Dussehra season has started for Telugu Film Industry and the first film to hit the marque is Mahesh Babu’s Dookudu. This was supposed to be a quickie after Mahesh Khaleja bit the dust at B.O, but as the case with Mahesh Babu’s films this also has taken a long time to hit the screens.
One of the reasons for me wanting to watch this film, is director Srinu Vaitla, who has given slapstick entertainers like Ready,King,Namo Venkatesa,Dubai Seenu,Dhee. Another interesting fact was story-screenplay writer Gopimohan, who had worked with Srinu for Ready and Dhee.
Shankar Narayan(Prakash Raj) is an honest politican, in Andhra Pradesh. He is a do-gooder, who has whole village loving him, but few powerful enemies. He wants his son to be a politician like him, but he meets with an accident . The story jumps forward to Mumbai and enter Ajay ( Mahesh Babu ) who again is a IPS officer, like in Pokiri, but this time he is with Mumbai Police. He bashes up goons and then comes the mandatory intro song , as our hero is Mumbai Policeman, so he dances around Bandra-Worli sea link and not Banjara hills.He goes to Turkey to catch a underworld don’s aide , there he chances upon Samantha. I forgot the name of her character, but it hardly matters as the Director also remembers her only during song sequences. After some sight seeing ,dance sequence and chase scenes,the hero comes back to India,Shankar Narayan at the same time recovers from coma. Now our hero has not only to bash up goons and save the Nation , but also have to assume double identity too. The rest of the film is about songs,shootout,twist, more shootout and the ending, but it takes painfully long time to reach the climax.
Dookudu is inspired by whole lot of films, a major premise is borrowed by German film Goodbye Lenin, where again son creates East Germany to save his mother from shock, who wakes up in unified Germany.That apart it has borrowed from Sarkar,Pokiri, Srinu’s own Ready ,Don seenu, but this time it does not hold the audience.We except Srinu’s film to be mindless slapstick comedy with bit of everything as he is master of masala films, but this time he flatters to deceive.
If you are looking for logic you will be dissappointed.But there are few scenes which will bring house down, like when Brahmanandam plays an aspiring actor. In fact he overshadows Mahesh Babu in all the scenes in which they are together. One of the scene towards the climax when he appeals to Nagarjuna using his pen drive had me in spilts.Other scene is when Mahesh visits Samantha’s house for first time in India, other scene is showreel of M.S.Narayana, where he spoofs Yamadonga,Magdheera, and Simha, it is hilarious and is bound to bring the house down.This scene shows Srinu’s form, but then these are far and few. Another scene which evokes laughter is when Prakash Raj is informed that NTR is P.M. of INDIA, and the subsequent independence day speech by NTR.
Mahesh Babu occupies the screen time for 95% of time.For him the role does not offer nothing new yet he is sincere. It is good to have actors like him who take backseat and allows other actors to have their space. Also look out for his Telangana accent,Samantha has nothing to do in the film,except for songs.Prakash Raj sleepwalks , he has done umpteen number of such roles. Sonu Sood plays a don whose look is based on Dawood. He has nothing to offer , but then you can not blame him for the poorly written role.The 2 actors who steal the show are Brahmanandam and M.S.Narayana, whenever they come on screen , the movie’s standard is raised higher.
Music by Thaman is very good, especially Guruvaram.Editing by M.R.Varma is not upto mark, he seems to have forgotten his job as editor is to trim and not to put everything shot on the final print. The movie could easily be trimmed of 20 minutes.Cinematography is average, but for a movie whose budget they are claiming to be 35 crores, the production value does not translate well on the screen.Dialogues by Kona Venkat is a highlight of the movie, especially the dialogues where Mahesh Babu has to choose between Gautam,Krishna and among languages he choose Marathi.
Dookudu had released with a historic number of prints, and the intial buzz at B.O at the time of my writing this has been positive. I wish Srinu tries something new and Telugu film hero would try to steer away from standard template of 6 songs, 5 actions and punchlines. Till then if you are into mood for some hero worship, watch this.
P.S- RGV also plays an important role in the film