Varmaa on Simply South, with Dhruv Vikram and Megha: Bala’s completely uninvolving remake of Arjun Reddy

Posted on October 6, 2020


Not a single frame is distinctive, or shows that a major filmmaker is behind the camera. You get the feeling Bala was forced to direct this with his hands tied.

Spoilers ahead…

Just last year, with Adithya Varma,  we said Dhruv Vikram makes a confident debut in a faithful, competent, well-crafted remake of Sandeep Reddy Vanga’s Arjun Reddy. And now, we are faced with another remake that claims to “introduce” Dhruv Vikram — that, too, one directed by a famous filmmaker, Bala. Apart from the trivia aspect of a scrapped film being released on its own, Varmaa is significant for a number of reasons. It’s always of interest when a director with a unique style and vision takes on pre-existing material and makes it his own: think Martin Scorsese’s The Departed, which opened up the lean/mean Infernal Affairs into something far more operatic, with far more focus on interpersonal relationships. Plus, the story is right up Bala’s alley. He did, after all, make Sethu, the original “tough college senior pines for demure fresher” movie that transformed Dhruv Vikram’s father into a bona fide star.

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