Banner: 14 Reels Entertainment
Cast: Mahesh Babu, Tamannaah, Rajendra Prasad, Sonu Sood, Vennela Kishore, Brahmanandam, M S Narayana, Nazar and others
Music: S. Thaman
Cinematography: K. V. Guhan
Editor: M. R. Varma
Producers: Ram Achanta, Anil Sunkara, Gopichand Achanta
Story, Screenplay, Dialogues, Direction: Srinu Vaitla
Release Date: September 19, 2014
Mahesh, Srinu Vaitla and 14 Reels make for a powerful combination that assures nothing short of a blockbuster. So, does Aagadu live up to the expectations of fans both in India and overseas? Let’s check out…
Encounter Shanker (Mahesh) as the name suggests is introduced as an encounter specialist. Thanks to his track record, he is posted in Bukkavaram to eliminate Damodar (Sonu Sood) and his gang who are out to set up a project that is not environment friendly. Once in Bukkavaram, Shanker goes about the task and in the process ends up meeting Saroja and her eccentric family that is into sweet-making business. Well, how Shanker wins over the ‘not-so-sweet’ Saroja and how he seeks revenge for his brother’s death forms the rest of the story.
Mahesh is energetic and has shed the lean look that he sported for One-Nenokkadine. It’s a cakewalk for him to play the villain-bashing sincere cop who uses his guts and brain to get even with the villains. Though he is not as convincing as the role he played in Dookudu, he nevertheless looks good and does his job sincerely.
On the other hand, Tamannah is a huge disappointment. She has been paired with Mahesh for the first time and many expected some fireworks on screen. Instead, she looks tired and totally disinterested in the role she plays. Though she does enough skin show, she loses out to Shruti Haasan in the oomph factor who manages to sizzle in the item song.
Sonu Sood is his usual best and perfectly fits into Damodar’s role. In fact, he is a good match to Mahesh and gives tough competition to him with his chiseled body and intense performance.
Rajender Prasad as the cop who brings home an orphan boy, Ajay as IAS officer and Shanker’s brother, Brahmanandam, Ashish Vidyarthi and MS Narayana put in decent performances in keeping with the limitations of their characters.
The film is nearly 165 minutes long. Honestly, for a Mahesh’s film, length need not be a deterrent. But given the storyline of Aagadu, you wish it was trimmed shorter.
The cinematography is alright given the scope of the film. Again, one department that really pulls down the film is SS Thaman’s music. After the chart-topping music of Dookudu, Aagadu has really bad music barring the Bhel Puri song.
Aagadu has been hyped a lot not just because of Mahesh, but also because of Srinu Vaitla. But Vaitla disappoints majorly by making a film that is a vague rehash of Dookudu. The basic theme and the way he handles the story is reminiscent of his earlier film.
Ever since the film has been announced, fans of Mahesh have been anxiously awaiting the release of Aagadu.
Since it is Mahesh’s next after One-Nenokkadine, they hoped that Srinu Vaitla will recreate the magic of Dookudu.
And in keeping with their expectations, Srinu Vaitla does remind you of Dookudu, but that’s because he repeats the same theme of a cop making buffoons out of villains, instead of doing the quintessential chase-and-fight sequences.
In Dookudu, Vaitla tried to make a parody of reality shows, in Aagadu, his obsession with small screen continues and this time, he makes a parody of the various game shows in the name of situational comedy.
He starts off the first half by establishing the plot, but by the time second half begins, Vaitla gets to the job of wrapping up the story and in the process tries to add various inane situations that leave you hoping the film ends ASAP.
Given the weak script, Vaitla tries to win over the mass audience by using Brahmanandam as Delhi Suri. But instead of making you laugh, the entire thread leaves you yawning.
And one is left wondering as to why Mahesh gave in to the idea of narrating the storylines of his popular films before bashing up the villains. Though it works the first time around as you try to figure out the film, by second half, it gets repetitive and bores you to the core.
The only saving grace for the film is Mahesh and a few punch dialogues sprinkled randomly which has now become the trademark of Srinu Vaitla.
Bottomline: Dookudu -2
(Venkat can be reached at email@example.com or https://twitter.com/greatandhranews)