Like many earlier films in 90’s, the backdrop of Speedunnodu is Venaktapuram. The unemployed hero is a kind of good-hearted and willing to put himself in trouble for his friends. Shoban’s (Bellamkonda Sreenivas) life of happy go lucky guy runs smoothly before he decides to help his friend played by Madhu. Who asks him a favor to woo a girl named, Vasanthi (Sonarika) whom he sees in Prema Pavuuram (that’s a bus name!!) every day. After series of comical sequences and attempts to impress Vasanthi, the story of the film turns around to a emotional mode when Shoban and Vasanthi get together instead. But the real shocker comes when he faces his friends turned foes for the perfidy forms the rest of the storyline.
The actors have nothing much to display on screen other than what they have usually done, in most films. Bellamkonda Srinivas continues to impress with “Speedunnodu” with his effort and his histrionics are neat. In major scenes he repeats his Alludu Seenu style once again. Sonarika Bhadoria is quite good in her traditional character and also lends the oomph when required in the massy numbers. Krishna Chaitanya, Kabir Duhan Singh, Shakalaka Shankar, Madhu and Srinivas Reddy are promising in the limited roles. Prakash Raj in a cameo seems to be having a solid time, basking in the profuseness of roles that he has been flooded with of late, and is remarkably fine. Rao Ramesh, Pavitra Lokesh, Jhansi, Psani Krishna Murali, Prudhvi, Rama Prabha and Pavala Shamala have nothing much to do in their limited roles. Tamannaah Bhatia is ravishing in the item number.
A fair amount of amount of curiosity and expectation were generated when Bhimaneni Srinivasa Rao and his team got off the blocks for their new cinematic venture, with a youthful title “Speedunnodu”. Its an official remake of 2012 Tamil Super Hit film “Sundarapandian” starring M ShasiKumar and Lakshmi Menon. The movie even got remade in Kannada as “Raja Huli”.
As melodrama and clichés go on and on, we start wondering if this one was made a few decades ago. Of course, there lies the catch. The film is modern day approach of realistic emotional drama “Raja Huli”. The major assets in the original and Kannada remake version were the lead actors, characterizations and director's realistic approach towards the issues. The way directors handled “How protective villagers can be towards their family and friends” is too realistic and runs on an emotional arc. That’s where Telugu film fails to carry the emotions. There is even no proper justification given to the friends characters in the end.
Where Bhimaneni Srinivasa Rao’s film loses out on is that it fails to make the essential connections with the audience, that are so imperative for an emotional film “Speedunnodu” to work. On the contrary, it leaves the viewers vexed and comes to an abrupt end, when the writer/director runs of ideas. Neither the realism nor the witty repartees serve to draw the viewer into Shoban’s world and had they done so, “speedunnodu” would have been a different kind of a feel good film altogether for the Telugu audience.
The story meanders without definite plan or direction most of the time and makes it all into a tedious journey to the end. The film starts and meanders along towards a meek end. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration if it is said that nothing worthwhile happened in between. Half baked comic caper that the film is, in the first half, turns into an emotional drama second half, with Shoban becoming a suspect. The feel good emotional mystery that is sought to be cooked up fizzled out leaving the viewer in the high and dry. The final conversation between friends was expected to redeem the movie, but instead it looks unbalanced that it proves to be the last nail in the coffin.
Music department is handled by Sri Vasanth rather ordinarily, with no song being hummable other than “Bellamkonda” track. The Background Score by Sri Vasanth in the interval sequence deserves a special mention. The bombinating and luring locations are ably captured to frames by Vijay Ulaganath. Editor Gautham Raju could have trimmed 15-20 of the film, leaving unnecessary comedy sequences aside. Production Values Goodwill Cinema are grand.
What if Bellamkonda Sreenivas, who has carved out a niche for himself with his commercial acting style, decides to do a conventional emotional drama? Well, that’s is what happens in director Bhimaneni Srinivasa Rao’s Speedunnodu where he desperately tries to do what our commercial directors try to do with remake subjects. You can only watch director Bhimineni’s Speedunnodu with tremendous choler and skepticism, as he tries to make mockery of two (Sundarapandian and Raja Huli) much loved films with this one.