Cast: Prabhas, Shraddha Kapoor, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Chunkey Pandey, Jackie Shroff, Tinnu Anand, Arun Vijay, Mandira Bedi, Amit Sharma, Mahesh Manjrekar, Murli Sharma
Rating: * *
The trailer looked spectacular but if you looked closely enough, there were typical signs that one of the most ambitious, big budget movie, released simultaneously in Hindi, Telugu, Malayalam and Tamil across 5000 screens could be running on a lot of hot air and steam. That’s exactly what happened.
There’s no doubt that Prabhas’ ‘Saaho’ coming as it does on the backs of Baahubali’s monster success had a lot going for it. The high-end Hollywood tech assisted VFX, stunts and CGI are mind-blowing no doubt but the storyline and narrative hysterics leave a lot to be desired. The attempt to build on a swash-buckling, high octane, furious opener strong enough to build an ongoing franchise on, comes a cropper. ‘Saaho’ may be fast and furious but it doesn’t allow for an attention span that becomes increasingly distracted by the dysfunctional narrative gimmicks on display here. Car chases, explosions, high risk moves, incredible action alone doesn’t a movie make.
Saaho hopes to intermingle romance, betrayal, deceit, action and villainy in a masala mayhem presentation which seems too distended to be more than passably attractive. When Prabhas tries to save his colleague and lover Amritha Nair (Shraddha Kapoor) from a bunch of gun-toting villains spraying bullets indiscriminately, you wonder at his stupidity. But before that you see this self-assured undercover cop hitting on her rather crudely in blatantly sexist fashion. That’s probably south side sensibility which builds it’s attitudinal edifices on toxic gender bias. The film is meant to be futuristic but the writing is rather Neanderthal.
Villains sporting the stereotypical look – dreadlocks and tattoo emblazoned gargantuan beefy torsos – make the cops/good guys look effete. Almost all the actors look like they are hamming away in the hope that some of it might pass off as intensity and look terrifying – but it is all too fickle and disengaging to be entertaining. The narrative which started out looking interesting goes entirely haywire during the climactic spiel. Its total bedlam thereafter. Sujeeth attempts a style over substance ferociousness that makes this experience rather gruelling and mind-numbing. Implausible, mindless, unviably hectic, irresponsible, Saaho is the kind of dim-witted popcorn entertainment one shouldn’t entertain!