'Battala Ramaswamy Biopikku' is now streaming on ZEE5. Here is our review of the direct OTT release.
Battala Ramaswamy (Altaf Hassan) is a small-time vendor who makes a living by selling sarees in his native village in Andhra Pradesh's Godavari district. He ends up marrying three women Jayaprada, Jayasudha and Sridevi in quick succession. Two of the marriages happen in unusual circumstances. What consequences the marriages lead to is the crux of the story.
Director Ram Narayan ropes in fairly decent actors for the roles. Altaf looks the part of a naive villager who is victimized by circumstances. Lavanya Reddy, Satvika Jay and Shanthi Rao, who play his wives, are over the top at times. Comedian Bhadram gets a large role and his comedy fails to tickle the funny bone.
Director Ram Narayan doubles up as the film's music director. The montage songs are worth a watch, and they would have been best utilized in a respectable film. PSK Mani's cinematography passes muster. Upender Reddy's art direction is okayish. Maanvi Goutham's costumes are realistic.
While the performances keep the audience glued for the first 15-20 minutes, the film becomes an unbearable mess after a point. The first two marriages are in the zone of believability. The love story between Ramaswamy and Jayaprada is narrated with brevity, with the woman's angry father and dramatic mother getting space.
And when the second marriage takes place, we buy into the film's oddball flavour to an extent. We hope for the comedy to be healthy and become a drama delving into human relations.
As the story advances, the film tests your patience like anything. The third marriage sends the 'biopikku' into an avalanche of immature situations. The second half of this 146-minute-long insanity hardly has a moment worth a laugh. Far from being comical, they end up irking the audience.
The husband and the three wives go over-the-top and start irritating us with their childish antics. They fight over silly issues and bond all of a sudden.
Don't know what writer Vasudeva Murthy was even thinking about the story, which has no conflict plot point in the first place. A narrator breaks the fourth wall and keeps telling the audience that every live has got twists. But what happens in Ramaswamy's life is not called 'twists'. They are called the 'paithyam' of a mediocre cine writer.
'Battala Ramaswamy Biopikku' is a shockingly juvenile movie. Just avoid it!