'Aagadu' is a film where the intensity of heroism that Mahesh Babu shows towards the minions (who are comedians) is the same as that shown towards the villain. As for the villain, the most ferocious scene he has is, again, with a comedian: Brahmanandam. The less said about tempo, the better. After successfully ducking the clout of Posani Krishna Murali, Vennela Kishore and MS Narayana, Mahesh meets his Waterloo due to Brahmanandam.
Story? Sreenu Vatila clearly throws it to the winds in favour of a series of gags. In the end, there is no emotional core; Mahesh unleashes his 'Dookudu' act yet again with gay abandon, with no flashes of sentiment that Prakash Raj's presence justified. Mahesh competes with the director in repeating himself to a monotonous effect.
CI Shankar is known for his gutsy ways and he proudly wears on his sleeve the self-christened epithet 'Encounter' Shankar. Rao Ramesh (in a cameo) posts him in a town where Sonu Sood rules the roost, ruthlessly. The premise itself is a throwback to '90s era Telugu cinema where sadistic villains publicly mocked the system and there would be none to dare them until the Saviour arrives with a beedi between his lips. The CI enters the town with a Gabbar Singh agenda and attitude, and his subordinates at the police station include Nasser, Vennela Kishore, Raghu Kunche. Sonu Sood's juniors include Raghu Babu and Posani, jokers who are reduced to buffoons by Shankar with his cunning. The villain eventually comes to know of the genius CI's crusade against his fiefdom and decides to take on him directly, now that he is convinced that the CI can't be easily outwitted by 'chamchas'. However, Shankar has a personal agenda as well and how he manages to fool Sonu Sood and destroys his empire forms the rest of the story.
With a vacuous storyline like this, Vaitla heavily relies on his style of comedy and Maheshs' comic timing that was on full display in his previous outing with the director. In his attempt to make the film a fun ride all throughout, Vaitla commits a Baadshah folly with royal remorselessness.
Comes Tamannah Bhatia, who plays Saroja, a traditionally dressed sweets-selling entrepreneur. It's love at first sight for the CI, who tries to get close to her by planning a "vedimpu vivaaham". Nasser has a comic bad time trying to see that Saroja doesn't fall for the CI, lest he will have to tonsure his head and ride a donkey.
Even though there is place for family sentiment in the story, the treatment is light-touch because the comic/arrogant side of Mahesh takes precedence. Even this is understated to a good extent in the second half, with the comedy tracks involving Brahmanandam and Mahesh sidetracking heroism, if not the hero. At times, the film looks frivolous for a hero of Mahesh's stature.
There is police patriotism along with hero-boasting attempted through Brahmaji's character, but this turns out to be a mere Interval bang exercise. As if all the parodies that we see in regular films was not enough, Vaitla attempts his hands at parodying a game show, a track that is decently fresh. Brahmi raises the roof by parodying the dance moves of NTR Jr., Allu Arjun and Mahesh himself, but the placement could have been better.
The director shows his taste for grandeur in 'Bhel Puri' and 'Naari Naari' numbers. Shruthi Hassan sizzles opposite Mahesh but the item number is the starting point of the film feeling like another 'Dookudu', minus the voluptuous Parvathi Milton. Mumtaz does a role minus the pelvic thrusts of an 'It's Time To Party Now.. .'
Forget those punchlines which are played out within the first 10 minutes of the film. More than punchlines, the film is about English words that rhyme, fast-paced dialogues that are difficult to follow..
Technically, the action sequences do not raise the roof and the lack of intensity is palpable.
Thaman's BG score is apt and his songs pass muster. The cinematography, editing and art work are fine.
Mahesh gets into the skin of his character and does his job phenomenally. He doesn't go over the board in expressing his character's attitude. He strikes an instant rapport with almost everyone. His pairing with Tamannah was awaited with expectations but one feels Tamannah was not properly portrayed. She has got not many dialogues and everywhere, she is seen jiving with Mahesh.
Rajendra Prasad plays a cameo. One wishes he had more screenspace.
Brahmi as 'Delhi' Suri is used as an instrument and the template is old. MS Narayana and Vennela Kishore entertain.
Fortuitously, Aagadu has no BO heavy weight to counterpose it. The association with Euros is a shot in the arm in the north. Brace up for a record opening.
Verdict: It's a film where Mahesh and Vaitla repeat themselves apparently because they are still enamoured of their previous outing. An average fare.
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Listen to Mahesh Babu Super Hit Songs on RAAGA