Director Ravi Babu's latest release is an embarrassing, royal mess that he wouldn't want to stay in his memory for long
If there's one film that is single-handedly capable of destroying all the goodwill that Ravi Babu enjoys as an unconventional filmmaker today, Crrush is the one. It isn't exactly a new trend for Telugu filmmakers to resort to making soft-porn or films with explicit content after their so-called content-backed films fail at the box office - noted names like Narasimha Nandi, Neelakantha, Suneel Kumar Reddy have all done it in the past. Unsurprisingly, Ravi Babu, who hasn't tasted much success with his films lately (right from Avunu 2 to Adhugo) settles for a juvenile sex comedy featuring non-descript actors and fills it up with cheap, vulgar sexual innuendos and double-meaning dialogues for two never-ending long hours.
The story revolves around three young men, Ravi, Vamsi and Teju, who aim to go to the US to pursue their MS. A wastrel of a friend, Arun, advises the trio to gain some sexual experience back home if they were to stand a chance with women abroad. The youngsters take their friend's advice a little too seriously and are desperate to lose their virginity before they make it to the US. They are a creepy, royal mess with the women and their sexual escapades before better sense prevails. Ravi is obsessed with his newly-arrived neighbour, while Teju has the hots for a young widow in his apartment and Vamsi can't seem to get over his distant cousin. Where are these relationships headed?
Every second character in the story is either talking about their genitals, condoms or making love. The father and son ogle at women together, discuss porn, specifics of sex education and tips to make women fall for them. The scenarios are very typical of a B-grade outing - the maids are forever horny, the teenagers are hungry for sex, the children are curious about how babies are made, the widow is desperate for some action in her life and 40s something men are creepy as hell. Lust is the sole emotion that drives the story and the filmmaker goes to ridiculous lengths to justify this as pure love. The dialogues repeatedly emphasise respecting women's consent but the men just can't hold their horses.
In a situation, four members of a family try to date the same guy without each other's knowledge. As if Ravi Babu is making a case for LGBTQ representation, there are characters of a trans-boy and an elderly homosexual who merely exist to be ridiculed for their sexuality. The filmmaker is notorious for using them as tools for cheap humour in the past as well, but Crrush is so brazen and direct that it makes for an embarrassing watch. The songs are a mere excuse to titillate audiences further and stretch it to the conventional 120-130 minute duration by hook or crook.
Actors Abhay Krishna, Krishna Burugula, Charan Sai hardly make an impression, while the girls Ankita Manoj, Parree Pande and Sri Sudha are reduced to objects of desire. The recently released Ek Mini Katha may be no golden standard in the adult comedy space though it at least tried to present a novel premise and strung together unique situations to engage viewers. If the makers were even partly sincere about telling a story with a purpose, Crrush could have been a bearable coming-of-age tale. Ravi Babu's only intention from the film seems to be making easy money with cheap thrills. If soft porn is your reason to watch it, you know you have better alternatives than this one.