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'Pooja' Review: Bland Masala

'Pooja' Review: Bland Masala

Movie: Pooja
Rating: 2/5
Banner:
Vishal Film Factory
Cast: vishal, Shruthi Haasan, Sathya Raj and Others
Music: Yuvan Shankar Raja
Cinematography: Priyan
Editor: V. T. Vijayan, T S Jai
Producer: Vishal
Direction: Hari
Release Date: October 22, 2014

Vishal has had some successful films though his last couple of films haven’t been well-received by the Telugu audiences. This time he comes up with a hardcore commercial entertainer with all the ‘right’ elements in place. Let’s check out the story…

Story:
Vasu (Vishal) settles problems and lends money at the market yard, where he lives with his bunch of friends. Into his life comes Divya (Shruti Haasan). It is love at first sight for Vasu, but Divya or D as she is called takes him to be a good friend. One day, Vasu ends up saving the life of DSP Sivaraman Nayak (Satyaraj). That’s when he comes into the radar of contract killer and don Singanna Patrudu (Mukesh Tiwari). Meanwhile, the story leads you to the high-profile Gokaraju family and it is revealed that Vasu is the heir who was sent out of the house by his mother Rajyalakshmi (Radhika). On the eve of an important pooja of the deity in their ancestral village, the family comes together and from here on Vasu takes on Singanna and his cronies who are out to get his family. The rest of the film shows how he goes about the task and if he actually gets to lay his hands on Singanna who leaves no proof of his work.

Artistes’ Performances:
Vishal is good as Vasu. It is his production like most of his films and he gets to play a well-rounded, author-backed character which is in keeping with his mass, action hero image and he goes about the job well. It is nice to watch him on screen and his pairing with Shruti Haasan is bang on.

There is nothing new to say about Shruti Haasan. She is hot. Period. She dresses really well and looks good throughout. Also, she gets to play her part in the action sequences instead of being relegated to the song and dance rigmarole. Vishal has struck gold by casting her as the heroine.

The film has veteran Tamil hero Satyaraj playing the DSP while Jayaprakash gets to play Vishal’s uncle Rajendra Prasad. Radhika plays the mother. Though she plays her part convincingly, you wish she was more modern considering she is the matriarch of a huge business family. Mukesh Tiwari is good as the villain and is a good change from the regular villains that we get to see in Telugu.

As for the rest of the cast, almost all of them are good. Of course, the comedians are in keeping with the taste of the Tamil audience. But they are tolerable.

Technical Excellence:
Like in any mass entertainer, it has decent work put in by the cinematographer. Music is by Yuvan Shankar Raja, which is bad as is the editing.

The film has released with high expectations due to Hari, the director. And he did make a film with all the masala elements. But the film lacks the spirit of a commercial entertainer. There is something missing and the audiences are left wanting more. Despite mass films being his forte, Hari has lost his touch this time around.

Highlights:

  • Vishal, Shruti Haasan

Drawbacks:

  • Direction
  • Comedy that is more suited to Tamil audiences
  • Songs

Analysis:
Vishal will be competing with Vijay’s Kaththi this festive season in Tamil Nadu. The film is set in Bobbili in the Telugu version and the Tamil flavor especially in the comedy sequences puts you off during the initial scenes.

Director Hari puts in a lot of commercial elements like a big family, romance between the lead pair, lots of action, inane twists and turns, a revenge plot and of course the villain. But he spends nearly 45 minutes or more to introduce the various characters in the film and you feel totally lost by interval time.

Just before interval, the film gets on to the track and your interest is piqued. But that joy is short-lived. The entire second half does not add to the story which more or less ends by the time the interval happens. Another minus is the killing off of the mother’s character. Though he shifts the plot between different characters and different locations, Hari fails to keep the audience interested.

Vishal has had mixed response with Telugu audiences in the past and now it looks like Pooja might go the way of Linguswamy’s Sikander.

Bottomline: Pooja Best Avoided

(Venkat can be reached at [email protected] or https://twitter.com/greatandhranews) 

Click here for Telugu review

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