August 13, 2009

Magadheera --------- 4/5



The story happens in the year 1609. Kala Bhairava (Ram Charan Teja) is the protector/cheif guard of Udayghad kingdom. Mitra (Kajal Agarwal) – the heir princess is in love with him. But there is a bad relative of the king who wants to marry her. Sher Khan (Srihari) plans to invade Udayghad. In the process ensued, all of them die. These four people take rebirth after 400 years in the contemporary era. Harsha (Ram Charan Teja) is a race biker. He falls in love with Indu (Kajal Agarwal). And a bad guy called Raghuveer is after her. The rest of the story is all about how they trace themselves back to the past and settle the unfinished business.

Artists Performance

Ram Charan Teja: Ram Charan’s performance in his debut film Chiruta is like a show reel of what he is capable of doing. In this movie, he gets an opportunity to do some real good performance and he performs them convincingly with effortless ease. And he had gone through tremendous physical toil in this film as it involves horse riding, sword fighting, dances and many more. His dance in Bangaru Kodipetta after the completion of Chiranjeevi’s appearance is stunning. He is gifted with a good voice and he should fine tune it further to come up with pristine Telugu diction.

Kajal Agarwal: Kajal Agarwal is the surprise pack of this movie. She never looked so gorgeous and lovely in her earlier movies. She is overwhelming in this movie. Soumya who dubbed her voice came up with fabulous job in the first half where heroine’s naughty and is in love. However, she needs to come up with better dubbing for emotional scenes and serious episodes..

Others: Chiranjeevi did a special appearance in Bangaru Kodi Petta remix song. Srihari has relatively small screen presence. But his role is extremely powerful. He is excellent as Share Khan and his get-up and dialogue delivery is superb. And his Srikakulam dialect in the second half is very nice. The guy who did the role of villain has sharp features and he is adequate. Rao Ramesh is excellent in the role of Aghora. His voice and body language is wonderful. Sameer is good as the deputy of Srihari. Sunil and Brahmanandam are adequate. Mumaith Khan danced with Ram Charan Teja in Bangaru Kodi Petta. Kim Sharma did another item song. One wonders what Saloni is doing in this movie?

Technical departments

Story - screenplay - directon: Story of the movie is about rebirths. Rajamouli opened the movie by revealing the story right in the first episode. The challenge lies in Rajamouli’s handling of telling the story interestingly to the audiences though audiences know what he is going to narrate. Screenplay of the movie is good and the Rajamouli trade mark commercial paybacks are nicely inserted at regular intervals. Rajamouli who made a self-confession in the past that he is weak at narrating love stories makes a nice effort to come up with a convincing love story that penetrates eras and generations.

The following three episodes are visually extraordinary

1. The opening sequence.
2. The shot where hero and heroine go to Bhairava to perform poojas.
3. The shot involving of elevating camera on top angle between two pillars in flashback episode.

The following commercial payoffs will work big time

1. White Chunni thread (just like the thread of medal in Yamadonga film)
2. Picking up four important characters from the past and get them closer in the current time.
3. Ending the movie from where it started in the opening episode (usage of same weapons, location, sentiment etc)
4. Aghora tells villain how to recognize the hero. And the same symptoms occur during helicopter fight before interval.

The following scenes will create an impact:

1. The horse coming back to help the sinking hero.
2. Kill 100 people episode (inspired by 300 movie killing style where killing is shown more like poetry than a gore element). The opening credits have the counting of 100 as the backdrop and we realise the importance of it only after watching the last fight of the flashback.

The following scenes are mediocre:

1. The basis of heroine misunderstanding hero is too flimsy.
2. Srihari’s car colliding with chopper looks comical in the serious fight of climax. .

Other departments: Rajamouli should be appreciated for giving due credit to all his technicians by dedicating a full-song to them during the end titles of the movie. Watching that was fun. Songs scored by MM Keeravani are little disappointing when you listen to them on the stereo. But they are good on screen with visuals. Background music (a combined effort of Keeravani and Kalyani Malik) is excellent. Cinematography by Senthil Kumar is very good. It is extremely difficult to recreate the era of 400 years old and art direction by Ravinder is splendid. Fights composed by Peter Hynes are excellent. Dialogues by Ratnam are good. Styling by Rama Rajamouli is very good and you can see chic colors in the costumes worn by the lead pair in abroad song. Editing is good. Visual effects are nice. So is digital intermediate. But at the same time, there seem to be inconsistency in visuals throughout the movie. Some of the visuals are excellent and some of the visuals are good and some other are mediocre. Visuals are the results of combined effort of cinematographer, art director, visual effects department, DI team and film processing lab. One can see inconsistency in the postproduction of the movie. Production values of Geeta Arts are impressive and it is one of the biggest spent movie of Telugu film industry.

Analysis: Opening episode of the movie is superb. First half of the movie is nice and second half is decent. The tempo goes down right after the flashback episode as it’s everybody’s guess that what follows is a predictable climax. The plus points of the movie are Ram Charan Teja, novel subject of rebirth, flashback episode, grandeur and commercial pay offs. On the flipside, there is tremendous scope for improvement in the second half. On a whole, Magadheera might not be a great film. But it is a good entertainer with nicely packed commercial elements and grandeur. Go and watch it in a theatre near you with nice projection and good sound system.

Tailpiece: There is uncanny resemblance to Arundhati and Magadheera stories. Both these films are about incarnations. Both these movies have aghora episodes. And villain lusts heroine and that forms the central conflict point in both these movies.


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