'Rowdy Boys' was released in theatres today. Let's find out what are its hits and misses.
Akshay (this is Ashish's maiden venture) is a wannabe guitarist and a DJ. Well, actually, he is undecided because he is immature. He is an Engineering college freshman who is smitten by Kavya (Anupama Parameswaran), a medico. She is older than him and Akshay woos her against all risks. The biggest risk comes in the form of Vikram (Vikram Sahidev), Kavya's arrogant and angry classmate who is super-jealous that Kavya has started falling in love with Akshay. After a bloody incident, the Akshay-Kavya duo take a game-changing decision. From here on, their lives may or may not go as planned.
The first impression Ashish makes is that he is more suited for rough characters. Director Harsha Konuganti has mined his persona by imagining him in an aggressive character. That said, the debutant needs to fine-tune his acting chops. It has been long since we have seen Anupama in a rom-com. She is much better here than in 'Hello Guru Prema Kosame' and 'Krishnarjuna Yuddham'.
Vikram Sahidev, who has essayed lead roles in a film or two, is a talent to watch out for. Komalee Prasad, Tej Kurapati and Karthik Rathnam fit the bill. Srikanth Iyengar is routine as a frustrated father. Jayaprakash, as Kavya's father, gets to play an extended cameo.
Thanks to Dil Raju and Shirish producing the movie, 'Rowdy Boys' could get someone like Madhie on board (his cinematography was a key asset of big-ticket films like 'Srimanthudu' and 'Bhaagamathie'). Rajeevan, a seasoned production designer, has also enriched the film in company with art director A Ramanjaneyulu.
The songs tone down the belligerent beats of 'Rowdy Boys'. The title track, 'Vesaane O Nichhena', and 'Ye Zindagi' mirror Devi Sri Prasad's passion to get things right. There are too many songs for a debutant hero's movie. The attempt to make 'Rowdy Boys' an out-and-out musical love story is clear.
What are the defining features of this film? The college campus backdrop, and the musical sub-genre. Does director Harsha Konuganti tap into the strengths of the movie adequately? The answer is a qualified yes. Is the movie unconditionally engaging? The answer is a strong no.
The campus rivalry has been staged to give escapist entertainment to the audience. The elevation of the male lead's character is not-so-subtle in these portions. The love story makes its presence felt after a good 40 minutes or so. Kavya responds to Akshay's overtures slowly but surely. There is no believability to how they take a huge decision in a conservative society.
The second half is riddled with very many predictable ingredients. The characterization of Vikram, the antagonist (if one may say so), is a huge letdown. The climax trods the beaten path. Only the songs are enjoyable in these portions.
'Rowdy Boys' is a lavish campus story in the first half. But its romantic drama is not engrossing.