We earlier reviewed this movie(In Telugu) at the time of its release we gave it a rating of 3. Understandably, many of the movie’s fans complained, and with the wisdom of hindsight, we agree that they were right. The movie went on to become a huge hit in Hindi and other languages with everyone going ‘gung ho’ about it.
We decided to review the movie afresh with an open mind, not constrained by our past opinions about it. One could call it a dispassionate dissection of the movie than a mere review. People who haven’t watched the movie stop reading now as there are a lot of spoiler alerts ahead.
Why in the league of Sholay?
Sholay can be considered a benchmark for when it comes to commercial-action-oriented cinema. Sholay has all the necessary ingredients like action, comedy, music, drama. and so on. Pushpa The Rise is not a realistic cinema by any stretch of the imagination, Sukumar has taken care to ensure that the movie has action, comedy music, etc. We however think that he missed an opportunity to be an all-time classic in the league of Sholay as we genuinely believe that the movie came quite close to that. It is sincerely hoped that the moviemakers rise to the occasion and take this into consideration when they make the second part. First, let’s see what really clicked in the movie.
- We have to say Pushpa was 99.99% different in comparison to regular Telugu fare. The screenplay is astonishing which gives characters their heft ‘ and the opportunity to rise to the occasion.
- The director’s trademark vision is noticeable in all the shots, Sukumar knew he was onto something and implicitly believed in himself and Allu Arjun. We can say this is completely the director’s baby. It boasts a multi-layered script where the protagonist takes calculated steps to rise to the top. We also think this is Sukumar’s tribute to the GodFather trilogy.
- Rashmika performance was under appreciated we think. She was very natural in the acting and she emoted well with her eyes, top class.
- Sunil’s performance, his makeup, mannerism, and the restraint he showed not to ham or overact are really laudable. That being stated, it is fervently that will not get stereotyped into playing this kind of character all too often.
- We think Anusaya Bhardwaj lived her part completely and imparted it with the necessary personality even though she had very limited screen time.
- As regards Allu Arjun what do we say? We don’t think he acted in the film at all-he lived the part. We feel there was a spirit(Real Pushpa?) that entered his body. He has enacted every scene with such flair and put up an exceptional performance. We think this film is up there in the list of Top Films that every actor worth his salt should watch. As we mentioned earlier this is completely the director’s baby still we doubt if anyone other than Allu Arjun would be able to do better than this. He is undoubted, a class act.
- The other actors in the movie have also done a decent job in putting up spirited performances. In fact, their performances saved the movie from descending into a farce. Sukumar did a great job in extracting great performances from all the actors. We think he was successful in making his actors bring his visualizations to life faithfully. Kudos to the casting director. You did a great job indeed!
- A lot of people criticized the background score. ee think it was quite decent and there was no reason for it to be too loud or creepy as that of Akhanda. Musically the songs made sense and they were not just there for the song’s sake. They helped move the story forward which in today’s movie-making scenario is a refreshing change.
After the wholesome praise, let’s look at the negatives.? We felt this movie would have been easily a great all-time classic( which it still might become in the times ahead). But we fee do feel that had r Sukumar paid attention to a few things movie would have been a sure-shot all-time classic. Another reason for listing the negatives is to let Sukumar and Allu Arjun make ‘Pushpa The Rule’ really rule the whole of India.
- Allu Arjun has right from the beginning given the impression that he knows everything. While there is no doubt that Allu Ajun did those scenes with aplomb, all the same, we feel scenes of him learning the ropes or obtaining know-how from some others would have lent more credence to his performance. Considering the time spent on getting his mannerism, walk, and clothes right, some amount of time should definitely have been spent on the screenplay and story so as to make the movie appear a little more genuine and more realistic.
- The fight scene where Allu Arjun’s eyes were tied with a piece of cloth even while he was bashing the goons like no there was no tomorrow may have been included to cater to the mass audience, but it was still embarrassing to watch
- The scenes showing Pushpa as a boy, performing final rites, etc were too melodramatic and could easily have been done away with or replaced with something more aesthetic…..
- The hide and seek game with the forest officers could have been made slicker and more interesting, especially initially.
- The much-talked-about song featuring Samantha had Allu Arjun rocking the steps, but Samantha seemed to be quite a at sea about why she had to perform some of the dance steps. She just stood there transfixed staring at the camera.
- Screen time for the other characters was very less and it was solely focused on Allu Arjun with the exception of Fahadh Fasil in the last few minutes. As mentioned above there were some great characters built up and all they needed was some screen time to shine. Apparently, Sukumar has clarified that they all will get that in the second part.
And finally, the filmmakers should have promoted the movie better across India. we are quite sure that it would have collected double, what it actually achieved. We think a little bit of tightening of the script and some characterization changes would have made this movie reach the league of Sholay. We think Sukumar & Allu Arjun missed that opportunity by a small margin.