The first Rebel Star aka Krishnam Raju wants his son to be a Maryada Ramanna. Sadly, he turns out to be a firebrand Puli Bidda. He publicly beats the local MLA to pulp. This causes the murder of his parents and his girl friend and there starts Rishi, calling himself Rebel, hunting for the murderers.
A decayed story and a tasteless narration, are only two of the several mind-numbing flaws of Rebel. Arrogant, self-important creators make films like Businessman and DCM. Confused creators make films like Nippu. Lawrence is neither arrogant nor confused, but he suffers from that very common hangover disease. An LIB modelled on the template of Happy Days is understandable, but infusing pointless choreography into the narrative, together with villains in trendy attires (Style), totally inconsequential gangster look of the hero (Don) not only seem inappropriate but also peeve us to the extreme.
To add to the woes of Prabhas' fans, he is seen putting on unnecessary tearjerkers throughout the movie, whether he is sharing his plight with a 'chellemma' or dancing with the orphans or introducing his lover to his dad. He gets exaggeratedly emotional every now and then when he is expected to deliver punch lines and knock out the villains.
Till about 10 minutes before the interval, Prabhas is no more than a character artiste, while our beloved comedy hero Brahmi and Kovai Sarala have all the duets. To make the matters worse, Larencce outrageously makes the superstar act like Aparichitudu's Ramu in the flashback! Take out the four fights and the songs, even Sunil could have pulled off the script. Why does Bhupathi Raju (Krishnam Raju) want his son to grow like a timid guy with a passion for music? His desire is not integral to the story. But it is integral to Lawrence's creativity. He wants to choreograph a stupid scene with Prabhas and Ali using this element as a ruse.
Is there any justification for a solo song for Tamanna when the 'Rebel' himself doesn't have one? There are more dialogues for Brahmi, Tamanna and Krishnam Raju combined than for Prabhas! What a bad way of making a 'mass entertainer' with one of the most valued heroes of Tollywood!
To begin with, Rishi has to find the whereabouts of Stephen-Robert, not sure whether he is one, like Raghava Larencce, or two. He stays in a flat in Hyderabad, where he lives with the blabbermouth Brahmi (Narasa Raju, also called Nasa Raju). Learning that dreaded don Nana's daughter (Tamanna as Nandini) is a dance teacher in Bangkok, he flies there along with Brahmi and starts wooing her miserably. His secret motive is to extract the identity of Stephen-Robert, whose whereabouts none but Nana knows.
Once Nandini asks probing questions, Supreeth (as Prabhas' lieutenant, is over-the-top like many others) starts narrating the flashback. There comes Krishnam Raju, who punishes the SI (Bharath) for wanting to sleep with a woman. In 'far-away' Bangalore, Prabhas is in love with Deeksha Seth (as Deepali, she sleepwalks her minor role), an orphan with three spiritual mothers.
So, when and how did the trouble begin? When his dad was in danger, Prabhas had to fight with many Kanchanas and even beat MLA Simhadri (Pradeep Rawat, who kills himself for no logical reason) for wanting to murder his father. This enraged Simhadri, who then joined hands with two other villains in order to eliminate Rebel Sr.
The rest of the film is about how the now-deeply disturbed Rebel Jr. uses his below average brain to get some info about Stephen-Robert in order to avenge the death of his parents and Deepali.
Faltering in execution, Larencce pens some outlandish scenes with reckless abandon. Tamanna's behaviour after listening to the flashback, where she breaks into 'Ori Nayano' number, is one such scene. Prabhas' heroism is not cleverly elevated, and it was totally unnecessary that he was made to have a rivalry with David in the first half because David's character was not needed. Lawrence makes his hero either an observer or a bystander or a witless character in many other scenes.
The behaviour of the villains in the climax fight is illogical, to say the least. Would a bloodthirsty man be stupid enough to go by the rules set by the hero when death stares him in the face in spite of having a gun in his hand? Did Larencce think it was a dance competition (like the one seen in Style)?
'Darling' Swamy disappoints with his unintelligent dialogues. Most lines are hackneyed and some even funny. Chinna's BG score is ok. The editing could have been definitely better, while the cinematography was alright. Ram-Lakshman's fights are not inventive.
Speaking of performances, Prabhas does justice to his character even in the ill-etched scenes. Overall, he portrays the emotions quite well. His modulation is apt.
Krishnam Raju should have been minimal. His get-up is appalling, the costumes are unfortunately Western. He looks a bit tired.
Tamanna adds the required glamour quotient, but hers is not a meaty role. Deeksha may be ignored. Mukesh Rishi, Supreet, Pradeep Rawat, and that so-called Stephen fail to add anything. Brahmi, Ali and MS are boring.
If there are any likeable elements, it is those dance moves perfected by Prabhas and Tamanna. The minimum expected when a top class dance director is the helmsman. Two songs, sadly, come at the right time.
Released on: 28th Sep, 2012