Banner: Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Productions
Cast: NTR, Samantha, Pranitha, Brahmanandam, Jaya Prakash Reddy, Ajay, Jaya Sudha, Nazar and Others
Cinematography: Shyam K. Naidu
Editor: Kotagiri Venkateswara Rao
Music: S. Thaman
Producer: Bellamkonda Ganesh Babu
Story, Screenplay, Dialogues and Direction: Santosh Srinivas
Release Date: August 29, 2014
For NTR fans, the wait is over. He is back after a long gap and there have been a lot of expectations from the film. So, he has done a film with the quintessential elements of a commercial film and more so, a NTR film – two heroines, action, comedy and a good number of punch lines. Let’s see how it has come up…
Karthik (NTR) on his return to India gets entangled in a strange situation. This leads him to mayor-aspirant Dhanunjaya’s (Sayaji Shinde), proprietor of D Brothers. Here, he meets Bhagyam (Praneeta) and Indu (Samantha). But he promises to marry Chitti, his uncle Dhanunjaya’s daughter. So, he goes about trying to figure out who Chitti is. Meanwhile, the story leads to a parallel track which involves Peddi Reddy (Jaya Prakash Reddy), his sons Obul Reddy (Ajay), Bulli Reddy and others. How Karthik finds Chitti and how he makes peace between Peddi Reddy and his rival forms the rest of the story.
It is NTR’s show all the way. He is at his usual best. He dances, fights and plays the good Samaritan with ease in his inimitable style.
The script has been tailor-made to suit the expectations of his fans and NTR happily plays along to the galleries, not worrying one bit about the rather weak script. But he smartly steers clear of doing a heavy-duty action flick or an intense emotionally driven saga and instead tries to swim along with some comic relief, especially in the second half.
Samantha as the girl who falls for a guy she does not meet looks convincing. Her glamour quest continues, though she refrains from skin show unlike in Alludu Seenu.
Praneeta as Bhagyam has a rather brief role, but she looks rather anaemic in half sarees and we are more than happy when she makes an early exit after doing the dream song.
Sayaji Shinde, Ajay, Jayaprakash Reddy and others are their usual self playing the baddies. Jayasudha and Seeta play the mothers, but Seeta gets an author-backed role when compared to Jayasudha who has a guest role.
Brahmanandam as potti Raju makes an entry during the second half and tries to evoke laughs, but unlike Kill Bill Pandey who had the audience in splits, Raju is a paler version who provides fleeting comic relief.
Cinematography and editing are in keeping with the requirements of a commercial film. But it is the art director and music director who disappoint big time. Some of the sets are straight out of the ’80s and you wish the film had a more modern feel to it. On the other hand, music director Thaman comes up with a mediocre album and none of the songs stay with you long after you have left the theatre.
Santosh Srinivas tries to make the most of the opportunity to direct NTR by making a pucca, commercial entertainer. But he picks up a weak script and adds two parallel tracks. While the idea did have potential, the way he intertwines them is not one bit convincing.
- Action Scenes
Success has been playing hide and seek with NTR for quite some time. This time, he chose to work with Santosh Srinivas who made the highly successful Kandireega in the past.
So, technically speaking, the film has a hit hero, two hit heroines, a hit director and a hit producer. Naturally, one expects major fireworks on screen.
But Rabhasa is a tame affair churned out by Santosh Srinivas to cater to the expectations of NTR fans. And this works totally against the film.
While the script does show some promise initially, it fizzles out eventually as the film becomes reminiscent of ’80s faction films. Only this one chooses comedy over action to put across the message of love and universal brotherhood.
Rabhasa does have its moments, like the entry sequence of NTR and a couple of comedy scenes, but there is nothing spectacular about the film. And coming from NTR, it is a major dampener.
It is high time NTR puts in more efforts at choosing scripts that the new generation audiences can relate to instead of getting stereotyped in family dramas that are so old school.
Another weak point is its music. If Rabhasa had chart-topping music, it would have taken the film to a different level and Thaman totally fails here.
Like all films these days, the film has its share of ifs and what ifs. Still, Rabhasa can be watched purely for the sincere efforts put in by NTR.
Bottomline: Regular fare
(Venkat can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or https://twitter.com/greatandhranews)