At a time when logic is found to be amiss in supposedly serious dramas and potboilers, SS Rajamouli has achieved something remarkable. He has made the impossible possible, without kissing goodbye to logic. The film would have well bordered on the fairy tale, but for his eye to inventive commercial cinema. Had Eega been made as merely multiplex film, it would have been injustice. The sheer scale and range of the film will awe the adults and entice the children alike. The story is not about how a do-gooder is killed and he reincarnates as an omniscient being to redeem his tribe from Evil. The strength of the film for an Indian audience is that the story mixes elements that can captivate the kids (the fly and its mind-blowing acts) and keep the elderly hooked (a believable murderous story with a romantic angle).
For one, there is a scene where two eagles are hypnotised by an occultist to eliminate an elusive fly. For another, Sudeep is shown holding Samantha in his grip and blackmailing the fly, shouting to the fly with angst, "Come and surrender to me". Some scenes were baptised in Telugu soul and Hollywood body, so much so it was difficult to say who between the adults and the children will like it more.
The love track goes on smoothly, helped more by the BG and MM Keeravani's ditties. As Nani comes on again, off again to flash a smile and to woo Bindu (Samantha), it is Sudeep who steals the show all the way. He is shown as a lecher from Scene One. He is overtaken by a morbid envy when he finds Bindu is in love with Nani. Very soon, Nani is killed.
His soul transmigrates into an unborn fly and before long, he remembers his past life. The dance of revenge begins in style, and it is telling upon Rajamouli's maturity that his Eega is quite intelligent. A lesser mortal would have resorted to short cuts. Not for Rajamouli cheap tactics and illogical movie plots in the name of entertainment.
Eega schemes like a human with an extraordinary sense of revenge. Otherwise, it is like any other fly and all physical laws are strictly applicable. It is tired, is cautious, takes deep breathes, makes fun with Bindu over a cup of Cappuccino. The comedy is situational.
Elements like the below are an icing on the cake:
Eega doing its best to prevent Sudeep from getting intimate with Bindu.
Eega's teasing gestures to Sudeep, which is funny and also lends an aura of heroism around the fly.
Eega's song where it challenges Sudeep is not only well-placed but also an integral part of the film.
The character of Bindu being made a part of Eega's plot is superb.
Performances are minimalist, and it is Sudeep's neat act that stands out. He looks menacing and sophisticated; even when he goes the slapstick way (as he is obligated by the writing), he looks classy. Had he looked like a comedian, it would have been a death knell for the movie. Samantha is not a bit surprising in an otherwise uncommon movie. Nani sizzles as the lover boy in the few scenes he is seen.
Technically, Eega is a total package. Right from Senthil's cinematography, and the animators' human-Eega to Keeravani's BG, the film is beautifully done. Credit goes to CG Makutha VFX for designing the splendid insect.
Janardhana Maharshi's dialogues are just about OK. There are no witty or cheeky lines to take home.
All said, the film could have done better without the emotional disconnect. After Nani's death, Bindu is seen carrying with her routine with a sparkle on her face! Was it bad acting? Certain cinematic liberties down the surprise levels: heck the fly can write in English and Telugu. To a villager, a feeling of supernaturality or juvenile fancy might linger through the film, even though that is not true.
Rajamouli has made a clever balancing act. One may say that half the film was for kids and the other half was for the adults. Apart from Shankar, not many have achieved this kind of marriage in film making. Not many here can do this kind of film at a cost of Rs. 30 cr. While the story packs in a punch, and there was no danger of the film falling into the trap of an eerie animation or a fairy tale. Eega is no escapist fare, much less kid stuff. It is serious, sincere and, cerebral.
Released on: 6th July, 2012