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Express Raja Review

Review by IndiaGlitz [ Thursday, January 14, 2016 • Telugu ]
Express Raja Review
UV Creations
Sharwanand, Surabhi, Sushanth, Brahmaji
Merlapaka Gandhi
Vamsi , Pramod

Modelled after the screenplay technique of 'Vantage Point', this film blends this imported technique with quirky comedy of especially South Indian variety.  Merlapaka Gandhi writes a range of curious characters, most of which are interlinked to one particular incident.  The incident changes the course of many lives and the same is revealed in installments.

The film starts with Raju's (Sharwanand) attempt to steal a puppy from a guarded woman as his uncle (Prabhas Seenu) and Sapthagiri become his team willingly and reluctantly, respectively.  Moments after running away from the scene in a ramshackle van, Raju stars narrating his life days before the incident.  After coming to Hyderabad with Prabhas Seenu, Raju fell in love with Amulya (Surbhi), the future fiance of Kesava Reddy (played by Harish Uttaman).  His hatred towards dogs makes him impulsively hand over Amulya's puppy to dog cullers and this threatens to lead to their break-up.  It is now up to Raju to trace that dog and in the process, he faces obstacles from a whole range of funny characters and Kesava Reddy, the one major character with no comic side.

The director of 'Venkatadri Express' fame has done a fairly good job in telling and executing a not-so-novel idea with doses of fun.  The first half establishes the incident and the second half is more about delineating the dog-stealing incident more elaborately through occasional revisiting.  Besides it is also about Sapthagiri, Urvashi, Shakalaka Shankar, Supreet, Dhanraj and Supreet doing their bit to add to the comedy of errors and confusion.

Raju and Amulya continue to achieve success in their mission slowly and steadily, and it all ends with the hero, hitherto regarded as an irresponsible son by his father, becoming a real-life hero.

In so far as writing a screenplay that doesn't complicate matters for the audience, this film steals a march.  More than the curious turns in Raju's life, the idiocy of characters keeps the entertainment quotient up.  Sapthagiri makes it a laugh riot in every scene he is seen.  Prabhas Seenu complements his efforts.  Urvashi is one talented yesteryear actress who has the potential to re-invent herself through well-written roles like it was the case in Size Zero.  In this film, she is quite watchable both as a power-hungry mother of a villainous son and someone who loses her memory and turns into Vasantha Kokila's Sridevi.

As character after character turns out to have a stake in the dog, the audience looks forward to a routine denouement.  The climax doesn't have the scale or imagination to be worthy of being talked about.  It would have been interesting if the hero was shown to have actively worked towards preventing the dog from falling into the hands of Supreet or Harish Uttaman, revealing what he did to ensure that in the climax.  By showing Dhanraj as instrumental in making Sharwa a hero, the climax was robbed of excitement, although a smile on the face is certain.

The first half could have had a better screenplay, especially the rom-com portion involving Sharwa, Surbhi, Prabhas Seenu, and Brahmaji. The dictionary comedy is good only in certain places. The songs don't work much, except for Colourful Chilaka.

As for performances, Sharwa is definitely not at his best.  It is not like he is irreplaceable.  Surbhi looks beautiful, but the dubbing is not apt for her.  Sapthagiri, Urvashi and Shakalaka Shankar are in their elements.  Supreet gets to play a fairly lengthy role.

Praveen Lakkaraju's music is ok.  The background music and cinematography are very good.

Verdict: A fun film which doesn't give you complicated situations to think through.  A good time pass movie this festive season.  Watch out for the comedians.

తెలుగు వెర్షన్ రివ్యూ

Rating: 3.00 / 5.0

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