When Michael Clarke was asked about Mitchell Johnson in run-up to Ashes, he said that he believed in the bowler and won’t be surprised if he goes on to win the ‘Man of the series’ award. At that time, it did seem like a bravura face in front of the media. In 44 days, Mitchell Johnson repaid his skipper’s faith in him. One of the best tweets on the matter was by Dan Brettig, who said, “Australia bet the house on Johnson and finished up winning an entire casino”

Expectations are a strange thing. Apart from Ashes, one other thing that I was waiting for was the movie 1-Nenokkadine. It somehow left me with a strange feeling. I read a few reviews before watching the movie. Though it wasn’t a first for me, it was after a long time that I read a review before I watched a movie I wanted to see. Truth be told, no review would’ve made me back down from watching the film.

From a few reviews and tweets I gathered that it required an IQ of 160 + to understand to predict the flow of the movie. In one of the comments, the movie was said to be a Telugu equivalent of Inception. Now, Inception was a movie where I saw the beginning and the end and slept through the rest of it. I never had the kind of imagination skills that the director wanted me to have.

When I saw the movie myself, the first thing I thought was that Sukumar still makes the best title plates in the industry. Remake or not, I am huge fan of his second movie, ‘Jagadam’. I felt that there was something lacking in the screenplay. When you read/watch a thriller, you get the feeling of being there. You unravel the hints, the little things with the protagonist. So, when the denouement comes you feel it as much as the protagonist if not more than him. This movie didn’t make me feel that way. Yes, there are moments of utter brilliance in the first half. And they come one after the other to somewhat redeem a lacklustre first half. I say lacklustre because it takes a long time to establish the characters and the story. The scenes where Mahesh playfully indulges the heroine with his reality and imagination after being deserted on an island, attacking the goons who attack the heroine and the scene with Kelly Dorjee in the toilet are all pointers to a brilliant actor in Mahesh Babu and how the director brought the best out of him.

The fact that there wasn’t a comedy track was as gladdening as the effort to fit in an item song was irritating. As much as Sukumar deserves the plaudits for not including a comedy track, he deserves the brickbats for incorporating an item song when it wasn’t required. Sukumar’s tendency to have an item song is as irritating Sreenu Vaitla’s to have a song before the climax.

I feel sorry for the people who are at the receiving end for the box office fate of the movie. The amount of money invested, if true, might not be earned. It isn’t as bad a movie as its box office fate might suggest. One thing that the movie brings to the fore is the fact that the director is the captain of the ship. Sukumar, for the first time maybe, treaded the middle path, in the sense that he is neither exceptional nor bad.

There are some good dialogues in the movie. One that stands out for me is when Mahesh Babu says “Preme natana ayinappudu, badha kooda natakamme” (How can your sadness be genuine if your love is pretence?)

Visually the movie is brilliant thanks to Ratnavelu and DSP is at his best with background music.

In the end, I would like to draw you to what Mahesh Babu says towards the end of the movie, “I have done this so many times over in my mind that I don’t need to do what I want to do”. My sentiment on the movie is also similar. The ending somehow reminded me of Surya’s sixth sense movie

Verdict: Considering what he had on his hand, Sukumar could’ve delivered a better movie

Image Courtesy: Idlebrain 

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