'Saaho' review: Ridiculously plain, enormously boring

Prabhas, after investing four years for the Baahubali films, appears like someone exhausted after a gruelling session of heavy lifting in the gym.

Director: Sujeeth

Language: Telugu/Hindi/Tamil

Cast: Prabhas, Shraddha Kapoor, Jackie Shroff, Neil Nitin Mukesh

Stars: 2

Director Sujeeth’s second film Saaho was touted as India’s biggest action thriller. The film’s hero, Prabhas, revealed in an interview that more than half of the Rs 350 crore budget was spent on action. However, after watching the massively hyped flick, you wonder if Saaho’s team was keen an on pulling off a daring action reality show. We wonder if they forgot they were actually making a ‘film’, which requires focus on story, screenplay and emotions.

Sujeeth tells a story of a huge empire in Waaji city caught in a power battle. Many villain are behind the ‘black box’, an object worth crores. One man (Prabhas) decides to take on the baddies and restore peace in the city. End result? A ridiculously plain and enormously boring film that even fans of Prabhas might find it difficult to embrace.

A series of action sequences fills the first half but none manages to lift the plot. The forced humour and build-up to a love story hardly work. The twist at the interval block is brilliant but that apart, Saaho will find it hard to stop its viewers from fidgeting with their phones and not to forget, yawning.

Saaho fails miserably in the technical department, robbing off the sheen from the mind-boggling locales and sets. The cast is filled with actors who predominantly work in Hindi cinema. Jackie Shroff, Mahesh Manjrekar, Neil Nitin Mukesh and Mandira Bedi are proven performers but their struggle with Telugu and Tamil is apparent. The lip-sync is so bad that we feel the actors were asked to chew gum nonstop instead of mouthing dialogues.

Even romance, one of the most important features of masala films, is silly in Saaho. The Prabhas-Shraddha couple ridiculously love and fight at the drop of the hat. Shraddha with her typical deadpan performance, at this rate, will soon be the reference point for how not to act.

When curtains come down on Saaho, one feels it is a revenge drama that needed better execution. There is no harm in keeping the viewers’ mind engaged. But Sujeeth’s screenplay is too confusing for its own good.

You witness ambitious action sequences in the final hour. There is a thrilling chase involving cars and trucks. There is even a sandstorm fight scene. But by the time you witness them, Saaho has already made you so numb with its dullness that you just want the show to end.  

Prabhas, after investing four years for the Baahubali films, appears like someone exhausted after a gruelling session of heavy lifting in the gym. He lacks the energy needed for a ‘big’ film like this. We feel the actor is in a sleepy classroom waiting for the teachers to walk off.

As the credit lines rolled, it was hard not to think of the recent Kannada hit KGF: Chapter One. Also made by a one-film old director, KGF was not just well mounted but it was also well imagined. You see the team’s ambition on screen. You see its dream come true. And most importantly, KGFleaves you with a high familiar with mass films. A high Saaho fails to provide.

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