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'Paisa Vasool' Review: Chaala Theda!

'Paisa Vasool' Review: Chaala Theda!

Movie: Paisa Vasool
Rating: 2/5
Bhavya Creations
Cast: Nandamuri Balakrishna, Shriya Saran, Muskaan, Kyra Dutt, Kabir Bedi, Ali, Prudhvi, Pavithra Lokesh, Vikram Jeeth and others
Music: Anup Rubens
Camera: Mukesh G
Editing: Junaid Siddiqui 
Art Director: Venkat
Producer: Ananda Prasad V
Story, Screenplay, Dialogues and Direction: Puri Jagannadh
Release date: September 01, 2017

Nandamuri Balakrishna, who scored the biggest hit with his 100th film "Gauthamiputra Satakarani" has teamed up with  Puri Jagannadh, who comes from a totally different school of film-making.

Puri the irreverent film-maker and Balayya the mass star -- this unusual combination stirred interest thanks to its unintentionally funny, yet different trailer.

Let's find out the merits and demerits of Balakrishna's 101st movie...

Theda Singh (Nandamuri Balakrishna) comes to Hyderabad and picks up a lawyer’s house (Prudhvi) for his stay. Staying right opposite to the house is a girl called Harika (Muskaan) along with her mother. Her sister who goes to Portugal goes missing.

On the other hand, a RAW team is on the look out for someone who can take on and kill the mafia don (Vikramjeet). They find Theda Singh appropriate for their mission and he agrees to help them.

But the mafia don and his politician friend suspect that Theda Singh is not the simple guy he claims to be and believe he has a flashback. What is that? Who is he really? 

Artistes’ Performances:
Nandamuri Balakrishna has effortlessly slipped into Puri’s style with the role of Theda Singh. While he gets to mouth a lot of punch dialogues as Theda Singh, his voice trembles a lot and it pretty hard to miss. The dialogues are not as powerful as they sounded in Balayya’s other movies due to this and one cannot help wondering if age is catching up with him.

Though not a challenging role, Balayya plays it perfectly to the galleries in trademark Puri style.

Shriya, for the most part, has a minor role that appears only in the second half and has one song.

Newcomer Muskaan Sethi has a good figure but lacks acting skills. And Kyra Dutt who plays a police officer’s role does an item song.

Senior Bollywood actor Kabir Bedi is neat. Vikramjeet as baddie makes an impression. Ali and Prudhvi get to play typical Puri’s comic roles but their comedy doesn’t generate laughs.

Technical Excellence: 
Anup's music is aimed for mass audiences. “Mama Ek Pega Laa” is catchy. The remix song is forgettable. Two other songs also have good beats.

G Mukesh’s cinematography is eye-pleasing and locales of Europe (Portugal and other countries) are well captured. Venkat’s artwork is appealing. Junaid's editing could have been sharper in the second half.

The action scenes are stylish and they are full of dialogues in between fights. Production values are quite rich for this kind of masala movie.

Balakrishna's makeover

Too massy and loud
No logic and reason
Bad version of Pokiri

“Paisa Vasool” doesn’t waste time getting into point. Very early the plot is revealed that he is acting as Theda Singh on a purpose, he comes to Hyderabad for a mission and he has a backstory. Enough hints are given for this.

Puri Jagannadh is clearly at a loss of new ideas for story writing or screenplay drive. All his recent movies except “Temper” (which was again written by Vakkantham Vamsi) are bad rehash versions of his early movies.

For “Paisa Vasool”, he took the template of his blockbuster “Pokiri”. When “Pokiri” was released, the screenplay and the final twist seemed novel for audiences but after all these years and seeing umpteen movies in the similar format, Puri has again dared to rehash the same. Hence, we don’t feel excited when the twist comes here.

Moreover, the sequences and scenes are clumsy and poorly written. It is as if Puri went to the sets without writing any scenes but writing dialogues for Balakrishna.

Till the interval bang, nothing much happens except Balakrishna drinking alcohol, dancing with two heroines, and indulging in fights. He constantly speaks on, utters punch dialogue one after another. It is not one man show, it is like one mouth show!

Balakrishna’s characterization seems entertaining at the start, but Puri Jagan couldn’t use it to full effect.

First half of the film is okay in bits and pieces. Puri is able to hold it for sometime despite the lack of story. Second half however is a total mess as Theda Singh character also fails to entertain. Whole episode between Balakrishna and Shriya lacks entertainment value. It turns unbearable after Theda Singh’s identity is revealed. Climax portion involving patriotic dialogues turns out to be a joke. 

There is a dialogue in the film where Balakrishna says only family and friends have the rights to put a gun at him, and “outers are not allowed”. In the end card, the same line is changed to it is for “fans and family, outers are not allowed”. Outers means outsiders. If we apply this same analogy, “Paisa Vasool” is only for fans and family of Balayya, not for outsiders.

As a director, Puri has not changed at all, he is completely hinging on the star power of his heroes and not writing anything interesting recently. He has made this film to appease Balakrishna than the general audiences, as there is no coherence in the dialogues that Balayya utters in the movie.

On the whole, “Paisa Vasool” regales with mass moments here and there but it soon drifts into regular style of Puri’s recent movies that are loud and too predictable.

Bottom-line: Dhimaak Thoda!