Check: Merlapaka Gandhi tries to take on award-winning black comedy Andhadhun and touch it up a bit to Teacher. While the basic rhythms of the film remain familiar and it’s almost a frame-by-frame remake, there are hearts pulled by sentiment and spoon-fed key points of the plot while left to the imagination in the original. By the time the scene arrives where a leader knocks a soda can out of his way, you’re left with mixed feelings.
Arun (Nithiin) is a blind pianist in Goa, who lives in the disabled rooms with only his cat Rani for company. He plays his music at local restaurants to make ends meet and save enough money to travel abroad. Sophie (Nabha Natesh) and her father Pedro (Balakrishna) let her play in their distressed restaurant. Elsewhere is an aging superstar named Mohan (Naresh) who loves to rewatch his old movies to reminisce about lost glory. He has been married to a much younger Simran (Tamannaah Bhatia) for two years and she harbors the dream of being an actress. Teacher He also sees Jisshu Sengupta as an IQ named Bobby, Sreemukhi as his wife Lucky, and Harshavardhan as a doctor looking to make a quick buck. An illicit affair leaves murders in its wake, a key witness must find a way to save himself, and a rabbit escapes from a cabbage farm just in time.
Teacher stays true to the original Hindi movie for the most part, although fans of Andhadhun you may find additions to the script unnecessary. The strength of the script lies in the fact that no one, except perhaps Sophie, Mohan, and their daughter Pavithra (Ananya Nagalla), are as harmless as they appear. Each and every one of these characters is willing to cross a line when it comes down to it, some more damaging than others. Therefore, making them act on self-preservation alone takes the madness out of the way they develop. Given the gist of the movie, it seems like the settings are trying to redeem a character even as the ending brings them back to where they started. Black humor also seems to be lacking in the way the movie progresses.
Nithiin seems to enjoy playing someone who doesn’t exactly have the moral authority, even if most of the people he meets seem to be worse than him. It fits perfectly into the skin of the character, either when he pretends to be something he is not or when he ends up living a nightmare. Nabha’s character has the rug ripped from the bottom and she stands her ground in a movie where she is always the last to know about anything. Tamannaah is good as the young wife who finds herself passing a line and crossing in no time, a good fit for the most part. However, his Telugu diction is distracting and detracts from certain scenes. The rest of the actors also play their roles well. The spell of Mahati Swara Sagar Vennello Aadapilla leaves an impression while the rest of the songs and BGM are fine.
Said that; Teacher It may not be the classic Ilairayaaja number that it set out to be, but it’s still as catchy as the last lively number. That makes it worth a look.
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