Art & Culture

Telugu film review: My wife is James Bond

Mona Ramavat
Mona RamavatJul 25, 2015 | 13:53

Telugu film review: My wife is James Bond

How do we like our gangsters? In black Italian-made suits and shades, hair gelled in place, cynical sinister smiles? Too much gold paired with a lungi, for the "anna" version of the typical bhai? The typical bhai? But none of these seen-them-"don"-that stuff is happening here, though. This gangster couldn't care less about meeting a potential client in a bikini, aims two guns (arms outstretched) rising out of a swimming pool like some sort of a killer water nymph, intimidates burly looking men with a stare, the heels of her boots and the handy gun. She sleeps childlike, the gun stowed under the pillow like a comforting soft toy. It's even tucked at her hip under the sari (yes sari), the customary glass of warm milk in one hand when she is stomping up the stairs for her wedding night. Now, this is what happens if a 20-something-year-old ultra successful Dubai don gets married because she has an ailing mother back in Hyderabad and the cancer reports seem to improve only when the said mother is kept happy.


Cast: Sakshi Chaudhary, Allari Naresh, Ashish Vidyarthi

Direction: Sai Kishore Macha

Music: Sai Karthik

The said husband is the puppy-phobic sort and when the time comes, he manages to shoot a gun too, but eliciting a comment like: "Why is he aiming in Andhra when he wants to shoot in Telangana?" Allari Naresh does in James Bond what he does best, the male lead providing comic relief. He is Nani, the average techie, looking to marry a homely comely girl. When he happens to see the fearsome buxom Bullet aka Pooja, played by Sakshi Chaudhary, it's love at first sight since he's as deceived by the daughter act as the mother is; read sari, temple, traditions. The daughter-in-law act is weakly funny. But the oh-my-god-I-married-a-James-Bond moment of discovery does hold some drama, if only for a moment. We see that she can be stirred but never shaken. Not a strand of hair slips out whether she's kicking ass or drawing a spare magazine from her neat ponytail.

We know he's safe when she's around. This kind of role reversal is usually hard to come by in Telugu films and is entertaining but within the ambit of mass entertainers, the razzle-dazzle, song and dance safely in place, unlike its inspiration, the South Korean film, My Wife is a Gangster. From infatuation to intimidation to eventual procreation, the alpha female - average male equation had to be made slapstick funny to be taken seriously. We wonder what percentage of men watching this film fantasised in the dark of having a woman stronger, braver and taller (almost) than them. What might it feel like to be kept under check at gunpoint by your wife? Mightily unacceptable for the male ego? Amusing or kinky perhaps? Is intimidation secretly sexy too? Likewise, were the women vicariously satisfied watching this unconventional character but disappointed that she was made to fit in into a more familiar framework of popular cinema, if not society? The film starts off with a meeting of the extremes and progresses to a conclusion where both have come midway to turn into each other's versions of themselves. How else to ensure a happy ending? Talking of which, perhaps James Bond part two - if there'll be one - might just have the husband take over, Godfather style, with Bullet staying home, mother to his child.

Last updated: July 25, 2015 | 13:58
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