Pataas is an action-comedy entertainer that doesn't take itself too seriously. So, we have everything from a firebrand senior cop who is waiting to be killed while in action to a quirky scene where MRPF (Mothers Rapid Police Force) gets into action mode to set right the errant children who are on a rampage. There is our hero who is selfish to begin with but who later turns out to be Agni Jr (that too, after parodying Agni Sr in a scene), thanks to his tryst with a sister-like sister.
Kalyan Ram plays ACP Kalyan Sinha, an IPS officer, who apparently is looking for the right opportunity to settle scores with his DGP boss, played by Sai Kumar. Ashutosh Rana is a ruthless goonda with political clout and his son, predictably, is unscrupulous. Kalyan Sinha's strange behaviour ever since he is transferred to Hyderabad makes his DGP doubt if he has a hidden agenda. Meanwhile, the villain has a field day in the town, thanks to the ACP's backing.
While the storyline is not novel, debutante Anil Ravipudi scores brownie points by relying on comedy. If the title suggested a powerhouse action entertainer where the fights would be over-the-board, this one turns out to be a comedy entertainer, too. Despite a wafer-thin storyline, the pace is not boring as there are scenes peppered with everything from parody to the oddball (in a place or two).
The stage is set for a showdown between Ashutosh Rana and Sai Kumar, and in this scenario Kalyan Ram steps in with a light-veined streak. His apparent actions may be misleading and when the first twist comes, we would have almost guessed the backstory right. Anil Ravipudi doesn't disappoint by dishing out an unnecessarily loud and gore-filled actioner. The breezy narration delivers plenty laughs all throughout - whether it is Srinivas Reddy, late MS Narayana, Posani Krishna Murali, JP or even Ashutosh Rana.
One feels the film is too funny to a fault when one notices there is just one half-baked melodramatic scene involving Kalyan Ram and Sai Kumar in the second half. A bit more of Sai Kumar and a bit less of "TV lo choodu.." scenes were expected. Just to remind that we are watching a cop story, there is a scene where the Ashoka Capital is artistically carved by the hero with, gasp, one or two types of arms.
There is a good deal of police patriotism after the usual negative portrayal of the corrupt. Sai Kumar does a good job as an upright and brave cop. It is not until the second half that Kalyan Ram delivers so-called punchlines to the audience's glee.
Some hackneyed elements like the villain creating fake witnesses (and despite this being nothing out-of-the-blue, the hero expressing shock) and the criminal faking medical emergency (this one too catches the hero by surprise!) could have been avoided. If this is the kind of defence that a political kingmaker's murderer is shown to be indulging in, it means there is not much intelligence in writing. As for Shruthi Sodhi, she makes guest appearances in the second half, teasing someone who is engaged in a one-sided match with a gangster.
If Srinivas Reddy delivers the best laughs, there is MS Narayana as Tsunami Star, laughing at himself and becoming a scapegoat used by the hero.
For Kalyan Ram, this one is a swashbuckling entertainer that was waiting to happen. He is convincing as an arrogant, brave cop. Shruthi Sodhi is beautiful, but lacks a starry grace.
Ashutosh Rana plays a routine role. One wishes he had got better lines to spout.
The technical departments do a good job. Sai Karthik's BGM fares better than the songs. The remix of Ariyo samba.. is good enough.
Verdict: Pataas is an action-comedy entertainer that is redeemed by a host of comedians and good dialogues.
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