Gullible youth falling for the charms of heroes, mostly politicians, is nothing new for cinema, may be right from the Sunny Deol-starrer Arjun in Hindi (whose Kannada avatar was Pralayantaka with Ravichandran and Bhavya).
Adoring their idols, ready to do their bidding, young men, and sometimes women, get into situations of no-return and their lives are changed irrevocably. Prem Adda presents the tale of five such people.
There are Ranganatha and Seena (Prem and Murali Krishna), hot-blooded and hot-headed. There are Mante and Kitta, the former ready for any spoils and the latter keen to follow the other three for the sake of friendship. And then there is Girija, who chides her lover for shyness but at the end can’t muster enough courage to do what is right.
The story is also made up of Somaiah, a local political leader and his brothers. And obviously, the police.
Mahesh Babu brings Sasikumar’s surprise hit Subramaniapuram to Kannada as Prem Adda. Apart from the needless title controversy, the film contains an overdose of long knives, matchetes, a little blood and plenty of decapitation and stabbing.
With the film set in 1981, Prem Adda may well teach wannabe killers the most important lesson — have no feeling for the life that is forced out of another body.
Though called Mandyada Basanti, Aindrita Ray’s charms don’t go beyond the front bench kings and a while later, the entire theatre. Scarlet Wilson fares slightly better with a situational number nudged into the plot.
Malavalli Saikrishna’s dialogues are bang on, Arun D Prasad’s camera works well and Harikrishna’s tune has the crowd cheering and dancing. Raviverma and Mass Maada treat the viewers to some pulling, shoving and jolly good fighting scenes.
The audience is also treated to colour newspapers and usage of word ‘boyfriend’ (1981 is for most people today a part of ancient civilisation) among other bloopers.
The pick of actors however, is Meka Murali Krishna, the producer, whose deadpan face springs into life unexpectedly. Prem seems to enjoy his role while Kruti Kharbanda fills the eyes and heart.
Coming close on the heels of Drama, Prem Adda passes by like a gust of wind full of dust.