After a prolonged period of indecision and indifference towards telugu movies, I forcibly took myself (!!) to watch the smash-hit telugu movie – Pokiri. The last telugu movie I had seen in the theatre was A Film by Aravind which was touted to be a neo-age suspense flick but which turned out to be a damp squib and totally emancipated my enthu for telugu flicks. But it took a movie like Pokiri to jolt me outta the reverie. So here was a movie which was touted to be a big hit; had all the masses going gaga over it; receiving rave reviews for the hero – Mahesh Babu ; people going drooling over the heroine – Ileana ; the crowds hailing the action as never-seen-before; critics & fans alike singing the Director’s praises; Junta swinging to the beats of its smash-hit music; and all similar hype!!!
And after watching the movie, I can say that at-least a few of the above-mentioned points were true. One. The hero Mahesh Babu put in a spellbound performance that would rank among his best till date. Two. The action scenes were truly never-seen-before, what with all the gore & rawness they had! Three. The direction from Puri Jagannadh was supra cool. Four. The music was awesome! I liked 5 out of the 6 songs and the sixth one wasn’t too bad either! And somehow I couldn’t feel that all the euphoria abt Ileana was justified…alright, she’s cute…but so are other actresses! And like the others, she too can’t act 🙄 . She doesn’t have that ‘appeal’ that a PYT ought to have 👿
Coming to the movie, Pokiri is the story of Pandu, a good-for-nothing rowdy who does anything for money.He beats up people, shoots at will, and terrorizes others just for the sake of a few bucks. He is recruited by a group of people who work for a dreaded gang-lord- Ali Bhai (Prakash Raj). With his sheer nonchalance and fearlessness and an obvious disregard to authority or power, Pandu single-handedly eliminates the entire rival-gang; thus getting the praise of Ali Bhai. The backdrop of this story is the Land-mafia that is threatening to turn the city into a hotbed of crime and which, the police commissioner Syed Qadri (Sayaji Shinde) is willing to stop at all costs. Pandu runs into Shruti (Ileana) once too often and both of them start liking each other. But Shruti is horrified at the gruesome ways of Pandu and remonstrates as to how could he be so ruthless. He cares for nothing ans is not going to mend his ways for anyone….still Sruthi continues to love him. All this while, Ali Bhai was watching all the action from Dubai but is prompted to come to India and here the story takes a twist which culminates in Pandu eradicating all of the mafia, including Ali Bhai from the streets of Hyderabad!
Performance-wise, this is one of the best to have come from Mahesh Babu. He brings a sense of nonchalance to the role which borders on ruthlessness. And his comic timing is also superb. No doubt he’s trying to do some mature roles but the cute boyish charm fails to evade his countenance 😐 . Ileana is strictly OK. Of course, she brings a kinda glam-sham to the movie but that glam is more often than not just plain ol’ cuteness & prettiness! She needs to brush up her acting talents and histrionics! Another high-point of the movie is its music. Mani Sharma has given a rollicking score and the songs are melodious as well as catchy. Dole Dole Dil and Gala Gala parutondi Godari la are easily the pick of the lot and the others too are also good. But the true high-point of the movie is its action. The movie is ‘A’ certified just for its goriness and crudeness and trust me, there is lots of it! Apart from plain Ol’ shoot’em ups, the movie has lotsa Knife-in-the-neck, sword-in-the-back, rock-in-the-face , bang’em-up-against-walls/chairs/desks/shutters etc kinda sequences which are chilly! There is one particular scene where Pandu hangs out a thug outta moving train and he goes smack against an electric pole! And seeing this, the thug’s counterpart jumps off the train to avoid the same fate but ends up at the face of another oncoming train!!! The movie also has its share of flaws. The heroine’s character is sketchy at most of the times and almost vanishes completely in the end-portions. Comedy is a bane of the movie and only succeeds in slackening the pace! Totally unwanted! All the villains men seem alike and just mere gun-yielding-morons! One ought to see thugs in RGV movies. All are so realistic! And it is surprising that the hero commits almost 50 odd murders and the Police is doing nothing! Of course, the ‘Twist-in-the-tale’ explains some of it but that too seems far-fetched. The climax of the movie seems rushed and doesn’t quite make an impact as the rest of the movie.
All in all, Pokiri is a neat flick with ample doses of action, emotion and love which the masses would lap-up quite voraciously and I’ve no doubt it would turn out to one of the hits of the year! A must-see for Mahesh fans and even if I am not one myself, I won’t regret seeing it again! There aren’t many movies which get my repeat-view and I’ll consider this to be a compliment to Pokiri.
Rating: 3 out of 5