After a gap of more than one year highly talented actor Jiiva is back with 'Pokkiri Raja'. This is his 25th film and this time he has teamed up with director Ramprakash Rayappa who has made a splendid debut last year with 'Tamizhukku En Ondrai Azhuthavum'. The expectations were riding high on this flick and lets see how the film has come out.
Jiiva plays Sanjeevi, a software engineer whose yawning problem ends up costing him his life and girlfriend. Sibi Raj plays cooling glass Guna, a gangster who is feared by the general public (Or at least they say so) and Hansika plays Sunitha who is made to look like the ideal woman (but definitely isn't)
After being fired from his previous job, Sanjeevi lands up a new job in the company his friend works for. This company's idea of social work is to ride in tanker lorries and spray water on people who urinate in public places. On one of their social work visits, Jiiva joins his colleagues and sprays water on Guna, who is hiding from the police (on charges of murder). People gather around and take pictures of an embarrassed Guna who is left to stand in his underwear. Just as he threatens to kill Sanjeevi, the police come and catch him. Pretty soon, Guna gets out of jail and starts looking for Sanjeevi to make him pay for shaming him in public. Sanjeevi on the other hand is on his way to the hospital as his yawning has only gotten stronger. Guna spots Sanjeevi and tries to kill him but he gets knocked down by one of Sanjeevi’s yawns. How their cat and mouse chase advances after this forms the rest of the story.
Pokkiri Raja tries to funny but it isn’t, it tries to be cool but it isn’t and it tries to be entertaining but it definitely isn't. It makes us wonder what director Ramprakash Rayappa was really thinking? His first film, 'Tamizhuku En Ondrai Aluthavum' was gripping and well received. But this one turns out to be a disaster in more than one ways. It has poor performances, badly written characters, single-minded jokes and a whole lot of chauvinism.
No one can deny that fact that Jiiva is quite a talented actor. But this unfortunate choice of film, coming from an actor who gave us great performances in 'Ko', 'Raam', 'Ee' and 'Kattradhu Tamizh' is truly disappointing. He didn’t even have enough scope to bring in shades of his character in a light-hearted film like 'Siva Manasula Shakthi'.
Hansika’s character in the film is a major setback to the 21st century women who’ve come such a long way. Dialogues like "Unna kalyanam panni samaika vitirkanum" or when she says "Naa kudichadhu therinja yen maaname podium.. Krishnaaa! Govindaaa!" sound regressive. Even towards the end of the scene, we are told that she was just acting like she was drunk. There are constant reminders that tell you an ideal woman doesn’t drink; an ideal woman has to have this annoying child-like innocence. There was so much intolerance and close-mindedness in the way her character was portrayed.
Sibi has grown a beard, he wears a lungi and coolers and he even has a scary BGM but somehow he doesn't really come off as an intimidating villain. His threats remain empty and his character misses many chords. His transformation into a villain doesn't wield enough power to be believable.
Though Imman's 'Athuvutta' received a lot of positive responses from the audience, the other tracks in the film aren't as memorable as his recent hits.
Overall, Pokkiri Raja is a below average film that tries to be too many things but it really isn't.
Verdict: Watch it at your own risk
Rating: 1.8 / 5.0