Everyone is a filmmaker…at heart!
Thus declares ‘Cinema Bandi’, the new Telugu film that is currently being streamed on Netflix. Known for their quality content, Bollywood filmmakers Raj-DK (Raj Nidimoru and Krishna D.K) have produced this small-budgeted film set in a small village near Tirupati.
The premise is interesting. Chancing upon a digital movie camera, an auto driver hopes to make a film in his village to change his fortunes and the villagers is the central point.
Auto Driver Veera (Vikas Vasishta) finds that someone left a bag in his auto. Learning that the bag has a big camera, he takes it to his friend Gana (Sandeep Varanasi), a local wedding photographer. Veera first wants to sell off for Rs 10,000 but Gana tells him that the camera is a movie camera that can fetch more than Rs 10000 per month if they rent it out. The next day, Veera gets the idea of making a film in their village with the camera using villagers as the actors. They finally find a love story written by a villager, take barber Maridesh as a hero and a student Divya as heroine.
Neither Veera nor Gana knows remotely anything about making a film. How would they complete, what problems are in store for them?
Seemingly inspired by the Hindi documentary Supermen of Malegaon (2008), ‘Cinema Bandi’ directed by newcomer Praveen Kandregula is laced with humor, with natural dialogue in Chittoor dialect.
With a runtime of 90 minutes, it mostly focuses on hilarious situations that arise in finding a hero, heroine, their lack of knowledge about shot division, etc. While it does provide some laughs, it doesn’t entirely engaging enough. Plus, the situations defy the logic.
I don’t think villagers in Andhra Pradesh or Telangana are that ignorant about a camera or the process of moviemaking. In a land that is obsessed with movies, the story setting seems out of place.
The performances are the main strength. The dialect is pitch-perfect.
Bottom-line: ‘Cinema Bandi’ is about an auto driver chancing upon a camera and trying to make a feature film. Director Praveen Kandregula has made a simple movie with a dose of humor. However, it lacks believability.
By: Jalapathy Gudelli
Stream It or Skip It?: Stream it
(OTT) Film: Cinema Bandi
Cast: Vikas Vasishta, Sandeep Varanasi, Sindhu, Sirivennela Yanamandhala
Written by: Vasanth Mariganti
Music: Sirish Satyavolu
Cinematography: Apoorva Shaligram, Sagar Yvv
Editor: Ravi Teja Girijala, Dharmendra Kakarala
Directed by: Praveen Kandregula
Release Date: May 14, 2021
Streaming on: Netflix