Daggubati Rana who had an unconventional and unusual debut into film industry through non-commercial role in 'Leader', chose his second Telugu film also on similar lines. After playing Chief Minister in 'Leader', he dons the role of a sharp shooter in Puri Jagannadh's 'Nenu Naa Rakshasi'. This film which captured public eye for its quirky title, aggressive campaigning, Puri Jagannadh's combination with Ileana and message oriented story on suicides and love, released today in theatres across the state. We went to theatres on the day one and this is what we feel about the flick...
The story gives you a feeling of deja vu. It reminds you of Mahesh Babu's Athadu and Rajendra Prasad's Mee Sreyobhilashi.
Abhi(Rana) is a sharp shooter who kills people for money. He uses this money for the treatment of his mother who is in comma. Meenakshi(Ileana) is an employee at a coffee shoppe. Abhi falls in love with Meenakshi at the very first sight. He follows her and tries to make friends with her. Abhi's neighbour in the apartment is a police officer Vikram(Subbaraju) who has a daughter suffering from cancer. Abhi likes that kid. Meanwhile, Abhi keeps killing people for money and cops are clueless of who is the murderer. Meenakshi is being followed by a goon who has a lust for her. Besides, Meenakshi is busy capturing suicides of the people. She runs a service where people who want to commit suicide could ask her to capture it in video. It will be put up on youtube. However, she keeps this work of her secret. Abhi's mother dies in the hospital and he now wants to commit suicide. He calls Meenakshi to capture his suicide in the video. The rest of the story is on the connection between Meenakshi and suicides, how Abhi tries to change her and protect her from trouble.
Daggubati Rana is yet to evolve as an actor. His expressions are flat with no variations. It clearly appears that he is 'acting' and dwelling into the charecter hasn't occured to him yet. For instance, in the scene where his father was shot dead, Rana's face didn't have the emotional intensity that was required for that scene. He must better his dancing skills too. His dance movements reminds us of Superstar Krishna's Wednesday drill master acts. His dance for the song 'Meenakshi...' shot in Venice is hilarious and tempts us to call him Junior Krishna. There are less than ten scenes where Rana is not wearing shades. We are yet to know the reasons for it. He surely needs to rework on his action and deliver better performance to match up to the hype he creates around himself.
Ileana was a pleasant surprise in the film. She did a farely decent job considering the fact that the camera never moved beyond her hip in most of her previous films. She cried, smirked, looked hot, grabbed sympathy and made faces that were apt to the scenes. She was potrayed beautifully well in this story. The costumes, her cut away shots, her profile shots used in the songs are outstanding. The asset to this movie was the villain Abhimanyu Singh who had earlier played Bukka Reddy charecter in 'Rakthacharitra'. Though he overacted in a couple of scenes, overall he was adorable as villain. He is so convincing as a bad man that he might be beaten up in real life by people thinking he is really bad. Ali was extra ordinary in those few scenes he got to play. Mumait Khan was roped in this film only to balance lack of 'commercial elements' in the script. Her role is ignorable and insignificant to this story. Subbaraju proved his mettle as a terrific performer and the baby girl who played his daughter gave goose bumps to us with her mature expressions. The scene where she asks Ileana her name was very well done. Nagineedu left no impact on our minds. Infact we are straining our minds to recollect who else acted in this film which means, the rest really didn't matter.
Clap worthy moments
Dialogues penned by Puri Jagannadh are worth an applause. Take this dialogue for instance,
"I love you ante full package. Andhulo Adi Kuda Undi"
His trademark dialogues for the villain,
"Kalisi Rape cheyadaniki Thammudu ledu, Murder Cheste Cheppukovataniki Nanna ledu" make the audience whistle. The theatre goes bersek when Rana gives Ileana some Upma. The tracks 'Malli Malli Merpula..' and 'Meenakshi..' are well composed. The comedy track of Ali with a black lady leaves you in splits. Cinematography by Amol is worth ovation.
Cringe worthy moments
The narration is very preachy and the concept of 'suicides' is very boring for entertainment medium like cinema and more so Tollywood. The scene where psychiatrist Dr Pattabhiram explains the suicidal tendency, behaviourial patterns of people, Ileana dolling out excess details of group suicides in Japan reminds you of afternoon phone in programmes with psychologists that are aired in news channels. The movie looks like an expensive documentary on suicidal tendencies. Information like every hour there are 14 suicides in India and visuals of people being run over by trains, drowing in water and hanging themselves to ceiling fans is disturbing to watch. Parents are strictly advised not to take their children along for this film. The screenplay is not at all racy. The story is draggy and easy to predict. The background score by Anoop Rubens is absolutely ineffective. Even the biggest twists in the story don't make an effect because the background score is merrily missing in right place. The producer must take back the remuneration from the editor of the film for doing a bad job. The easiest work in this movie is that of a choreographer. Rana hardly moved his body for the music. Most often he is running after Ileana moving his hands in the air or he is busy ramp walking on the screen on the songs. The fights are silly.Rana takes severe beatings and is collapsed. The very next minute he wakes up with mouth wide open screaming and taking on the goons. Give us a break guys. We are no more in 1990's. Ali's comedy with Mumait Khan is funny but sleazy. We bet that family audience will hate these scenes. The music is good but sadly loses its value due to poor picturisation.
In the climax, Ileana is convicted for the crime of capturing suicides on her camera while Rana is not even arrested despite murdering people which defies logic.Besides, Rana carries his barrel guns and revolvers in a bag as if he is going around with Guitar.
The movie is not upto the mark. It is not worth a multiplex ticket. You can conviniently ignore this film.
Released on: 29th April, 2011