Happy Birthday: Hilarious comedy

Happy Birthday

Rama Krishna Sangem

I watched Happy Birthday, 154 minute satirical comedy at Prasads on July 12, 7.45 pm show. Due to incessant rains, Screen 4 was half-full, but the top class comedy on the screen was more than full. Director Ritesh Rana, also story writer, sufficiently proved as authentic filmmaker in Tollywood, which is starved of this kind of brainy comedy. For Lavanya Tripathi, this movie will be a unique in her filmography.

If there is any film since recently that drew audience to theaters through its teaser, it is Happy Birthday. Released on July 8, this movie waded into an inclement weather that triggered heavy rains, otherwise, it would have grossed record collections at the Box Office. Still, the movie has a long run in theaters and later on OTT, if the producers have any such plans. This film set new standards for Telugu audience tastes (why not make it into other languages?)

Set in a fictional country of Vindia, and of course, in a Telugu speaking state, the film deals with consequences of a new gun law passed by the parliament by a union minister Vennela Kishore (Ritwk Sodhi). Lavanya as Happy and Baby, lovely sisters, along with many others enters a luxury Ritz hotel owned by the minister. What happens there, where at least half a dozen characters struggle for survival (or identity?).

This is not a film whose story can be mentioned in a huff. In fact, here story immerse in the beauty of screenplay and dialogues. Naresh Agastya (Lucky), Satya (Max Pain), Gundu Sudarshan (Uncle Fixit), Rahul Ramakrishna (as Gunda) and Vidyullekha Raman (Hotel executive) have stolen the show, in bits and pieces. The 3 sisters of Lucky -Roj, Rosy, and Roja – cameos are unforgettable (Ritesh stolen the scenes from anywhere?) 

There are plenty of one-liners or cryptic dialogues that make us roll in our seats. The opening interview of the union minister by a TV journalist (CVL Narasimha Rao) sets the tone for the movie). Lavanya as a drunken girl in Posh Pub in the hotel is unbelievable. Her intoxicated crush on a hotel security officer is rib tickler. Satya trying to learn on Youtube how to run a gear-less car is everyday experience of us.

These types of movies we usually see in Hindi. Ritesh did a fabulous job in introducing this genre to Telugu audience. This is his second movie, after Mattu Vadalara (2019) with mostly new comers. Interlacing  political with personal needs craft. Sometimes you may feel comedy slips into flippancy. But, don’t mind, there is enough serious stuff in the form of satire in the film.

Kala Bhairava’s music is superb and Karthika Srinivas’s editing is gripping. Suresh Sarangam’s camera syncs with the story narration. Mythri Movie Makers must be greeted for their support to this kind of movies. During a song, there is a tagline -this song is made at the request of the producers of the film. There also a dialogue on the remuneration of a writer and profits of a producer. An outright comedy!

I just couldn’t but call up Ritesh Rana and congratulate him the next day!



Rama Krishna Sangem

Ramakrishna chief editor of excel India online magazine and website

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Rama Krishna Sangem

Excel India national news magazine is a media startup founded and piloted by Rama Krishna Sangem, a Hyderabad based senior journalist with over three decade experience in the field of media, mostly in print journalism. His rich experience in reporting for both Telugu and English newspapers and heading a TV news channel and some online outfits will be of immense use to this venture. Excel India English news magazine seeks to fill the gap of analytical understanding to our readers who today are confronted with myriad media platforms. Our online version not only offers regular updates and commentary on happenings around us, but also gives larger stories not limited by space constraints of a print magazine. Excel India is ably run by a team of senior journalists committed to values and quality standards in the profession. We urge you all to support and guide us in this endeavour. Reach us at excelindiaweb123@gmail.com