Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo[a] (transl. Like that in Vaikunthapurram) is a 2020 Indian Telugu-language action-drama film directed by Trivikram Srinivas and co-produced by Allu Aravind and S. Radha Krishna under their banners Geetha Arts and Haarika & Hassine Creations. The film features Allu Arjun and Pooja Hegde in the lead roles, while Tabu, Jayaram, Sushanth, Navdeep, Nivetha Pethuraj, Samuthirakani, Murali Sharma, Rajendra Prasad, Sunil, Sachin Khedekar, and Harsha Vardhan play pivotal roles. The film features soundtrack composed by Thaman S., while cinematography and editing were handled by P. S. Vinod and Naveen Nooli, respectively.
|Directed by||Trivikram Srinivas|
|Written by||Trivikram Srinivas|
|Music by||S. Thaman|
|Cinematography||P. S. Vinod|
|Edited by||Naveen Nooli|
|Box office||est. ₹250 crore|
The narrative revolves around Bantu, a skilled middle-class man who is despised and is often neglected by his father Valmiki. What Bantu doesn't know is that he's actually the son of a businessman swapped by Valmiki with his own son to give the latter a comfortable life. A violent incident draws Bantu closer to the truth, upon learning which he decides to enter Vaikunthapurram, the home of his real parents and eventually confront those who threaten his family.
The film was released theatrically on 12 January 2020, coinciding with Sankranti. It opened to positive reviews, with critics praising Allu Arjun and Murali Sharma's performances, Trivikram's writing and direction and Thaman's music. The film became a commercial success, running for more than 50 days at the domestic box office.
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Valmiki and Ramachandra start their career working as clerks in the company of Ananth Radhakrishna, or ARK. Ramachandra falls in love with ARK's daughter Yasu, and becomes rich through his marriage to her in no time while Valmiki remains poor. On the day of the birth of both Valmiki's and Ramachandra's children, Ramachandra's son appears to be dead, so the nurse Sulochana and Valmiki switch the two boys out. However, when Valmiki takes the child down, the child begins to cry and turns out to be alive. The nurse wants to switch them out again, but Valmiki prevents her from doing it and accidentally pushes her off a ledge. The nurse goes into a coma, while Valmiki gets a leg cramp that makes him limp permanently.
The boys, Raj Manohar and Bantu, are raised in two different worlds. Raj is a timid, silent, innocent, and soft-spoken rich boy while Bantu is a smart, outspoken, hard working, middle-class man. Valmiki always favors Raj no matter how hard Bantu tries to impress Valmiki. He treats Bantu with hatred and neglect due to his true parentage, even going as far as to cancel his MBA scholarship. On his way to an interview at a travel agency, Bantu gets into a fight with Shekhar and his friends over a misunderstanding. Later, while being interviewed by Ravindra, Bantu finds out Shekhar is the HR manager of the travel agency who must approve Bantu for a job. Bantu apologizes to him for the misunderstanding and altercation and gets the job. On his first day of work, Bantu gets infatuated with his boss Amulya , and stares at her legs on the elevator, without realizing she is the CEO of the travel agency. As a result, Amulya gives Bantu some tough assignments to teach him a lesson. After Bantu, Amulya, Shekhar, and Ravindra take a trip to Paris together, Amulya begins to reciprocate Bantu's feelings for her. Meanwhile, Raj returns from abroad, unable to complete his MBA. Ramachandra sends Raj to reject Paidithalli who wants to buy 50% of ARK's shares. Ramachandra watches from a hotel where Amulya, Bantu, and Sudarshan have a meeting. Ramachandra is disappointed by Raj's hesitance and inability to say no to Paidithalli, but is proud of Bantu and Amulya for saying no to Sudarshan, who wanted to buy Amulya's travel agency. Due to this, ARK fixes an engagement between Raj and Amulya, but Raj was actually in love with his cousin Nandini.
Due to Bantu's refusal, Sudarshan files a case against Bantu and Amulya. Amulya finally reveals her feelings for Bantu while reprimanding him for his inability to lie to others. Bantu convinces her to tell Ramachandra the truth-that she is in love with Bantu and does not want to marry Raj. Appala Naidu, a powerful and influential man, as well as Paidithalli's father, attempts to kill Ramachandra because of the refusal moments before Amulya and Bantu arrive. Bantu saves Ramachandra and takes him to the hospital. Bantu meets Sulochana, who has come out of her coma, and learns of his true parentage. Angry, Bantu slaps Valmiki and tells him that he knows the truth about his birth. He blackmails Ramachandra's doctor, Shrinivas to enter Vaikuntapuram - Ramachandra's home. ARK is fond of Bantu for saving Ramachandra, fixing his relationship with Yasu, setting Paidathalli straight, reforming Yasu's cousins Kashiram and Sitaram, and handling other business problems.
Due to all this, ARK throws a huge party in happiness, where Yasu witnesses Bantu and Amulya kissing and reports it to the household. Bantu is kicked out by Valmiki and the engagement is cancelled. Appala Naidu uses this to his advantage, kidnapping Nandu and threatening to kill her unless Ramachandra signs off the shares for Paidithalli. When Valmiki begs Bantu to save Nandu, he refuses, but goes anyway. He thrashes the goons, slams Paidathalli, and stabs Appala Naidu with a kebab skewer. But later, Raj comes and saves Appala Naidu and his henchmen, thus Appala Naidu comes out of his enmity with Ramachandra by seeing Raj's humanity.
When Bantu and Valmiki are at Vaikuntapuram, ARK slaps Valmiki and reveals that he heard the conversation between Sulochana and Bantu right before her death. Bantu is able to reunite with his biological father, Ramachandra, but asks him not to reveal this secret to Yasu, because Yasu is still thinking that Raj is her biological son, if he says the truth, then Yasu will get depressed. However Yasu and Raj hear this conversation and Yasu agrees Bantu as his son and the family decides to give him 50% of the company's shares. Raj also accepts Valmiki as his father and agrees to stay in his house happily for five years or more to gain the skills necessary to become the CEO. Valmiki struggles to accept the fact that Raj feels better suited in a middle class setting, repenting for the mistake he made 25 years ago. Afterwards, Raj moves into Bantu's old house and befriends his new colleagues Shekhar and Ravindra from the travel agency, much to Valmiki's dismay. Meanwhile, Bantu heads to his new office as the CEO with his wife Amulya in a helicopter, which makes Valmiki jealous.
- Allu Arjun as Bantu
- Pooja Hegde as Amulya / “Ammu”
- Tabu as Yasoda “Yasu” Radhakrishna, Bantu's real mother
- Jayaram as Ramachandra, Bantu's real father
- Sushanth as Raj Manohar
- Navdeep as Shekhar
- Nivetha Pethuraj as Nandini “Nandu”
- Murali Sharma as Valmiki, Raj's real father
- Rohini as Lakshmi, Valmiki's wife
- Rajendra Prasad as DIG Govardhan Prajapati
- Sachin Khedekar as Ananth Radhakrishna (ARK), Yasu's father
- Samuthirakani as Appala Naidu
- Sunil as Sitaram
- Harsha Vardhan as Kashiram, Nandini's father
- Govind Padmasoorya as Paidithalli
- Rahul Ramakrishna as K. Ravindra Reddy
- Vennela Kishore as Shrinivas, Ramachandra's doctor
- Brahmaji as Sudharshan
- Ajay as Banginapalli Bangaram Naidu, Appala Naidu's brother-in-law
- Tanikella Bharani as Anjaneya Prasad, Amulya's father
- Sireesha Sougandh as Amulya's mother
- Chammak Chandra as Chandru, money lender
- Easwari Rao as Nurse Sulochana
- Ananth Babu as Pujari
- Vaishnavi Chaitanya as Sailaja, Raj's real sister
- Kalyani Natarajan as Sandhya, Nandini's mother
- Hyper Aadi as Rangaraju, worker in port
- Brahmanandam in a guest appearance in the song "Ramuloo Ramulaa"
After the release of Aravinda Sametha Veera Raghava, speculations arose that Trivikram would direct a film with Allu Arjun which would be based on Rayalaseema factionalism and also rumors stated that jayanth will be playing a cop who will be dealing with factionalism in his own way. This project was officially confirmed but there was no clue about the genre. On the eve of new year it was officially announced by Geetha Arts that their next film will be in the direction of Trivikram and also mentioned that it is a co-production with Haarika & Hassine Creations. On 8 April 2019, the lead cast and crew was announced on the occasion of Allu Arjun's birthday. On 13 April 2019, the film was formally started shooting by commencing a puja ceremony attended by film team.
The first schedule of the film started on 23 April 2019. The second schedule started on 5 June 2019, during this schedule the film added Pooja Hegde, Nivetha Pethuraj, Tabu and Sushanth in pivotal roles. The title, Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo, was revealed on 15 August 2019.
In mid-November, the team moved to France to film the song "Samajavaragamana". Parts of the song was shot at Mont-Saint-Michel in Normandy, France, and the Eiffel Tower, in Paris. The song was also filmed at Lido de Paris, a world-famous cabaret theatre, and became the first South Indian film to shoot there. Tamil director and actor Samuthirakani was roped in to play a negative role.
S. Thaman composed the soundtrack album and background score for the film. The music of the Telugu version was launched digitally on 5 January 2020 and the songs were performed by Thaman and his musical crew at the "AVPL Musical Concert" held on 6 January 2020, at Police Grounds in Hyderabad. The Malayalam version of the soundtrack album were released on 10 January 2020.
The film was released on 12 January 2020 to coincide with Sankranti and also released on 11 January 2020, in the US, a day before it's official release in India.
This film has dubbed version in Malayalam, titled Angu Vaikuntapurathu, and released simultaneously in Kerala. Ala Vaikuntapurramuloo was made with a budget of ₹100 crore (US$14 million) It is termed to be Allu Arjun's most expensive film.
The film was made available for digital streaming via Netflix and Sun NXT on 27 February 2020, with English subtitles. The Malayalam dubbed version was also made available on Netflix from 4 March 2020.
The team released a small behind the set's video to promote the start of films production. A small video to reveal the title of the film was released on 15 August 2019 as an Independence day treat. After unveiling the first glimpse, Allu Arjun's funny gesture made the audience and fans understood that this will be a middle-class family story with Trivikram's style of humour. The first look poster of the film was released on 1 September 2019. It gives the 'vintage Trivikram mark for its rich appeal and classy look of Bunny'.
The second look poster was released on 7 October 2019, coinciding with Dusshera which features Allu Arjun in an action avatar. Another poster, revealing the release date was launched on 13 October 2019. A new poster revealing Sushanth's character was released on 20 October 2019. Another poster from the film was released on 4 November 2019, on the occasion of Tabu's birthday.
The first look of the Malayalam version of the film was unveiled on 7 November 2019, coinciding with director Trivikram's birthday. The glimpse of film's teaser was released on 8 December 2019. The official teaser was released on 11 December 2019, and received positive response from audiences. The teaser of the film's Malayalam version was released on 19 December 2019. After releasing several posters in order to promote the film, the makers released the film's trailer on 6 January 2020.
The film received positive reviews especially for the performance of Allu Arjun, musical score by S. Thaman, and the script and screenplay penned by Trivikram, while the predictable storyline and the narrative of the film were criticised.
Hemanth Kumar of Firstpost gave the film 3.25 stars out of 5 and wrote "Trivikram Srinivas is a wordsmith of the highest order, and when he's in great form, everything he writes is like music to the ears. He makes you want to latch on to everything that the characters speak or sing throughout the story. However, in Ala Vaikuntapurramlo, he takes a detour from his path and focuses more on the emotional drama between the characters. More than the witty lines and humour, it's the depth in the emotional conversations between the characters that leave a strong impression."
A review posted by Rohit Mohan on Koimoi said the film to be "a perfect family entertainer to watch on this festive season of [Sankranti] with your near and dear ones, not only for Allu Arjun fans but also for every movie lovers." He gave the film three and a half stars out of five.
The Hans India gave the film 3.25 stars out of 5 stating that performances, narration and bgm are the major plus points of the film while also mentioning that there are no major minus points in the movie. Trivikram Srinivas received praise for his script while Allu Arjun was praised for his performance. It was concluded that Ala Vaikunthapurramlo is definitely a worth watching movie.
Neeshita Nyayapati of The Times of India gave the film 3.5 stars out of 5 stating "Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo has a bit of everything and despite the cliché and the predictable storyline : Trivikram manages to make it work and deliver what he promises. Watch this for Allu Arjun, especially if you're a fan, for he shines in this one and of course, the fun of it all."
Karthik Keramalu of The Quint called Ala Vaikunthapurramlo an entertainer that promises fun. According to him "Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo has a lot going for it because Bantu (weirdest name for a Telugu movie hero) spends time with other characters (played by Tabu, Jayaram, Sunil, Sachin Khedekar, Vennela Kishore, Rajendra Prasad, Rahul Ramakrishna, Nivetha Pethuraj etc...) and doesn't wallow in mediocrity for a long time. And P. S., Vinod's cinematography makes each frame in the action episodes appear as avant-garde paintings. And on top of it all, the songs are a treat!An absolute treat!"
Bhavana Sharma of International Business Times called the film a "paisa vasool" entertainer with amazing performances. She further added "Allu Arjun is back with a bang after a gap of two years. Living up to the expectations of the audiences and showing Trivikram's mark everywhere, Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo rings in the celebrations of the Sankranti festival and proves that the film was worth the wait."
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- The title of the film would be correctly transliterated as Ala Vaikunthapuramulo (or as Ala Vaikuṇṭhapuramulō in the ISO transliteration system) according to the Telugu source text. However, it was officially released as Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo and that spelling has thus entered into common use.