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Cheliya versus Arjun Reddy


Certain sections of the English-language media had a strange complaint about Mani Ratnam’s ‘Cheliyaa’ (‘Kaatru Veliyadai’). The reviews written by some apparently feminism-loving critics unequivocally pointed out that Varun (Karthi) was the wrong kind of lover, a misogynist that he was. Leela Abraham (Aditi Rao Hydari), we were told, was in an abusive relationship.

Some commentators actually made a social analysis of the movie. “Why do women live in such relationships?” righteous voices thundered. Reading them, one could almost see them cry.

Among Varun’s sins, as per the reviewers, were this: he physically pushed around Leela, his body language exuded arrogance, and he even shouted her down on a bad day (read the interval scene).

In what is intriguing, ‘Arjun Reddy’ has been received with so much of hyperbolic praise and even reverence from the same sections! Why not, you may ask. Only that Arjun Reddy (Vijay Devarakonda) can be accused of the same sins that Mani Ratnam’s hero was.

He physically pushes around Preethi (Shalini) in an intensely emotional scene, his body language is intimidatory in the initial scenes, and he curses her on a bad day, that too for no mistake of hers.

There is more…

While Mani’s hero turns out to be an unflawed lover as the story progresses, living with Leela’s memories while being a Prisoner of War in Pakistan, Arjun Reddy, unable to outlive his traumatic break-up with Shalini, doesn’t mind getting raunchy, if only to put his past behind.

Mani’s hero was almost poetic. ‘Na swabhavam vidhvamsam’ (Annihilation is my nature), he tells the heavenly Leela, implicitly urging her to help him rid of his guilt by walking out (?) of the relationship.

Yet, if the critics are to have their way, Arjun Reddy is lovely whereas Varun was a jerk.

Remember, Varun comes from an unhappy background (an overbearing father who bullies his family, a mentally-challenged brother), while Arjun hails from a near-perfect family which would rather celebrate a granny’s death by playing the departed soul’s favourite number instead of wasting away the lifetime opportunity by sobbing.

There is a psychology at work here…

Mani Ratnam was too mature not to have his heroine talk about her lover’s flaws. She questions him. Exhausted, she warns him that if his rude behaviour with her continued, she would permanently bid adieu to him.

On the other hand, Arjun Reddy’s girl is very meek. Give her six hours’ time to break free from her family, she would never question his unworkable option. Behave like a rowdy with her family, that too after her marriage, she wouldn’t even give an angry gaze.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Uttarandhra boxoffice update till 13/04/2017

Katamarayudu has collected a share of 70 thousand on it’s 20th day and total share of 20 days is 6,21,64,884 . The film is a flop as it was bought for 8.1 Cr.

Guru has collected has a share of 4,96,856 on it’s 13th day and total share for 13 days is 2,12,99,959. The film is a Hit

Cheliya has collected a share of 1,04,633 on it’s 6th day and total share for 6 days is 22,24,788 . The film is a disaster.

Rogue movie closed at a share of 25,71,944 . The film is a disaster as it was bought for 0.81 Cr.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Cheliya Movie Review : Technically Brilliant, but Boring !

Cheliya Movie Review

Cheliya Movie Review

Known for his poignant romantic entertainers with strong emotions, master filmmaker Mani Ratnam is back with yet another film titled as Cheliya. Starring Karthi and Aditi Rao Hydari in the lead roles, the film has its music score done by A R Rahman. The refreshing trailers and the heartwarming songs have hinted that the romantic thriller will be on the lines of Mani Ratnam’s cult classics. Let’s see if Mani Ratnam casts a magic spell with this romantic entertainer or not.


Varun ( Karthi ) is an Indian army pilot, who’s being held as prisoner in 1999 Kargil War. While in Rawalpindi jail, he recollects his love travel with Leela (Aditi rao Hydari). Set in Shrinagar , an young air force officer VC aka Varun romances with multiple girls before falling for Dr. Leela into deeper true love. The conflict point is his non-serious appearing love, male egoistic attitude versus her mad love which also demands an equal relationship. Rest of the story is the consequences of his attitude in flashback, in present day how he escapes from Pakistani prison. Narrated in sliced flash back format, Cheliya story has an interesting plot on paper.


Karthi as army pilot in initial scenes is very good. With his crew cut, cool shades Karthi appeared T-fit for this Casanova army pilot role. However, as the story gets heavy, in pathos he should have done better. Heroine Aditi Rao Hydari is gorgeous with her luminous skin – whitish complexion. Attractive eyes enhance this princess beauty, she acted well too. All other roles in this film are insignificant, whole story runs between the lead pair

Cheliya movie has a different storyline, never seen before backdrop to the story, Jaw dropping locations of Kashmir, Real fighter jets shown in authentic army air bases, couple of great visuals’ songs, very beautiful heroine, Camera work and art work are of top of the top league… But all got killed by Maniratnam’s ultra slow scenes, meaningless emotionless conversations! With great technical teams at his disposal, Maniratnam should make movies at bit faster pace and with natural conversations. It’s a criminal waste of others’ effort to do films at such slow pace. Many dialogues make us laugh with irritation.
In this film, Maniratnam tries to present a love track between two completely attitude lovers. Also, he projects Kids before marriage (born for same couple) is an acceptable norm. In one scene, he jovially showcases that hero’s brother and brother’s lover gets traditionally married with full rituals at her 9th month of pregnancy. At the end of the marriage ritual, she is rushed to labor room for delivery. What A sarcastic take that is.
First half of the film is watchable though the conversations between lead pair are boring. Second half is weak, doesn’t offer much except picture locations. However, Climax is slightly better

Technically Cheliya is one of the best films in recent times. Ravi Varman’s cinematography is arresting as he captured Nilgiris , Kashmir and Serbia locations in never seen before way. Each other technical departments too excelled in their job. Sharmishta roy’s art design is elegant. The uncanny homes, rooms set in Kashmir valley are elevated with her designed interiors. Earrings worn by Aditi Rao (Jewelry courtesy: Amrapali) may become trend amongst girls. Sham Kaushal choreographed stunts are good, especially climax chase scene in which Varun runs away from Pakistan search parties after his jail escape. A R Rahman music is great in couple of songs, and as background score. “ Maimarupaa.. “song is one of his best compositions. However remaining tunes are disappointing, are not as popular as his previous films. Production values of this film are superior class.

Cheliya film is visually appealing to eyes, will be liked by ardent fans of Maniratnam style of slow paced taking. Common movie lovers may find it very hard to have a satisfactory experience. Heroine, Picturesque locations and technical finesse being positive points , this film’s survival at Box-office is tough as it tests patience with mindless conversations (atleast in Telugu version) between  the lead pair.

Telugu360 rating 2.75/5

Release Date : 07 April, 2017
Director : Mani Ratnam
Music Director : A. R. Rahman
Cinematography: Ravi Varman
Starring : Karthi, Aditi Rao Hydari

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.



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