Magadheera Movie Review—-Finally, Tollywood Has a Sure-Shot Winner!

Mr.InkentiI am trying to trace my memory back to the time that Magadheera was announced; I think it was a long time back. Typically, movies that take too long to make are written off or when the final product finally makes the cut you wonder what took the makers so long? None of the just mentioned concerns are applicable to this Rajamouli directed film, which Ram Charan Tej headlines.  In addition, much is at stake for the film. Above and beyond the concerns of return on investment or Ram Charan’s career, the concern of Tollywood’s box-office. Many will agree and some will know that the Telugu box office has been witnessing what I would like to call the Great Movie Depression—dull first day first show etc. When all else fails, the only way to come out of such a depression is to inject the industry with a gigantic stimulus package—and that is exactly what Geetha Arts has for Tollywood’s box-office: a massive film with massive expenditure and the result is here for us all to see in the coming days—whether the film is for the decades ahead or not is not the point here…we have a sure-shot commerical super-hit!

magadheeraPoster1The film starts on a grand note (in fact, it spills the beans right at the begining): a dieing princess Mitra (Kajol) and beside her a blood stained warrior prince Kala Bhairava (Ram Charan) on top of a cliff under a huge black vigraham of the dancing Lord Shiva. The princess dies and falls off, the warrior unable to reach her he too jumps off and as they two part ways unable to hold their hands, a fierce King with tears in his eyes, Sher Khan (Sri Hari) proclaims re-birth for the couple even as he cremates the kavatch of Bhairava. In fact, the way the titles role are unique and actually tell the story of what just happened before this. However, what follows this sequence is not as grand. Next, 400 years later we are taken to present day where Harsha (Charan) is an incredible bike racer. One fine day, he just touches the fingers of a girl on the street and he begins to see flashes of warriors and palaces. This girl is Indu. What follows is a silly love-story component where Harsha and Indu (Kajol) play know-me-know-you game. In fact, the comedy and the romance part is so silly (coupled with no blockbuster songs) that had the director overdone this part, the film would have fallen off the track. Thankfully, the film smoothly shifts gears to the part where the hero and villian are fully aware of their past birth 400 years back. The villian is Raghuveer who 400 years back was the senapati of the Kingdom of Udayghad. The villian challenges the King, defeated by Bhairava in the race, banished from the kingdom, shakes hands with Sher Khan and kills all, including princess Mitra. Now, 400 years later, Raghuveer and Harsha have come to claim the princess. Of course, Harsha succeeds in helping Indu remember her past and Raghuveer is killed. Needless to say the post-interval flashback sequence is the highlight of the film.

Although the film boasts of outstanding sets (Tollywood hasnt seen such grandness, at least in recent times), a littlemagadheeraPoster2 more story, comedy, and better songs would have only benefitted the film. The comedy department falls flat and Brahmanandam’s act seems forced just to keep the sentiment going that without Brahmi a movie doesn’t sail through. Sunil as Ram Charan’s side kick has nothing much to do. The songs are a dissapointment, but we’ve got to give credit to Ram Charan for tying really hard to live it up. The framework is good: re-birth, flashing memories from past birth, symbols of rememberences, a gigantic statue of a Lord etc, but what could really have elevated the film are twists, surprises or a little more intricate story. I am not comparing it to any Hollywood film, but our own Telugu movies can boast of stories that go down the ages as classics. Rajamouli probably decided to keep it simple—sprinkle the elements of a re-birth massala film, grand sets, loads of action and wrap it up! Leading the pack in terms of performances is clearly Ms Kajol Agarwal who does a fine job of using her expressions in both her characters as princess and as the regular girl. Second to her is Sri Hari and he delivers a knock-out blow even in his brief role proving to be an asset for the film. Next in line is our hero Ram Charan. Hmm…i’ve got to admit…he just doesn’t have the ease in him like the other two illustrious actors from his family. He should stay clear of comedy and love stories and just focus on action films; he seems comfortable only for action scenes. Yup, he dances with ease, but nothing special as it is the same deal you get with Jr. NTR or Allu Arjun.Rest of the supporting cast is fine and the villian is okay. Unlike Rajamouli’s earlier films the villian in this film is not that strong—the entire focus on Ram Charan.

To those curious about: (i) The Bangaru Kodi Petta—frankly, it is just okay. I felt the same when I saw it’s bits on magadheeraPoster3 TV, but wanted to reserve my comments till I saw the film. To begin with, the song is no patch on the original. The dance steps are the usual ones, which we see these young heros doing—jumping and doing wierd twists. Where is the grace? where is the dance? Mummaith Khan as the koddi petta is a total let down. Lets not even compare her to the sexy Disco Shanti. I simply hate Charan’s hairstyle (turns out even his dad wants to cut it off and Charan has to defend it saying it is style!). No doubt, the song is good and you will feel the beat, but it fails to raise above to become a classic of it’s own. (ii) The Mega Star Chiranjeevi special appearence: Chiranjeevi appears just after the kodi petta song. As Mumaith is running along she bumbs in to a man working on a welding machine. You know it is Chiru and the entire theater stood up in applaouse . As I stood waving my hand seeing and hearing Chiru I felt a bit of sadness in me that this mega star will be missed on the silver screen from hereon. Chiru then goes on to give a lesson to his son about his hair style and dance steps. And then from the really fat looking Chiru the Chiru that danced in Gharana Magudu comes out to do his bits! (yup, you’ve seen this act before in Yamadonga with NTR–the Legend). As Chiru leaves, he looks back to see Charan do those same steps.

In addition, there are several other highlight scenes that make the masses stand up in joy and scream in excitement. magadheeraPoster4The fight sequence where Kala Bhairava goes to kill a 100 soldiers remains as the best highlight of the film. Just see Sri Hari’s brilliant performance with tears in his eyes as he praises and kneels down to his opponet. Others include the scene where Bhairava’s horse Badshah comes to his rescue from the quicksand. And also the dialoguebaazi between Sher Khan and Bhairava. The climax is a little weak, but again thats just because the story doesn’t have enough meat. The film ends in typical Farah Khan style with all the technicans and actors coming out to dance along. As for Ram Charan, his efforts have paid off and he has his first official super hit. I wish he does at least 3 to 4 movies a year and selects good stories.

Mr. Inkenti’s Movienomics Verdict: One Thumb Way Up! I cannot give it a two thumbs up as there is still much to be desired in terms of story, comedy, and music. But it provides the much needed stimulus to the box office and pumps up the masses!

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2 Comments »

  1. Struthi said

    Great some nice Review after the boring as is seen everwhere else. Hope this reviewer is not running a self declared web site

  2. Rama Raju said

    In fact Bangaaru Kodi Petta was a total thrash. I can bet Ram Charan is never going to match his father’s moves ever in his wildest dreams. There is no grace at all and the legs rigid as well.

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