In a cricket centric country like India, the common tendency is to compare knocks played by different cricketers. It is , a certainty, then, that these things lead to a few arguments. Thankfully, the other passion in India- movies- doesn’t lead to such arguments. We have the directors to thank for that.
Puri Jagannath has directed 25 movies before this. Most or all of them have the protagonist playing a loud mouth. The heroes in the Telugu movie industry want to act in a movie directed by Puri Jagannath, because he elevates the hero character in his movies like no other. Simply put, he is the director that every hero wants to act under.
So, with such a database, his own movies, at hand, it’s obvious that he would try to do the simple comparisons that a cricket crazy fan would do. Probably his comparison would be how a specific hero would have performed in that role and how a hero would perform if he were to enact his previous role.
Probably out of such comparisons was born Temper which seems like a rehash of Businessman and Rakhee. Yes, it has all the elements that a typical Puri movie has, but, as a friend of mine said, and as I felt, the first half was entirely NTR trying to prove that he can fit in the same shoes as Mahesh Babu. Well, he did come into his own in the second half, but the film as a huge sized ‘Businessman’ hangover all over it. Probably that’s the exact reason why the presence of Kajal Aggarwal doesn’t help.
NTR has been without a hit for quite some time. He has tried his hand at routine entertainers and failed. He then combines with a man who gave him one of the biggest disasters in life and succeeds. Does the movie give him everything that he wants from it? The answer is probably no. Does it give his legions of fans everything that they want from him? Partly yes, maybe. The title song has probably the best moves from him in a long time. Viewed in isolation, his performance was good too, but as mentioned before it somehow reminds us of Mahesh Babu.
Every movie that I watch of NTR strengthens my belief that with him, the sum is never equal to the parts. The best dancer in the industry, the best actor in the industry and the person with the best dialogue delivery in the industry. Though he is the best individually, he ain’t quite the numero uno in the industry. He is further down in the pecking order than that.
You don’t need further evidence than watching the audio release function of the movie to realise how desperate he was for a hit. Hype doesn’t help him and he doesn’t seem to realise that. His movies release with immense hype and fail to set the cash registers ringing- most of the time.
Like Pawan Kalyan had a turn in his fortunes with Gabbar Singh, NTR too deserves one, but does he have the chutzpah to choose a script that needs him to shed a lot of chains he is bound by?
He is very good with the emotional scenes in the movie and doesn’t break a sweat in most of the scenes. His scenes with Posani Krishna Murali are very good in the first half. Posani acts as his conscience keeper and the scene where the character and the conscience converge is one of the best scenes in the movie.
One of the biggest comforts in the movie is the relatively short role for Ali. His roles are usually reserved by Puri for entendre and vulgar gestures. We are also helped by the censor board as they have been quite liberal in chopping the dialogues that might have had us squirming.
The penchant of Puri Jagannath to use vulgarity as a tool to sell his film is not unknown. This film has less of that and rightly so. When the language used in Neninthe was abusive, I thought it was in keeping with the people that he purported to show. But it became a common fixture in all his movies. Gone was the loveable rascal nature of his heroes. Instead we had people whom we would love to hate in his movies as heroes.
Kajal Aggarwal comes in lesser scenes than Madhurima, if we remove the songs. The others acquaint themselves well.
Yes, the pre-climax twist. Probably hearing about it dampened the shock factor for me as I knew there was something coming but never knew what it was. It is unique too.
In cricketing terms, this movie described as a match, would be a match where it meandered along all the way, only to come to life in the final few overs of an ODI. All of it because one batsman decides to go kaboom! But then it would always be compared to innings that came before it and that’s where it would pale!
Verdict: A movie that became a hit because NTR wanted it to be a hit and the people obliged. It’s time he obliges and gives people what they have been rooting for