‘Tillu Square’ movie review: A terrific Siddhu Jonnalagadda and smart writing ensure a fun sequel

Siddhu Jonnalagadda and Anupama Parameswaran star in ‘Tillu Square’
| Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

As the opening credits of the Telugu sequel Tillu Square begin, snippets of the memorable 2022 crime comedy DJ Tillu play against an infectious urban beat. The audience, already familiar with the escapades of the first film, responds with eager cheers. Returning with co-writer and lead actor Siddhu Jonnalagadda, director Mallik Ram, and writer Ravi Anthony, the sequel capitalizes on the original’s beloved moments to elevate the humor. The film takes a risk by riding on its predecessor’s coattails, yet it pays off, preventing Tillu from becoming a fleeting hit and turning Tillu Square into an even more enjoyable experience than its forerunner.

Embarking on another whimsical adventure several months after the events of DJ Tillu, Tillu (portrayed by Siddhu Jonnalagadda) has graduated from a mere DJ to running his own event management company, Tillu Events, with a colorfully revamped vehicle to boot.

While new hijinks ensue, mirroring those from the first film, Tillu’s household is now buzzing about beauty regimes instead of diets. His mother (played by Lakshmi Sujatha) and others are on a quest to find him a bride, despite his hesitation due to a past fling with Radhika (Neha Shetty from DJ Tillu). His skepticism towards women quickly dissipates when he sets his eyes on the enchanting Lilly (Anupama Parameswaran).

Tillu Square (Telugu)

Director: Mallik Ram

Cast: Siddhu Jonnalagadda, Anupama Parameswaran

Storyline: With nearly a year gone by since his last escapade, Tillu is back with another wild ride full of adventure.

The plot of Tillu Square may be light, often stretching credulity, but it thrives on the writers’ realization that the audience is already invested in Tillu’s world and prefers not to scrutinize the absurdities too closely, as it would detract from the entertainment. The story picks up a loose end from the original film that was previously overlooked, drawing Tillu into a fresh sequence of predicaments, despite the precautions taken by himself and his close circle to avoid trouble.

The film’s infectious spirit resides in its boundless supply of sharp quips and attention to detail. Observe the changes in Marcus’ (Praneeth Reddy Kallem) hair color or the writing on Tillu’s necklace as he yearns for Lilly. A notable narrative device is the unexpected reprise of classic songs in pivotal scenes, such as a tune from Chandramukhi being played at a critical moment, much to the delight of the audience.

Tillu’s candid remarks about his luckless encounters with cunning women might seem problematic in another context, but in this case, they are humorously integrated into the mix of new, comical situations that have Tillu once again falling for women with dubious intentions.

The film is punctuated with references and callbacks to DJ Tillu, providing a nostalgic experience that bridges the past with the present. Fans of the original will surely appreciate the unexpected cameo that garners the strongest audience reaction.

The movie’s success is enormously attributed to Siddhu Jonnalagadda’s exquisite portrayal of Tillu. His ability to convey the character’s streetwise persona, vulnerability, and philosophical musings is unparalleled. Each time Tillu realizes he’s been duped, Jonnalagadda’s performance makes the audience cheer for him to triumph over his challenges. Anupama Parameswaran, as Lilly, accomplishes the difficult task of shedding her girl-next-door image to become a bewitching femme fatale, and Muralidhar Goud, playing Tillu’s father, effortlessly adds to the humor. The film’s soundtrack by Ram Miriyala, Bheems Cecerolio, and Achu Rajamani complements the vibrant tale.

Proving itself to be more intelligent and polished than its predecessor, Tillu Square demonstrates that the original’s quirky phrases and memorable moments were no mere stroke of luck.

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