A brilliant medico who’s the topper of his class has anger management issues. What happens when he loses control of his life due to an unforeseen incident? Does he get a chance at redemption?
Arjun Reddy (Vijay Deverakonda) is a vintage Bullet-riding, football-playing, angry, young final year medico who believes his actions are always justified. Preeti (Shalini Pandey), a first year student, walks into his life and it is love at first sight for the protagonist. She is a stark contrast to everything he is and at first, it seems like he bullies her into spending time with him. But time passes, love blossoms, passion roars, and nowhere does his fire lessen.
But things change; circumstances force Arjun away from his love and he seems to hit rock bottom with a force that’s surprising, yet expected. He turns into a modern day Devadas, complete with a dog by his side. From a brilliant young man whose only issue was his anger, he turns into a raging alcoholic who smokes pot during his downtime and does coke whenever it gets too much. Despite all this, he continues to practice as a surgeon at a hospital till life threatens to throw him on his back again.
There’s one dialogue in the movie that perfectly sums up the character of Arjun Reddy. Priyadarshi, who plays a cameo in the film, calls Arjun a ‘free spirited individual in a democratic world’. There’s nothing more apt than that to describe a character that you would both love and fear if you met him in real life. With ‘Arjun Reddy’, Sandeep Vanga has managed to tell a story that is seldom told, without sleaze or cheesy lines or OTT drama.
The protagonists of this film refreshingly refuse to confirm. All things scandalous to the world become but a way of life for Arjun. He questions the righteous middle class morality that society keeps throwing at his face, and lives his life without giving a damn. Even while turning to drugs, alcohol and casual sex, there’s an I-don’t-give-an-eff attitude about Arjun. For him, these are just means to an end -- an escape from his heartache. The writing is so real, the acting so raw that you forget Arjun Reddy is a character played by Vijay Deverakonda. You feel this the most when in a key scene before the interval you face a heartbroken Arjun Reddy and realise you too are left with a broken heart and lump in your throat as well. After a light-hearted film like ‘Pelli Choopulu’, Vijay Deverakonda has proven he’s more than just a pretty face, by carrying off a character as complex as this.
Preeti, on the other hand, starts out as a timid student you believe is being bullied and transforms into a woman who’s right in her convictions and strong enough to stand by them.
While Vijay Deverakonda is hands down the star of the show, and Preeti manages to come a close second, it is the character of Arjun’s friend Shiva (Rahul) that deserves a special mention. He manages to be the sunshine in a world that keeps getting darker for Arjun. Kanchana who plays his grandmother in the film pulled off the role with beautiful ease too.
The dialogues, characters, instances in the film are so raw and realistic, one almost does not mind the long run time that drags in the second half. What also deserve a special mention are the beautiful songs, with music director Radhan doing a brilliant job of them. ‘Arjun Reddy’ is simply put, the dawn of a new era of films for the Telugu film industry.