Touch Chesi Choodu is the kind of film where the title has the exact opposite effect of what it intends to convey. Here, the title is meant to be a bold statement about a man’s bravado and machismo, but instead, what we get in the end is oodles of boredom served in super slow-motion. The yawn-inducing drama that rounds up the usual suspects — corrupt politicians, a damsel, a maverick cop, students, good Samaritans, family members — unfolds along predictable lines, and the only thing that rescues the film from being an absolute bore-fest is Ravi Teja’s screen presence.
Directed by Vikram Sirikonda, the film is about Karthikeya (Ravi Teja), a businessman based in Puducherry. He loves his family so much that he can’t bear anyone working in their company ignoring their loved ones. One fine day, when Karthikeya’s father asks him to get married, Karthikeya agrees immediately. As a result, he ends up meeting Pushpa (Raashi Khanna), and the duo are drawn close to each other. And then, one fine day, his past comes back to haunt him and we are finally introduced to the real avatar of Karthikeya.
In recent past, Ravi Teja has become adept at playing a different version of himself with each film. It’s hard to differentiate what he does in any given film if you don’t get the hang of the story. That sort of works well in some of his more entertaining films like Raja The Great, Mirapakay, Kick to name a few. Because in those films, apart from Ravi Teja, there’s some structure and heft to the story and rest of the characters. In Touch Chesi Choodu, Vikram Sirikonda plays the waiting game for far too long before unveiling his trump card. And by the time the twist is revealed, when Mani Sharma truly gets the license to go full-on ‘Dandanaka-naka-dandanaka’ with his background score, you also realise that it was much ado about nothing. The only thing that stands out here is Mani Sharma’s rousing background score. The thrill of watching a sincere cop doing his job falls flat in the wake of a poorly-written role for the villain. In fact, calling anything ‘thrilling’ in context of the film would result in an alert message from Microsoft Word for using the wrong word.
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Somewhere in the beginning of the ‘actual’ plot of Touch Chesi Choodu, we are forced to ask some important questions — If this is the plot of the film, then where’s the conflict? If there is a conflict, then where’s the drama? If there’s anything that’s remotely dramatic about the film, why does it get shrouded under the weight of its lethargic writing? Frankly, there are no answers and by the time you come to a conclusion, chances are that the story would have moved at 1080 frames/sec and you wouldn’t have missed a thing.
When you watch a Ravi Teja film, which sets out to ‘entertain’ you, you know what to expect. Here, neither the laughs-per-minute nor twists-per-hour add up to justify all the hullabaloo that the story and its characters try to create. In the wake of a weak screenplay and mediocre drama, the overall experience of watching this Ravi Teja’s film is akin to trying to stay awake after your mind refuses to co-operate.
However, there are few moments in the film which bring a chuckle or two. For instance, Ravi Teja and Raashi’s conversations are decent enough to make you smile for few seconds, and there’s another scene where Vennela Kishore cribs about his hunger pangs. Seerat Kapoor, Jayaprakash, and Murali Sharma deliver decent performances, apart from Ravi Teja and Raashi, but the rest of the cast gets too little to work with.
At a run-time of close to 146 minutes, Touch Chesi Choodu not only relies on your admiration for Ravi Teja’s relentless energy but also tests your patience in sitting through its dull drama. It might very well have been named as ‘Opika Unte Choodu’ (Watch it if you have patience). At least, that would have justified whatever follows after the titles roll in the beginning.