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Ride : Telugu Movie Review

June 5, 2009

If there’s one thing peculiar about human nature, its our unquestionable infatuation for Murphy’s Law. We never learn from our mistakes and a lot of us hardly think twice before committing them again. Maybe it’s the faith that the result will change, courtesy a divine miracle. Well, miracles don’t happen and when there’s a blind faith on something pointless it makes the matter even worse. Something of that sort happens with “Ride” directed by Ramesh Varma . Starring Nani, Tanish, Shwetha Prasad, Aksha, “Ride” is about passion for bikes and to what extent one can go to get what he/she wants.

Mahesh (Tanish), a college student, realises that he has to take up a job to support his family. With the help of his friend he manages to get a job with a chit fund company whose manager insists that having a bike is necessary for the job. Soon he joins the company and life sails smoothly. Arjun (Nani) is passionate about bikes and he pesters his parents to buy him one. When his father refuses to buy one he’s inconsolably dejected. One day Mahesh loses his bike and the very next day he spots Arjun driving the same bike he has been looking for. What happens when Mahesh and Arjun clash over the ownership of the bike forms the rest of the story.

The basic storyline of “Ride” is inspired from a 1948 Italian cult film “Ladri di biciclette” (The Bicycle Thief) but here the writer/director Ramesh Varma completely ruins the story by diluting it with a ludicrous love story and a whole lot of family drama. If that wasn’t enough, the movie also ruins the prospects of four talented actors/actresses with its dismal storyline. Out of many problems with “Ride”, one is it takes too much time establishing the characters and their relationships. And that alone sets the tempo for the rest of the movie. It’s painfully dragging and at times so utterly pointless that you begin to wonder why it was named “Ride” in first place. I agree that I have never had any passion for driving or bikes, but if this (as depicted in this film) is what passion for bikes is about I must say I will be more than happy riding my bicycle. The other major problem being it tries to tell too many stories all at the same time, there are two family dramas under different circumstances, two love stories, loads of conflicts, ego, friendship, sentiment etc, which hardly complement each other. And in the middle of all this action is a TVS bike. Oh, poor thing!

Nani and Tanish deliver a good performance but fail to make an impact due to a poorly written script. They are at their best when they confront each other and just when you think something brilliant is about to happen, a divine miracle occurs and at no point after that does the story come back on the road. Aksha, as the love interest of Nani is alright although she’s completely restricted to songs and dance. Same’s the case with Shweta Basu Prasad, but she does a terrible job making a mincemeat of her role in the movie. Her trademark in this movie is “Oori Naino” and it’s so irritating that you feel like choking her. Aadarsh Balakrishna (of “Happy Days” fame) as Gaja does a good job, but with hardly any footage and yet another poorly written character, he’s never the menacing villian you would expect him to be. Brahmi, Dharmavarapu aren’t at their best although they do manage to evoke some laughs. There are a lot of artists from the movie Nacchavule here and my guess is they would be cursing themselves for being a part of this movie. The same goes with rest of the cast and technicians.

Music by Hemachandra and background score by Chinna is an asset to the movie and that’s the only thing which manages to stand out. The much hyped remix of “Danchave Menatha Koothura” is the only aspect which thrills the audience. Phew! Atleast I got to hear some whistles. Cinematography by Shyam K Naidu is decent and I am sure with a better script he would have done a wonderful job like he always does. Ramesh Varma who takes up the responsibility of the story, screenplay and director of this film should have taken care of the story by watching the original work a hundred more times before adapting that for Telugu audience. I still can’t figure out what made him write such a story, which could have had a lot more to it. Bellamkonda Suresh, the producer of the movie is in a soup! He couldn’t have spent a lot over this film, I can only imagine what’s going to happen if he has done otherwise.

Utterly boring and pointless, strictly avoid watching this movie. If only the bike had life, it would have vroomed out of the film right in first scene. Sadly it doesn’t and all you get is a bumpy and torturous “Ride”. A big thumbs down!

P.S: If you are really looking for a masterpiece, watch the original flick “The Bicycle Thief” (Italian-1948). It might not leave you in tears, but will definitely awe you with its simple and honest narration.

21 Comments leave one →
  1. June 6, 2009 1:04 pm

    Hi Hemanth,

    after reading ur review, i am in two minds wheather to go or not to. Actually i wanted to see this movie for nani and swetha basu, i liked nani’s work in astha chemma and swetha’s on Kotha bangaru lokam. what do u say, is it worth watching at least once?

    • Hemanth permalink*
      June 6, 2009 1:10 pm

      @ Rahamat: If you have liked Nani in “Asta Chemma” then chances are good that you will like him here as well. But don’t expect anything out of Swetha’s performance…she’s got some of the corniest lines and I must say, she’s gonna be the next Namitha/Aarti Agarwal in Telugu.

      I never had a passion for bikes, so can’t easily relate to this flick. Watch it since you like both those actors, but don’t spend much. It’s waste of time and money anyway, so why bother to do it royally?!..:D

      Thanks for dropping by. Hope you liked my blog and other posts..:)

      • June 8, 2009 1:44 pm

        thanks hemanth for ur suggestion, after a long thought have decided it to give it a miss. Neither do i have any passion for bikes….. so will buy the original DVD and watch it when its available. Your way of writing a review is really impressive, keep it up. All the best.
        Cheers Rahamat.

  2. Srikanth permalink
    June 6, 2009 3:31 pm


    Dude dude dude, I guess this a remake of a tamil movie “polladhavan”. Dhanush acted in this. Similar story line

    • Hemanth permalink*
      June 6, 2009 9:27 pm

      @ Srikanth: Yeah dude…even I heard the same thing…but then I thought the only common thing was him losing the bike as well as his job…the wikipedia article on “Polladhavan” doesn’t give any other similarity between the two flicks!..:)

  3. June 6, 2009 5:50 pm

    Hey Hemanth… nice blog…
    today i thought of watching this movie…. but after reading your review i am in dilama… as you said i won’t waste money watching it in multiplex.. 🙂
    After reading your blog i came to know about lots of other language movies… where can i find those movies(“The Bicycle Thief”) on net or any shop in hyderabad??

    • Hemanth permalink*
      June 6, 2009 9:35 pm

      @ Vijay: Thanks a lot Vijay. I am glad that you have liked my reviews…:)

      You could try getting “Bicycle Thief” from Bigflix in Hyderabad or other DVD rentals like Cinema Paradiso, 70mm. And of course, you will find a lot of torrents for popular movies like this…here’s a list of few movies (foreign) which I think you might be interested in.

      1. Waltz with Bashir (Israel)
      2. Persepolis (French/Iranian)
      3. Let the right one in (Swedish)
      4. Nuovo Cinema Paradiso (Italian)
      5. Lives of Others (German)
      6. Ameros Perros (Mexican)
      7. Oldboy (Korean)
      8. Wag the Dog
      9. Barbarian Invasions (Canadian/French)

  4. sesha permalink
    June 8, 2009 12:21 pm

    Oh my god, this had similarities with ‘The Bicycle Thief’??? I have to watch it (though i hate).

    • Hemanth permalink*
      June 8, 2009 12:51 pm

      @ Sesha: Yes, the basic storyline is from “The Bicycle Thief” and also a Tamil movie, “Polladhavan” starring Dhanush.

  5. Hemanth permalink*
    June 8, 2009 4:38 pm

    @Rahamat: Thanks!..:)

  6. onefilmbuff permalink
    June 9, 2009 3:06 am

    Hi Hemanth,

    I did like your honest review, i was amazed to see some idiots giving good reviews for this movie. A pointless movie, and plz for god’s sake dont compare this to ” The Bicycle Thief “, this movie inspired a generation of film makers. Rather than making stupid movies like this Bellamkonda should try making a stupid comedy with Allari Naresh. Even if it was a brainless comedy i am sure i would have enjoyed few moments of it. I had to go through this horronous experience on Saturday, wish i just stayed home and watched Chris Gayle kick some Aussies asses. Plz Plz avoid this movie if u value u r time. Only one thing to say Nani has a good future, he looks talented. Since you wrote few things about moviews well,i would like to know if there is any movie club or something of that sort that u r part of ???

    • Hemanth permalink*
      June 9, 2009 11:55 am

      @onefilmbuff: Well, the basic point was taken from “Bicycle Thief” which later got modified into some Indian form in a Tamil film “Polladhavan” starring Dhanush before it came to “Ride”. I presume you were as frustrated as I was while watching this movie…and seriously I can’t understand why some major newspapers and websites have been calling it a “Youth Entertainer” worth watching!!! That’s total bullshit!

      I am not part of any film club/society. I have a decent collection of movies back from college and somehow get hold of new movies from the internet (though I know it’s illegal!)..can’t help it! I am addicted to movies…I follow reviews on and I totally worship “Roger Ebert”…he’s like the God in film criticism!..:)

      Thanks for dropping by…hope you have liked my other posts.

      • onefilmbuff permalink
        June 13, 2009 4:41 am

        I did like u r review and u r blog thats what prompted a reply from someone as lazy as me, and i too am a sort of a movie freak, and do have an ok collection,i didnt get what do u mean by letters from the hills in some of u r posts, does it mean a place u visited ? , hope we can share some movies if you would like. I go through Roger Ebert only when i want a review for a particular movie. And go through the trailers usually in the Production Studio’s official site, the recent trailer (movie isnt a very recent one though), is ” The Visitor ” and really loved it. Have you seen the ” Three Color ” series movies, recently saw one in UTV World Movie and absolutely loved it. If you dont have that channel get it, u’ll love it. Any ideas about Zhang Yimou’s movie, I loved HERO and The House of Flying Daggers. Hero particularly, havent seen a Rushmon for quite some time and the color use in his movies is always amazing.

  7. ram permalink
    June 9, 2009 4:53 pm

    swetha and nani are not gud remaining tanish and d other girl is nice its great wathching more than 1 time in theatres…..the story line is weak

    • Hemanth permalink*
      June 9, 2009 7:39 pm

      @Ram: I fail to understand your logic. How can you watch a movie whose story is bad/weak twice?!! It’s ok if a film is bad due to bad performances, still there are plenty of things which will stand out, but without a good story…it’s as good as a dead wood!

      I certainly wouldn’t recommend this movie…leave alone watching it twice in theatres.

      if you have liked this movie…then that’s good. But there are plenty of other movies which can watched more than twice/thrice instead of one show of “Ride”!

  8. June 11, 2009 6:12 pm

    the film may not be good dont compare swetha with arti,namitha.she had alredy proved herself in mistake of the director.ask any director to give a great character she wil do it.iam waiting to c her with allu arjun and n.t.r.thanx for ur review but i wil watch for swetha.plz dont compare her with them.she has got enourmous talent

    • Hemanth permalink*
      June 11, 2009 10:03 pm

      @Giri: Hehehehe…:D If you read my review carefully, I have never written about her being having bad acting skills…was pointing out to her size!…she has put on too much of fat in this movie….woah!! I had no clue that she was going to act with NTR and Allu Arjun..thanks for the info..:)

  9. Hemanth permalink*
    June 13, 2009 11:04 am

    @Onefilmbuff: Yes, Hills refers to some place I visit. I haven’t seen “The Visitor” yet, I think that’s one of the very few Oscar nominees I have missed watching this year…thanks for the recommendation…will watch “Colours” series sometime soon…have heard a lot about them.

    As far as Zhang’s work goes…I had seen both those flicks, when I didn’t bother about the beauty of narrative and other critical aspects like what I observe these days. Had I seen both those flicks right now, I am sure I would have loved them. Just got a TV in our room..and there are tons of movies I need to catch up on World Movies…Yes, I did follow this channel earlier…:)

  10. August 3, 2009 8:34 am

    Nice movie – its playing on

  11. Bala permalink
    August 19, 2009 4:00 pm

    I didn’t watch this movie. But the movie is heavily ripped from a 2001 movie Shiqi sui de dan che (Beijing Bicycle) not really from The Bicycle Thief which is entirely a different genre film. Like many other film buffs, me too waiting to see some original stuff from Tollywood.

  12. A lil Bit Brain.. permalink
    October 10, 2009 4:09 am

    Hello Mr.Hemanth,

    Sorry to say that I completely disagree with U. well, I really dun see any point in u ppl citing that this flick is a blend of polladhavan n D bicycle thief (bearing the fact in mind that too many movies of our Tollywood biggies hav been remakes). And yeah, I was unable to figure out whats the problem with this TVS bike thing 😀 Since U prefer a bicycle, does that mean everyone should go the same way? 😛 very funny!! I dun think this could be a point for letting this movie down(including swetha basu’s dimension factor)! Well, coming to the point, comparing to the recent flicks that hit theatres, I am sure that Ride is a way good to watch (I was on forty winks while watching Sankham n others..). Worth watching once unless U guys are too busy to stop cynical views on an average film. Though, its not ‘the best ride’, on a over all basis, the movie is Good. Can be rated 3/5.

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