'Inttelligent', starring Sai Dharam Tej, Lavanya Tripathi and others in key roles, hits the screens today. Here is our review.
Tej (Sai Dharam Tej) is a loyal employee at Nanda Kishore's (Nasser) software company. You may wonder why a software engineer should be so loyal to his boss. This Nanda Kishore actually funded the education of our hero and even when he was all of 10, our hero had declared that he will be the financier's most loyal employee.
In normal films, the villain grabs lands. In 'Inttelligent', Vicky Bhai (Rahul Dev) wants to grab Nanda Kishore's software company. Pray, why only his company? Well, this Nanda Kishore is a Che Guevara and Infosys Narayana Murthy rolled into one. He offers his employees the best benefits, including a mini Ayushman Bhava Scheme that may have inspired Modicare. So, Nanda Kishore's rivals fear that their software employees too might start demanding similar benefits. And so, they approach Vicky Bhai for help. Just wow.
Vicky Bhai gets the pioneer of corporate communism eliminated. Our hero, who is hitherto busy fooling around the female Agnyaathavaasi (Lavanya Tripathi is his boss's daughter but our hero doesn't know it because she was an agnyaathaavaasi living in the US till the other day), metamorphoses into Dharma Bhai in a jiffy.
The rest of the story is about how he avenges his boss's murder, complete with a game featuring a Home Minister (Vineet Kumar) and his rapist son.
Writer Akula Shiva (who also plays villain Dev Gill's trusted murderer) replaces land grabbing with software company grabbing in this formulaic story. The kind-hearted village head (he is usually the heroine's father) of hundreds of films is a kind-hearted corporate honcho (and he is unmistakably the heroine's father) in 'Inttelligence'. The loyal 'parleru'-hero of other films is the suited and booted Tej. But there is a crucial difference. The makers of those formulaic films had the large-heartedness to not call their films intelligent.
In one of the most defining moments, policemen wonder how to know the whereabouts of the hero, who just abducted the Home Minister's son, when the kidnapper's friends are busy operating a drone a few yards away. In another scene, this HM and his whole continent of yes-men and policemen lose their mental balance over finding a couple of snakes.
You have to see how the hero's character is built up to show how far he can go for the sake of his loved ones. So, this guy goes on to teach Posani Krishna Murali's gang a lesson for beating up his friend (played by Rahul Ramakrishna). Before you know, the hero grows into someone who can shake the Home Minister and take the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport for a ride. Telugu Home Minister Vineet Kumar (the villain of 'Vikramarkudu') doesn't seem to know Telugu just as the Odisha CM doesn't know Odia.
The trope of a good cop working for a bad politician kicks in later. Jayaprakash Reddy is an over the top cop whose funnily man-hating daughter Vidyullekha Raman ends up marrying Fish Venkat.
Saptagiri, the film's only durable comedian, is worth two dialogues or so. You can imagine. His monologue glorifying himself refers to Megastar and Power Star. In another scene, Prudhvi is there to just raise a toast to Pawan Kalyan. 'Ayana address ni touch cheste rendu rashtralu disturb avtai', says Prudhvi about Jana Sena party office address.
Brahmanandam, a Swacch Bharat fanatic, is body-shamed at the first instance. His wasted cameo doesn't help at all. We took some time to realize that the cop without a mustache is actually Shayaji Shinde. Talk of amazing production values. The songs are not just forced but also is the remix of 'Chamak Chamak' a gross injustice to Mega fans.
The climax comes all of a sudden and before you have moved from 1990s to present day, the hero pumps dozens of bullets into whoever he can.
Sai Dharam Tej may just have to radically relook his choices. The least he could have asked Vinayak is a few more scenes for the comedians. Lavanya Tripathi is unusually dull, even in those songs. Nasser, Rahul Dev, Dev Gill, Jayaprakash Reddy, Asish Vidhyarthi, Rahul Ramakrishna, Venu and others are forgettable.
Cinematographer Vishveshwar's work makes it a point to put the camera at the wrong place. Thaman's work is sub-par.
A dated story, lame scenes, awful production values, mediocre performances. This is 'Inttelligent'. Posani Krishna Murali plays a funny gangster whose ramshackle mobile phone is a personification of the film's ramshackle script.