I LOVED Brindavanam. There was so much awesomeness, spectacular fights, great dialogues, 'subdued and nuanced' performances by the cast... you get my point :D By the end of the movie I thought it was the best Jr. NTR flick I've seen. The funny thing is, the first 15-20 minutes I was bored. To tears. Well, except for the video song, which was fantastic. When I look back at the beginning, I think I'd like it better the second time around. It's just that it looked like any other star driven movie - megaman fights, punch dialogues, pretty girls, OTT parents... I'm not one who watches a movie only to see a star being awesome, which is why Yamadonga is my favourite NTR Jr. movie yet. Yes, Brindavanam came pretty close to winning, but couldn't really dethrone Rajamouli's socio-fantasy.
Why? Let's compare them...
Story & Plot:
Raja is a small-time thief stealing big time with his buddy. He's selfish, he's unscrupulous, he'll do anything for money. He'll even romance a woman on the dancefloor and steal her dress for a reward. While at work, he accidentaly saves Mahi, a poor orphan on the run, and then promptly throws her out of his house. Next morning he hears on the news that this mousy and poor orphan is actually not that poor. He pretends he loves her to keep her with him and demands ransom from her family. She doesn't realize it and starts falling in love with him. What a pity that Raja insults and makes fun of the god of death, Yama. Now, this is where the story took a surprising turn. Yama REALLY doesn't like being made fun of. He shortens Raja's life and calls him into his realm. And the crazy fun can begin.
The story of Yamadonga was superb. The mythological angle came completely out of nowhere. I don't even remember how I got around to watching it, but I'm so glad I did. It made me appreciate the masala genre which I scoffed at before. The selfish thief that learns some real values and is given a second chance really appealed to me. Even though Raja deserved a slap or two, he was so charming that I forgave him in the end. He knew his way aroung and had a few bags of tricks up his sleeve which came in really handy when he stood against Yama. All in all, a great entertainer that held my attention throughout.
Krishna is filthy rich and doesn't have anything else to do than help his friends elope. He's even got a super-cute girlfriend. And seeing as Krishna is so uber cool, she asks him to pretend to be her cousin's lover so she won't have to marry according to her father's wishes. Krishna and Bhoomi have a filmi introduction and he promptly agrees to take part in this scheme. Lucky his fist alone commands the wind, he's gonna have a lot of beating up to do. That is, after he fixes everybody in Bhoomi's household, so she won't have to rely on strangers to help her. Ah, yes - her father and uncle can't stand each other and both command a whole village. Sweet, no?
A cool hero, sweet and spunky heroines, Prakash and Srihari as brothers and a whole mix of side characters that were an absolute riot. Brindavanam has a healthy dose of fun, fights and OTT family drama that make it work. BUT. There were some completely unnecessary tears and overemotings that reminded me of KJo weepfests. These were off-sync with the rest of the story and made me cringe. Srihari and Prakash too had some 'emotional' scenes, but these were a joy to watch, seeing as one of them is great at everything he does, and nobody can do OTT drama better than Srihari :D And have two-heroine- movies become popular? I see an increasingly amount of theam appearing. Ah well, worked well enough here :)
Yamadonga wins, because there was SO MUCH going on and everything fit into the story! Brindavanam lost itself somewhere along the way trying to be something that it wasn't... and puting too much weight on looking cool.
Characters & Performances:
Jr. NTR looked like he was having a blast in Yamadonga :D He could be silly, childish, speculative, cunning and whatnot. Raja was simply a lot of fun to watch. On the other hand, Krishna seemed almost untouchable in his perfection. He was cool, collected, always knew what to say and when to punch somebody into oblivion. Still a lot of fun to watch, though!
|Priyamani and Mamta Mohandas|
|Samantha, Jr. NTR and Kajal|
Priyamani didn't have much to do in her role. She was cute in the song picturizations and when she was bossing Raja about, but that's about it. Mamta was a joy through and through. I was so glad when she returned later in the story :* I haven't seen Samantha before, but she still rocks. Simple as that. How can you not love her? She's cute, she's got spunk and a her belly is pierced :D Kajal looked lovely as the village belle, but she was such a goody two-shoes that she lost her appeal early on. I was glad when she showed some character in the second half :)
|Jr. NTR and Mohan Babu|
|Prakash Raj, Jr. NTR and Srihari|
Mohan Babu.. MOHAN BABUUU!! Wasn't he grand? He was perfect as Yama - his posture, dialogue delivery, mannerism... and lets not forget his eyebrows! I so LOVE it when actors know how to command their eyebrows :D Jr. NTR and Prakash belong to this cathegory too, they are so expressive! :) By the way, I'm impressed that Prakash kept his cool throughout the film - Srihari's OTT acting was more enjoyable this way. What a contrast! :D
The baddies in Yamadonga turned up only at the end. Well, okay, they were there before, but only for a short time. Ajay in Brindavanam was psychotic and evil personified. He really looked like a maniac. He made the one in Yamadonga look like a caricature of a goonda.
|MS Narayan and Brahmi|
The comedians were great in both movies. MS Narayana has become my favourite comic over time. His timing is great and he always looks funny. Loved him in Yamadonga, Bumper Offer, Athadu etc. Brahmi can get on my nerves, but his role in Brindavanam was really entertaining and I liked him as the 'Bommarillu father' better than Chitragupta. And the short guy (Venu Madhav) who played Bhumi's cousin (and was about the same age as his on-screen father :D) was a riot too. I love it when the comedians are a part of the main story, not there only for a separate comedy track.
Eh, a hard one! I guess I liked the main characters in Yamadonga just a notch better than in Brindavanam.
|Very imaginative :)|
I don't really like the fights in SI movies, but I didn't skip them in these two. There was something about them that kept me watching. Yamadonga only had a few of them. And even though the chases and fights were very well done, they didn't leave a lasting impression.
Brindavanam wins. I won't even go into detail as to why. Here's my evidence:
|'I command the wind!'|
|'Roaaar! I pounce!'|
|'I can fly....'|
|'... and send others flying as well.'|
Yamadonga has Nuvv Muttukunte, Nachore and Rabbaru Gajulu, all with great choreography, full of energy and impressive dance moves. Mamta, Priyamani and Rambha are good dancers and they held their ground next to Jr. which is no mean feat. But the videos in Brindavanam were so full of colour, joie de vivre and the music was so catchy that I couldn't stop watching them. Beautifully shot, good use of special effects and nice locations. But I have to admit it was painful watching Kajal trying to match Samantha and Jr. Ntr in Chinnadho :P
I can't decide! I guess it's a tie.
Moments I Hated:
|You're very right to cry! Now go with you brother and stand in the corner!|
There were none in Yamadonga. Sure, the fight at the end was more bloody than necessary, but it didn't make me uncomfortable. What DID make me uncomfortable was the beating of Krishna in Brindavanam. I HATED it so, so much :( Why do they keep doing this? Why do they think it's cool to beat somebody who isn't putting up a fight? I couldn't finish Bindaas for the exact same reason. I really wish Krishna would have defended himself. It's just not cool to get a beating, even if they were his elders and blah blah blah. That moment almost ruined the movie for me - yes, I hated it that much >:(
So Yamadonga wins. Better main characters, better story and no a single moment that I hated. :)
|Yes, either way it was a win-win situation for you :D|
I've already written that I loved the dialogues and comedy of Brindavanam. Here are a few instances where I had to smile/laugh..
|So cute :* Mwah!|