Never irk nerds with muscles

Last Updated 23 March 2013, 17:25 IST

Kannada (U/A) **
Director: R Anantraju
Cast: Prajwal Devaraj, Aindrita Ray, Tilak and others

First things first. This “Ziddhi” is different from Sunny Deol’s “Ziddi” and Prajwal is no Jat like Dharam paaji’s eldest son. A remake of another Malayalam film, “Ziddhi” tells how an ordinary youth can turn into a killing machine, or a superman (depending on perspective) when pushed into a corner.

Krishnakumar (Prajwal) is a studious and talented boy who comes to Bangalore bowing to his family’s wish of becoming his village’s best engineer. His manners and talents captivate the entire college and attract the notice of Sudhir (Tilak), the local gangster’s younger brother, who has set his sights on Sahana (Aindrita), a police officer’s daughter. Sudhir thinks Krishna is after Sahana but Krishna’s heart is already with Shreedevi (Aishwarya Nag), back in the village.

Sudhir tries his best to secure Sahana’s affection and even beats up Krishna, with disastrous consequences for himself...

The first half of “Ziddhi” is racy and offers little clue to what happens after interval. Action rules the second half with a sprinkling here and there of what can be called plot. Anantraju, who gave films like “Mast Majaa Maadi”, barely passes muster here. Sheshagiri’s dialogues pack a punch and are almost clean–a rarity these days.

Giridhar Diwan’s music offers a pleasant balance, even if he borrows the tune of the evergreen “tumsa nahin dekha” for the retro song between Aishwarya and Prajwal. Niranjan Babu’s camera is extra, extra thoughtful during the climax fight scenes but has a run of its own the rest of the time—a cardinal sin.

Among actors, Aishwarya begins to give a good account of herself but only for a short period. Aindrita, on the other hand, squeezes in her prowess wherever and whenever possible.

Tilak is earnestly loud while his elder brothers, played by Sharath Lohitashwa and Muni, and the ACP (Suchendra Prasad), make loads of empty-vessel noises. Srinivasamurthy is his usual good self.

There is little to connect the story with the film’s title, but Prajwal stands out. The actor is revelling in his new-found confidence and comfort, bringing out different shades of a single emotion through his eyes - a pleasant addition to his repertoire. Action lovers may find some purchase but “Ziddhi” leaves Prajwal and Aindrita fans dissatisfied.

(Published 23 March 2013, 17:25 IST)

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