Himsinche 23va Raju Pulikesi was a huge hit in Tamil. It was a great comedy. The reason is very clear from the first scene where all the characters in the first scene are introduced; including a lizard that just happens to be there on a wall of the set. That's the skill of the director Simbudevan. The producers spent nearly 8 crores on the movie starring a comedian as a hero. That is the kind of confidence Vadivelu commands in the Tamil film industry. Ironically, the movie lost its charm in Telugu.
The prime reason: the viewers were not enthused as much by Vadivelu as they could have been had it been a Sunil, a Brahmanandam, or a Venumadhav. They know that Vadivelu is a great comedian in Tamil, but they haven't grown up watching his movies. So the nuances of his typical acting and facial expressions that are supposed to be comic get lost on the Telugu audience. Vadivelu's acting is superb in a double role. He is funny as a pleasure seeking unconscionable king and commanding as a valiant as well as rebellious young man.
Himsinche 23va Raju Pullikesi is set in the 1770's when the British had occupied India. In a certain kingdom in India the ageing king is blessed with twin sons after many years of wedlock. The minister (Nasser) separates the twins before the king could know that he is blessed with twins. So one infant prince is floated down a river in a cask secretly by the order of the minister and the other one grows up in the palace. The evil minded minister wants to rule the kingdom by making the prince a pawn in his hands. So he trains the prince with toys instead of swords. The prince (Vadivelu) grows up to be a pleasure seeking and irresponsible king.
The infant prince that was flown down the river is adopted by the King's doctor that had assisted in the delivery of the baby. The doctor's wife finds the baby from the river and decides to adopt him. To avoid detection they flee to a far off village. The adopted prince (again Vadivelu) grows up to be a strong and valiant man. Education in Nalanda and training in fighting skills make him a perfect candidate to be a rebel leader.
The rebel leader sees the king once and awestruck by their physical resemblance. He gets an idea there. He captures the king and goes to the palace posing as king. The kingdom improves under his rule. Things change for better. But the evil minded minister and the British stand on the way...
The direction is too good. The sets are great. Acting of Vadivelu is laudable. Nasser is perfect. Definitely a thousand laughing situations lost its punch in dubbing. Watch Himsinche 23va Raju Pulikesi with a low expectation, probably you will enjoy.