'Happy Birthday', produced by Clap Entertainment and Mythri Movie Makers, is playing in cinemas. Let's find out its hits and misses.
Union Minister Rithwik Sodhi (Vennela Kishore) announces an amendment to the gun laws, thanks to which everyone can own a gun as easily as they can own a SIM card. The scene shifts to Hotel Ritz Grand in a fictional town where a host of quirky characters inhabit.
In comes Happy (Lavanya Tripathi) to attend a party at the hotel. She gets kidnapped in a shocking turn of events. Max Pain (Satya), a clownish criminal, is in the same hotel. Lucky (Naresh Agastya), a housekeeper at the hotel, needs to replace a lighter at the behest of Gunda (Rahul Ramakrishna). A comedy of errors and confusion ensues.
This film is a casting calamity of sorts whenever Lavanya Tripathi is around. The actress just couldn't pull off the idiosyncratic role even in a single scene. Naresh Agastya, Rahul Ramakrishna and Getup Seenu, too, prove to be disappointing.
Vennela Kishore, Gundu Sudarshan (as Uncle Fixit) and Harsha Chemudu are well-cast. Ravi Teja (as Benami) and Vidyullekha Raman are hardly funny.
Cinematographer Suresh Sarangam's work is commendable when the visuals don't get too frivolous. Music director Kaala Bhairava's BGM is not inventive. The production design by Narni Srinivas (complete with more than a dozen sets) deserves a mention.
Karthika Srinivas R's editing is not smart in making the non-linear narration work. Shankar Uyyala and Teja R have composed the fights, none of which look original.
Director Ritesh Rana of 'Mathu Vadalara' fame treats the surreal crime comedy thriller genre with dollops of over-indulgence. The trailer of the film went as far as explaining the meaning of surreal comedy as a form of comedy predicated on deliberate violations of causal reasoning, thus producing events and behaviours that are obviously illogical.
The trailer of the film was chaotic for a reason. The film itself is chaotic. It's also uneven. Three scenes bring the roof down with their quirkiness. The rest of them try hard. The scene where a YouTuber explains the know-how of using a gearless car is superb. The Gundu Sudarshan-Vennela Kishore scene where the former speaks bombastically and melodramatically about his past is another laugh riot.
The minus points take over soon enough. There is nothing that can hold the audience's interest after a point, especially with the haphazard narration demanding our undivided attention. A revelation about Happy's past could have been extraordinary, but the same comes undone by pathetic writing.
This is a chaotic and over-indulgent film that holds a few laughs. But the 150-minute run-time is not justified. The lack of coherence and over-the-top writing make 'Happy Birthday' a big bore.