What’s it about?
Satya (Anikha Surendran), a native of the Araku hill village, spends her days assisting her mother. She goes into the woods to light deepam and pray to her Kannayya (Lord Krishna). She also makes a point of leaving her ‘bomma’ at Kannayya’s feet whenever she leaves her village.
When her mother asks her to dial a client’s number, she dials the wrong number. Murali, an auto driver portrayed by Surya Vasisshta, represents the other side. The misunderstanding sparks a friendship that develops into something more between the two of them. Sathya is smitten by his voice but has yet to meet him in person. She doesn’t have a smart phone, so she can’t check out his Whatsapp profile picture (DP).
Satya goes to Vishakapatnam to meet Murali after learning that her family has decided to arrange her marriage to a local rich person. She arrives, and an unknown man named RK (Arjun Das) causes havoc.
Many Malayalam films received critical acclaim during the pandemic lockdown period, thanks to OTT platforms. One such film was “Kappela,” which centred on a young girl and dealt with the issue of sex trafficking in an elegant manner. A slow-paced film, but the emotions and tensions it evoked made it an engaging watch.
Sithara Entertainments purchased the remake rights and remade it as “Butta Bomma” in Telugu. The original film’s title alludes to Christianity and prayer. “Butta Bomma” is a toy that the protagonist keeps with her and places at Lord Krishna’s idol. From the title to the plot, the Telugu filmmakers (directed by newcomer Shouree Chandrashekhar Ramesh, who has previously worked with Rajamouli, Sukumar, and Trivikram) have faithfully followed the original while making minor changes to suit the nativity. The original’s Wayanad setting becomes Araku here.
“Butta Bomma” has almost exactly followed the original. The only significant change was in the beginning sequence. The plot of “Kappela” may not appear to be novel, but the treatment of the story is what makes it unique. So, the Telugu filmmakers have not changed the treatment. The film, like the original, moves at a slow pace at times, particularly when the heroine and hero fall in love over the phone. There is no tension in the story until heroine Satya moves to Vizag in search of auto driver Murali. The real drama unfolds in the second half.
The film falls short despite the fact that it closely follows “Kappela” and features a solid cast.
All three main actors have done a fantastic job. Anikha Surendran, who has previously played child actors in films, has performed admirably in her debut as a lead heroine. She did an excellent job in the climax sequence. Surya Vashishta is fine as the auto driver. Arjun Das is fantastic in his role of RK. Navya Swamy, a TV actress, does well in her first feature film role.
The technical output is okay. Ganesh Ravuri’s dialogues in the climactic beach sequence are effective.
Bottom line: “Butta Bomma” is a well-crafted film about a social issue, but it is not as effective as the original Malayalam film.
By Jalapathy Gudelli
Film: Butta Bomma
Cast: Anikha Surendran, Arjun Das, Surya Vashistta, Navya Swamy, and others
Dialogues: Ganesh Kumar Ravuri
Music: Gopi Sundar
DOP: Vamsi Patchipulusu
Editor: Navin Nooli
Art Director: Vivek Annamalai
Producers: Naga Vamsi, Sai Soujanya
Director: Shouree Chandrashekhar Ramesh
Release Date: Feb 04, 2023