Toronto After Dark: Eega (2012) – S.S. Rajamouli

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Bug Night at Toronto After Dark continued with this brilliantly colorful, melodramatic Indian revenge flick, with that wonderful Tollywood flavor, with Eega.

Nani (Nani) and Bindhu (Samantha Prabhu) have been flirting and chasing one another for two years, as the two finally connect, Sudeep (Kiccha Sudeepa) comes into the picture, a bit of a bad bloke, he’s a schemer, a murderer and a womanizer. And he now has his eyes set out Bindhu, and will not tolerate anyone in his way.

So minutes after Nani gets the only song and dance in the movie, Sudeep mercilessly kills him, and begins to pursue Bindhu.

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But as his soul is leaving his body, Nani has made two promises, one to always be there for Bindhu, and the other to kill Sudeep should he go near her. So he finds himself reincarnated as a fly and goes to town on Sudeep, making his life hell, while trying to find a way to kill him, something he tells the villain he plans to do in no uncertain terms which leads into an applause-filled scene, as well as an awesome intermission card.

This type of film plays well with the festival crowd, the melodrama is high, the scenario delightfully absurd, and the execution, enjoyable.

The cg work on our reincarnated hero isn’t near Pixar levels, but you get so involved in the sheer wackiness of the film that your suspension of disbelief is temporarily put on hold. The training montage sequence had the audience laughing and clapping outrageously.

Like most Indian films, music plays a large part in this film, so much so that it almost its own character, leading voice to emotions being felt by the characters, heightening moments, and weaving motifs and stings throughout.

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It is Kiccha’s performance of Sudeep though that steers the film, yes, he’s the villain of the piece, but he also has to sell being harassed and attacked by this fly. He plays it wonderfully, becoming almost manic as Nani drives him to distraction, and a lot of physical pain. You want to feel sorry for him, but you know he’s a bad guy, and deserves what he gets. And his comeuppance is well-delivered.

The story rolls along, and the festival audience got right into, laughing at the melodrama that opens the film, toes tapping and humming as Nani sings his heart out, and peals of laughter as one painful encounter after another is laid on Sudeep.

Once again, this is one of those films that may not work so well if viewed on your own, but when viewed with a festival audience, it’s a delightful treat that makes you laugh, shake your head and believe a fly can write.

So ends Bug Night for Toronto After Dark, Saturday afternoon has a shorts presentation, and then tomorrow eve is Zombie Appreciation Night with Stalled and The Battery.

What are you watching After Dark?

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