WANTED Review— Did Not Want This Sort of a Movie

mr-inkentiA couple of months prior to its release, Salman Khan made a comment that WANTED will be the Ghajini of 2009 in terms of box office collections. It is quite interesting to see how Bollywood’s top heroes are banking on out-an-out South Indian masalla blockbusters to boost (read reinvent) their image. However, what makes a difference is the kind of movie you choose to remake. Expectedly, the Salman Khan starrer has opened well at single screens and not-so-well at multiplexes obviously because of his image and the audience can tell a movie by sniffing at the trailers and posters. Unfortunately, Salman Khan chooses a Telugu film of the lowest standard,  Pokiri in Telugu, and as expected with no change in treatment WANTED looks and feels like a full fledged Telugu film and gives you a headache.

WANTED_posters2Radhe (Salman Khan) is a Mumbai-based topiri who also engages in cash-for-murder activities. His only loyalty is towards money. So he switches from one gang to another engaging in various action sequences. Meanwhile, he falls for Jhanvi (Ayesha Takia Azmi) who regularly attends aerobics classes and is constantly harassed by a corrupt and perverted police inspector Talpade (Mahesh Manjrekar). Mr. Talpade has no other official work other than dropping by at Jhanvi’s house to verbally harass with perverse talk and to send rowdies to make it appear that they have raped Jhanvi so that he can make the case to marry Jhanvi. Of course, Jhanvi is always walking around the city and bumping in to Radhe and his gang. She loves him and so does he, but he cannot take it further as he is a gangster. Now, poor Jhanvi is torn as her lover is not willing to change career and neither can she change her heart. In this pretext, some really lousy songs are performed. In one such gang wars, a close aide of Ghani Bhai (Prakash Raj) is killed, which brings the Bhai himself to Mumbai. Now, the film moves to eliminate Ghani Bhai, but not without the Bhai’s gang videotaping the rape of the Commissioner’s daughter and the killing of an ex-police officer. In a climax fight, which includes a shirt-less Khan (this is the only one time he takes his shirt off!), all the badies are killed and Jhanvi is maha relieved and impressed that her gooda boyfriend is actually a….(SPOILERS AHEAD….it turns out that Salman Khan is actually an under cover cop!)

The content of WANTED can make you curse yourself for spending so much of money and time. It has only one WANTED_posters3scene worth mentioning and this is original: the scene where Salman and Ayesha are seen in Mughal dresses and Ayesha as Anarkali swipes her credit card at the electronics store. In fact, Salman Khan looks so ultra handsome in the Salim get-up that I wish he did such a period film. Hmm…other than this I did not really enjoy any other scene. Now, let me make one thing clear about the difference between Bollywood and Tollywood. In Bollywood, if a movie is a sensational hit then it is bound to be really good, but in Tollywood (the Telugu film industry) this law does not necessarily hold true in all cases. Star power is the main force and even an average to below average story is enough to make it a super-hit at the box-office: Pokiri, directed by Puri Jagannath and headlined by Mahesh Babu, is one such film. Even with such a story the film went on to become a sensational hit only because this was the first time the chocolate-baby faced Mahesh Babu was shown in a new avatar along with super-hit songs, a hot and ravishing heroine Illeana and super-comedy. Compared to Salman’s choice, Aamir Khan choose a Tamil film where the director applied more brains to develop the story and the sequences.

WANTED_posters4The biggest problem with WANTED is that it is imported just like a Telugu film without any changes and to top it off the songs are simply bad and the comedy makes you not want to laugh. The only saving grace of the film is Salman Khan who has really put in his heart and soul in to every scene of this film.  Prabhudeva has made him dance although the struggle is visible when Salman Khan is made to do typical Telugu dance steps (in Jalwa song especially). Nothing wrong in remaking Telugu/Tamil films, but you have got to add your brains too to it; remember David Dhawan’s movies? Producer Boney Kapoor continues his fascination for South Indian remakes. Ayesha Takia looks cute, juicy, and sexy, but unfortunately she gets a raw deal in the film. The pairing of Salman and Ayesha also is good. Mahesh Manjrekar is good as usual and so is Prakash Raj. As already repeated at several places in this review the music is a letdown.

Salman Khan has super craze amongst the masses. The other day when I visited Charminar the only hero’s postcard cut outs I saw at the stalls were that of Salman Khan. So surely, the masses will be in for a treat, but the treat would have been grander had changes been made to the treatment of the story, better songs and comedy. The box office stamina of this film will be limited. However, I wonder why this film was named WANTED? Perhaps it sounds stylish so that with stylishly desinged posters it can attract multiplex audience, but it is not going that way. In fact, they should simply have named the film Tapori, which is the closest it gets to Pokiri.

Mr. Inkenti’s Movienomics Verdict: Thumbs Down. Yes, only hard core Salman Khan fans who have his pics of him without a shirt on your pencil box or table top can watch this film. The rest can safely avoid this headache.

PS—I drove all the way to Santosh 70mm in Abids, Hyderabad, to watch this film to watch it with the masses and dragged my dad along for the 9 p.m show and by the end of it we both are half fried. Yes, Salman Khan’s poster was garlended and there were plently of whistles for him through out. We need more such movies, which excite the masses, but not with crappy content like WANTED. As an aside, going back in time there was a time when I closed my ears for Piya Piya song from Har Dil Jo Pyaar Karega film at Santosh 70mm, but now the sound system is not that strong at all at this landmark single screen theater of Hyderabad. Such a beautiful and massively spacious structure. Although, it is a welcome surprise to see the theater complex, Santosh 70-Sapna 35, on a revival.


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6 Comments »

  1. rakhi said

    Yes, you will surely get a headache by end of this film. Can’t beleive such trash was a hit in Telugu. I always thought south indians are a crazy lot!

  2. Correction!….only the Andhrawalas are a crazy lot……the rest of us are quite sensible.

    • KVSK Prasad said

      Dear John and Rakhi,
      Yes – you are right. We Andhrites are downright crazy for whatever reasons you feel. But, I donno if following films and watching films makes one crazy, then, probably the entire nation is.

      Myth – Temples are built on actors in Andhra.
      Fact – there is not a single temple throughout Andhra which is dedicated to a film star.

      Unfortunately or otherwise, being called crazy people and that too close to 9 crore people by a group of people who have only “heard” at rumours and not been to Andhra to experience the warmth of people OR even why Andhra is one of the most developed states in the country is beyond logic that I can interpret.

      But, why should I even interpret such a logic specifically when I along with 9 crores of andhrites are tagged as crazy !!!

    • Eswar said

      If Andhrawalas are a crazy lot, then why are all Telugu movies (read Allu Arjun’s) such big hits in Kerala? Where’s your originality here? You are bringing in more and more rules to ban other states’ films so that Mallu movies may be successful. Dear friend, success should be from the content of the movie, not by arm-wringing molopolistic practices. Doesn’t your Kerala have any decent heroes apart from the two Ms? Oooohh!! And the ‘dwendy or therty Gelf channels’ too!

  3. cinefriend said

    I don’t think there is a comparision between telugu pokiri and hindi version of it. There is no need for Mahesh babu to act, his face expressions itself shows you his feelings which was lacking with salman. The hindi version missed the powerful dialogues like (eppuduvacchanani kadu, bullet digindaleda), (evadukodite dimmatirigi mind block avutundo, vade pandu) and also the very important scene of a press meet with the commissioner which was a asset to the movie. So, my request is, if you didnt like wanted, it’s your opinion, but without watching telugu version, please don’t comment on telugu movies. Just watch it to compare and you will definitely find the difference. One another example of this is chandramukhi (tamil) and bhoolbhalayya. Just compare Jyotika’s and vidya balan’s action. You just can’t watch the hindi version.

  4. Eswar said

    “Can’t beleive such trash was a hit in Telugu.”

    Well, hahahahaha!! It’s the only reaction at your ignorance. Here you are missing the point. You are presuming the Telugu movie to be a rehashed or a dubbed version of WANTED, whereas the truth suggests the opposite. The Telugu movie is a blockbuster not because “South Indians are crazy people” but it has a lot of original elements in it which lack in the Hindi one. And yes, there’s a lot of difference between a cherubic youngster and a ghoulish “young” man on the wrong side of forty. And one more point to reckon: your stereotyping of “South Indians” is completely uncalled for, because it speaks of your lack of appreciation to the fact that we are all Indians first.

    (Am not a South Indian or a North Indian, just an Indian)

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