Cinema Bandi movie review: A feel-good film that will make you smile

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Cinema Bandi movie star cast: Sandeep Varanasi, Vikas Vasistha, Rag Mayur, Sindhu Sreenivasa
Cinema Bandi movie director: Praveen Kandregula
Cinema Bandi movie rating: 4 stars

Netflix’s new Telugu movie Cinema Bandi is a love letter to the art of cinema. The film is set in a remote village, which is far away from all the comforts that urban dwellers take for granted. Life in the countryside is simple and villagers are resigned to their fate, they don’t expect the government to improve their standard of living. At least that’s what Ganapathi (Sandeep Varanasi), who drives an auto-rickshaw in his village for a living, believes.

One day, when he returns home after the day’s work, he finds an expensive backpack in the back of his vehicle. One of his passengers has left it behind. The next morning, we find out that the bag contains a high-end camera. How high-end, do you ask? “It is the camera used to shoot Mahesh Babu and Prabhas films,” explains Veerababu (Vikas Vasistha), the popular photographer in the village and Ganapathi’s close friend. “What about Pawan Kalyan movies?” is Ganpathi’s response, who seems to believe that the camera has value only if it was used to shoot a Pawan Kalyan film. Such is the reverence that movie stars enjoy among their fans.

The ignorance and innocence are what makes the people in the village content with what life serves them. This usual equanimity gets a jolt with the discovery of the camera. It prompts Ganapathi to aspire for a better lifestyle and gives him ambition. He decides to shoot a film that will earn him Rs 100 crore profit at the box office. And once it happens (notice how he does not doubt his movie becoming a blockbuster), Ganpathi promises to fix the roads, arrange for round-the-clock electricity and rebuild the school in his village.

But, easier said than done right? So it begins. Ganapathi and Veerababu set out to make a movie within their village. And what follows is a generous supply of humour deeply rooted in reality. Amid all the laugh-out-loud moments, there are also truly heartfelt moments that will make your eyes well up. You don’t shed tears out of sadness for their struggle. It is more like a tear of gratitude for reviving our faith in virtues of innocence, honesty and the shared joy of cinema.

Filmmakers Raj Nidimoru and Krishna D.K, popularly known as Raj and DK of The Family Man fame have produced Cinema Bandi. It is helmed by debutant Praveen Kandregula.

Cinema Bandi is streaming on Netflix.

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