t brag about it…but lemme tell you that I have extremely high levels of patience while watching any movie regardless of its language, theme.

      4. Well, did I quote in any of the reviews I have written so far that I like only big budget movies?? Regardless of who has directed and who has acted in a movie, it has to be an honest one and should never get into “all pleasing” mode! In that sense, I think one of the best films this year was “Prayanam”.

      I think I have a small advice for you as well. Don’t lower the bar with regard to what kind of movies you see. Trust me, “Diary” is nowhere close to being one of the “best” films made in Telugu! But hey, that’s just my opinion….you are welcome to agree/disagree with what I have to say…:)

      Thanks for dropping by, again! Keep reading..:)

  7. vinayak permalink
    August 11, 2009 4:02 pm

    The actress who portrays the part of mona is sajitha and not moushmi udeshi. Try and get your facts right

    • Hemanth permalink*
      August 11, 2009 5:40 pm

      @Vinayak: Hey…thanks a lot for the info. I have edited the article….will try my best not to goof up in future….

      Thanks for dropping by….hope you have liked my blog!..:)

  8. sagard17 permalink
    August 19, 2009 10:53 am

    another goof up:
    In the flash back, the guy is projected as having a great taste of books and literature, and produces the library as an evidence of this interest. later when shivaji is chased in the climax, I can see clearly that the guy in the flash back had good interest in IIT-JEE and AIEEE books and test papers. Looks like they have got some trash from jagadamba and doled them up in the shelves and called it a library.

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  1. 2009: Best and Worst of Telugu Cinema « Waking Life in 24 Frames

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