'Writer Padmabhushan', produced by Anurag Reddy, Sharath Chandra, Chandru Manoharan, hit the cinemas today.
Bhushan (Suhas) hails from a middle-class family in Vijayawada. His father (Ashish Vidyarthi) and mother (Rohini Molleti) believe that he is just an assistant librarian making a meager income. However, secretly, he has penned a Telugu novel. The novel has been a huge flop, though.
Bhushan is in for a shock when a relative (played by Goparaju Ramana) identifies him as a versatile novelist and a prolific blogger. Bhushan is left wondering what makes him an accomplished novelist. He discovers that some mysterious individual has been writing novels and blogs in his name. Meanwhile, he falls in love with the relative's daughter (Tina Shilparaj).
The rest of the film is about what kind of problems Bhushan faces when his personal and professional lives intersect.
In the initial scenes, Bhushan is introduced as an assistant librarian who is against the idea of demolishing the swanky library where he works. He is a man of letters, we assume. But, deep down, he knows that he is staring at a rout. His only novel has zero takers; nobody wants to read it even if he is ready to distribute free copies. To add to his woes, he is indebted. His friend, a barber, waits on the sidelines to see him become successful.
What makes Bhushan endearing is that he is kind and is also concerned about his parents' emotions. Much of the first 30-40 minutes of the movie are one-note. It's all about establishing Bhushan's undying desire to become a recognized novelist. In the process, writer-director Shanmukha Prasanth injects some tropes and cliched humour.
We never get to know the real Bhushan. Everything is so sketchy that novel writing is presented as some sort of banal content-writing job. There is no trace of a literary bent of mind in Bhushan. Granted that he is a failed writer, but it doesn't mean his language and vocabulary would be so mundane. No character, not even avid readers of books, is seen making even a bare mention of the genre of the novel he has written.
Most of the scenes, including the love scenes, feel like filler scenes. To relieve the audience of monotony, Bhushan is shown to be a socially awkward person in one scene and a complete clown who can't get romantic in another scene. If you think about it, these scenes have zero relevance to the ending/central message of the film. Too much screen time is wasted in parading Bhushan's juvenile antics. The 'Gilli kajjalu' between the hero and heroine makes the audience believe that nothing much is going to come of the love track.
The title song has the vibe of those movies that were made in socialist India. Barber jokes, wedding buffet jokes, a piles joke... These are insipid. Asish Vidyarthi's status-conscious character is realistic as well as funny to a limited extent. His wife's secondhand embarrassment because of him in a social situation is another good idea.
Suhas' confident performance is a big merit. The technical departments also do a fine job. The final 20 minutes are memorable, accentuated by nice dialogue and performances.
'Writer Padmabhushan' is far from being a perfect film. But it has got its heart in the right place.