Movie: "Baadshah"; Cast: Junior NTR, Kajal Agarwal, M.S. Narayana, Kelly Dorji, Ashish Vidyarthi, Vennela Kishore, Ajay, Brahmanandam, Nassar, Jayaprakash Reddy, Navdeep, Ashish Vidyarthi, Sayaji Shinde and Siddharth Suryanarayan; Director: Sreenu Vaitla; Rating: ***1/2
A Sreenu Vaitla commercial book of filmmaking will definitely have the following - a hero stronger than all superheroes put together. He is so strong that he can overthrow a legion of bad guys in a jiffy, in true commercialised style of fighting. He has shades of good and bad, of course with reasons and back stories attached. He has the time to find a heroine to romance, but that doesn't deter him from his mission. He can defeat not one, not even two, but any number of villains. And he always finds a 'bakra' to help him resolve any situation with appropriate dosage of humour.
If you want to catch a glimpse of this book in a moving picture, then rush to the nearest theatre to watch "Baadshah".
Rama Rao aka Baadshah (Junior NTR) does not aspire to be a software engineer in a multi-national company, but wants to be the most feared mafia lord in a territory spanning across south-east Asia. His father runs a casino in Macau and works as a financial advisor to Don Sadhu Bhai. Baadshah bears the responsibility of doing something almost ruled impossible for the Don, and in the process, fools him and earns his wrath.
The story is no different than a usual Sreenu Vaitla film, but it is highly entertaining despite glaring loopholes and cliches. Sreenu stretches a simple revenge drama to the edge by greatly relying on comedy and high-octane action sequences. Not only does he succeed in this attempt, but also proves once again that his formula of filmmaking is error-free.
Two of Sreenu's best trump cards are M.S. Narayana and Brahmanandam, and boy, he knows how to use them effectively! I wonder what his films would be like without them because the very thought of it makes me freak out. In "Baadshah", both these actors have very crucial parts to play. To discard them as comedians would be disrespecting the potential of these actors, who elevate the film to great levels of entertainment.
M.S. Narayana's spoof on one of the most controversial filmmakers of this country is a treat to watch, while Brahmanandam as the usual 'bakra' in all of Sreenu's films turns out to be another reason why this film deserves a second watch. As stupid as the entire plot involving Brahmanandam may appear, it doesn't hide the fact that it ought to be stupid because pranks on 'bakras' are indeed stupid.
Akin to his earlier films, we see plenty of characters in "Baadshah" as well. While most of these characters play their respective parts well, there are quite a few that could have been avoided to save some time. One of the biggest flaws of the film is its stretched running time, which is a result of some extra songs. And just like any Sreenu Vaitla picture, this story too, has its share of twists and turns that are neatly interconnected towards the end.
NTR returns with a bang and delivers a performance bereft of any criticism. He shines as Rama Rao than as Baadshah, while Kajal Agarwal in a thankfully entertaining role, is fun to watch. Navdeep, Tanikella Bharani and rest of the cast rise up to the expectations and deliver a neat performance.
Thaman's music works partly, but has traces of tunes lifted from other films and some of his own compositions. Editing could have certainly been better for it would have helped the audience save few minutes of their precious time and not go home complaining about the length of the film.
All in all, "Baadshah" is a guide to learn the art of commercial entertaining filmmaking.
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