Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Dookudu Dir. Srinu Vaitla

      The opening credits spelled out Superstar and then added "Daring and Dashing" to his name. All true for Mahesh Babu's peformance in his latest flick Dookudu. I just love going to see all my favorite Tollywood heroes on the big screen, even without subtitles the experience in a full theater with a vocal and appreciative audience is just not to be missed. I was a little worried I wouldn't get tickets when I saw on twitter that my friends in DC and Toronto were having a hard time getting tickets, so I hedged my bets and bought them on-line about a half an hour before leaving for the theater. My friend Marcia and I went to the 7pm show on Saturday. It was't quite housefull but pretty close. We did get the usual tap on the shoulder and the trying to be helpful "did you know this is the line for the Indian film?" comment from the person behind us. They are allways so curious and delighted when they find out that yes we are in the correct line.
     I had read a few of the reviews and synopsis before we went so I could follow the plot more easily.  Prakash Raj plays  Shankar Narayan a politician and NTR admirer who is a much loved man of the masses. When he meets with a suspicious accident his family allow people to believe he is dead while he lays in a coma in a hospital in Mumbai. Meanwhile his son Ajay (Mahesh) grows up to be a cop in Mumbai who works undercover to get the mafia Don, Nayak played by Sonu Sood. Ajay goes to Turkey for an undercover job and while there meets Prasanthi played by Samantha. Unbeknownst to Ajay, Prasanthi is the daughter of his boss, played by Nasser in a rare comedic role, who Ajay had just accidently shot in the butt during an attempt to bust Sonu's gang.

 Meanwhile Shankar wakes up from his 14 year coma and the doctors tell Ajay and family that he cannot be shocked or upset in anyway. So Ajay sets up a ruse by hiring Brahmanandam as a reality show actor to help convince his father that he did follow in his footsteps and become a politician and that among other things, NTR is alive and well and still serving the people. Much of Brahmanandam's and Mahesh's comedy was verbal so I missed all of that. There was alot of slapping and the audience was in stitches so I will have to wait for the DVD to fully appreciate their scenes together. Later Mahesh brings in MS Narayana playing a wannabe hero to try and dupe Kota Srinivasa Rao and Sayaji Shinde, who played bad guys in league with Sonu. MS Narayana's comedy was much more visual so I enjoyed his scenes alot. I loved his send-ups of Yamadonga, Maghadeera, Simha and Endhiran.

All of the supporting actors did what was required of them. The only problem I had with the movie was there was too many of them so they weren't utilized to the best of their capabilities. Ajay, Subbaraju and Shafi all had miniscule parts. I think it would have been better maybe to combine their charactors and let one of them shine rather than all of them just be in the background. Wasted talent in my opinion and they are all so good at being bad.

Samantha was cute as usual, although she didn't have much to do. It's funny how the voice the actresses are dubbed in in the first movie you see them in gets imprinted. I did not like the voice they used for her as I am used to the voice that dubbed for her in Brindavaanam.

Sonu Sood was his usual badass self and looking fabulous with his all white outfits (my favorite color on him) and bad guy mustache.

But the movie definetly belonged to Mahesh. His hero introduction scene had him revealed behind shattering glass, it was a real cool effect with the music and action. He has excellent comedic timing and could hold his own with Brahmanandam. The interval bang was awesome with Mahesh running and fighting like a knife wielding locomotive. Mahesh was handosme as usual and has a wonderful way of conveying mischeviousness and emotion with just a flicker from his eyes.

 This was my friend Marcia's first Mahesh movie and the next day she was commenting how much his eyes intrigued her and how handsome he is. I introduced her to the favorite Mahesh fan girl pass time of counting layers and Dookudu does not disapoint. There were several scenes whre Mahesh had only 2 layers (polo shirt and tshirt) but during many of the song picturizations he had 4 layers (t-shirt, shirt. Jacket and scarf) especially in the desert song Chulbuli. I enjoyed all the song picturizations. Mahesh isn't the best dancer but he is enthusiastic and the choreographers create dances that suit his abilities and tall frame. My favorite songs were the Kilimanjaro inspired Chulbuli and the wedding song Adara Adarakottu in the second half. I also loved the item number Puvai Poovau. Judging by the whistles from the audience it's well on its way to being considered a classic.

All in all Dookudu was a fabulous in theater experience. The audience was laughing and whistleing and really enjoying themselves. I'm going to try and see it one more time in the theater and will definetly add it to my collection when the dvd gets released. Yay! Mahesh is Back and he is Daring and Dashing!