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'Pushpa' movie review: Terrific Allu Arjun deserved a better film

Last Updated : 17 December 2021, 12:18 IST

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Pushpa: The Rise

Telugu (Theatres)

Director: Sukumar

Cast: Allu Arjun, Rashmika Mandanna, Fahadh Faasil, Dhananjaya

Rating: 2.5/5

Sukumar's magnum opus 'Pushpa: The Rise' is neither a gripping saga nor a power-packed 'masala' entertainer. It falls in between the two categories. The overall experience is a tad underwhelming, especially when we come out with fewer takeaways from a three-hour-long experience.

Unlike the 'Baahubali' films and 'KGF', this film lacks characters or antagonists with distinctive qualities. Though Sunil, Dhananjaya, and Ajay Ghosh are effortless, their roles lack depth. They are easy targets for Pushpa (Allu Arjun), who bulldozes his way through his enemies without breaking a sweat.

The story has two tried and tested themes: a 'mother sentiment' angle and a protagonist's rise from an underdog to an all-powerful person. The story is set in Chittoor of Andhra. Pushpa succeeds in red sandalwood smuggling and finds ways to overpower the police and his rivals.

Sukumar is deliberately slow with his screenplay. But we are not sure why he is convinced with this approach as many of the film's emotional scenes last longer than required. Timely twists in this generic story could have lifted the movie a couple of notches higher. It was appalling to see the poor VFX and the unimaginative action sequences as we expect finesse in these departments in ambitious projects.

Rashmika Mandanna appears in a half-cooked love story. Devi Sri Prasad's highly energetic songs are superbly shot. The dialogues are catchy. Allu Arjun is in terrific form. His Chittoor dialect and a unique body language are a treat to watch.

We perhaps see the film Sukumar conceived in the final 20 minutes when Pushpa finally meets a villain worthy of taking on in police officer Bhanwar Singh Shekhawat, played menacingly by Fahadh Faasil.

The first chapter of 'Pushpa' ends well but we hope the follow up is consistently engaging and not exciting only in parts.

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Published 17 December 2021, 09:29 IST

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