By Subhash K Jha
Film: ‘Angyaathavaasi’; Director: Trivikram Srinivas; Starring: Pavan Kalyan, Anu Emmanuel, Keerthy Suresh, Khushboo; Rating: *
If I was the producer-director of the French film “Largo Winch” I wouldn’t even bother to acknowledge this alleged wannabe “Winch” in Telugu, let alone point out the similarities between the two films.
The French film is about an heir-apparent of a business empire returning to his family business after his father’s murder. This Telugu ripoff is about….well, it’s about Pavan Kalyan and his stardom. No more no less.
The stylised actor who apparently sends his billions of fans into an orgasmic swoon each time he narrows his eyes to convey the sarcastic impatience of a man who has plenty to do in life before he slips up, is to be seen in almost every frame of ‘Angyaathavaasi’, reducing stalwarts like Khushboo and Boman Irani to mere props perched in the populated plot to propel Pavan into perpetuity.
Pavan Kalyan plays the self-exiled son of the murdered entrepreneur Boman Irani’s wounded wife Khusboo who sends a summon to her absentee son to come help rectify the wrongs in his father’s empire. The hero’s elaborate introduction has a kid running with a phone towards the hills where the hero is engaged in a furious fracas with ferocious fractions destined to lose the fight even before it begins.
When it is Rajinikanth or Pavan Kalyan the adversary is doomed even before the first punch. Rather than focus on the hero’s efforts to clean out his dead father’s empire, the plot allows the leading man to take over the show. Pavan Kalyan presides over the proceedings like an emperor in a medium-sized durbar of fawning supporters.
Everyone from the hero’s mom(Khushboo) to his two heroines, is reduced to posturing and preening.Worse still the director Trivikram Srinivas seems to be in the mood to generate humour through Pavan’s efforts to keep his dad’s empire from falling apart.
As the intended humour and the torrent of repartees plays on, the films feels like the Towering Inferno without the fire. Or a Titanic where that sinking feeling is the audiences’ collective hearts protesting against the sagging plot, creaky dramas and the stale smelly jokes, a lot of them aimed at the two heroines Keerthy Suresh and Anu Emmanuel who are portrayed as elegant airheads. Hence all their scenes with the super-hero of the proceedings are accompanied by guffaws and women-will-be-women rolling of the eyes.
What does all this have to do with Pavan Kalyan rescuing his father’s empire from the corporate vampires? Nothing, absolutely nothing. The meandering screenplay rambles on with its pseudo-heroic rants unheedful of the damage it does to the central drama. The villainous caucus Murali Sharma and gang, hang around in conspiratorial huddles, trying to look sinister in contrast with Mr Kalyan’s cool act.
Shouldn’t an actor with Pavan Kalyan’s clout be more careful of the projects he takes up? Fan expectations is a massive responsibility. They can’t be served up a half-baked spurious remake of a French film with more space for the hero than decency permits.