Rating: 7.5/10 (Padmanambha Simha all the way)
Jr. NTR is one of the biggest stars in the Telugu film industry. Taking after his legendary grandfather, he has become a force to reckon with. After delivering a flop in Dammu, he is back and has teamed up with comedy specialist Sreenu Vaitla for a film called Baadshah. How does it fare? Find out in my review.
Story: Baadshah (Jr. NTR) is a underwold mafia leader who challenges Sadhu Bhai (Kelly Dorji). His father Dhanraj (Mukesh Rishi) is a loyal servant to him. Sadhu Bhai's dream is to take over the underworold and own all the businesses in Macau. But Baadshah is always one step ahead of him and seizes everything. Unable to eliminate him, Sadhu Bhai flees and then the police and interpol come looking for Baadshah. With the help of his colleagues, he flees to Italy and meets Janakai (Kajal Aggarwal) and falls in love with her. How Baadshah deals with the family of Janaki and finally eliminates Sadhu Bhai forms the rest of the story and in reality Baadshah going to Italy and meeting Janaki is a huge plot cooked up by the police and how he uses Padmanambha Simha (Brahmi) to screw with the villains for the rest of the story
Performances: Jr. NTR is very good as Baadshah/Rama Rao. His dialogues and expressions in the first half of the film are excellent and his Telangana slang while being the marriage planner in the 2nd half is also good. His impression of grandfather's Justice Chowdary is incredible and sounds almost identical. He dances like a dream as usual, has great energy levels and is excellent in fights as always. An all round performance from the Young Tiger.
Kajal Aggarwal is entertaining as Janaki and her banthi philosophy is hilarious.
Baadshah belongs to the comedians. Vennela Kishore is hilarious as Dasu. Watch out for NTR's monologue in their drinking scene together which is arguably the highlight of the film.
Sreenu Vaitla is one director who knows how to exploit Bramhanandham's talent to the limit. He steals the show and brings the house down in the 2nd half as Padmanambha Simha. It's safe to say that Brahmi carried the film on his shoulders in the 2nd half. He is a laugh riot and this is a performance that will be remembered as one of his best of all time.
Nasser is equally as funny as Jaya Krishna Simha and his insults to Brahmi are absolutely hilarious. Watch out for their confrontation scenes in the 2nd half which are an absolute laugh riot.
MS Narayana as Revenge Nageswara Rao is incredibly funny as well. His character is a spoof on RGV and the way he talks about how the industry works is on point and the way he likes to makes films is even funnier. Satyam Rajesh is entertaining as his sidekick.
The villains consisting of Kelly Dorji, Navdeep, Vikramjeet Virk, Ashish Vidyarthi, Supreeth, Pradeep Rawat, and Ajaz Khan are all adequate. Kelly Dorji is alright as the main villain and Navdeep makes an impression as the corrupt officer Aadi.
There are many characters artists in the movie and they all do a fine job especially Surekha Vani as Brahmi's wife and Suhasini as NTR's mom. Mukesh Rishi was routine as NTR's dad and Sayaji Shinde also doesn't have much to do. Rajiv Kanakala dies as usual and Nagababu dies too. Actor Siddharth's cameo forms the crux of the story but one feels it should have been given more importance.
And last but not least, Superstar Mahesh Babu is excellent as the narrator and you wish he was in this film (Imagine!)
Technicalities: Music and background score by Thaman are excellent. The album is excellent and all the songs are shot very well. Banthi Poola Janaki is the best song in the film. Cinematography by KV Guhan needs special mention. Some of the visuals in the film are breathtaking and he has done an amazing job in this film. Editing by MR Varma is ok as the movie borderlines 3 hours length. Dialogues by Kona Venkat are excellent and hilarious especially the one's for the comedians and his satire rant about girls that he wrote is the highlight of the movie barring Bhrami's comedy. Story by Gopimohan is ok. Screenplay by Vaitla is highly entertaining but a bit lengthy. Production Values by Bandla Ganesh are grand and the money spent clearly translates onto the screen.
Analysis: The film opens up with Mahesh Babu talking about tragic events that have happened in India and Baadshah being captured. The film then moves to Italy where the entertaining comedy and romance track on NTR and Kajal is shown and the comedy by Vennela Kishore and MS Narayana keep you thoroughly entertained in the 1st half.
The flashback that happens in the 1st half is a bit lengthy with about 4 fights and a song and prolongs the first half. Also the scenes shift between Baadhsah in Italy and then his colleagues in Macau which causes some confusion to the viewer. I wrote that Gopimohan's story is average. That's because when it's all said and done, Baadshah is nothing but a rehash of Dookudu. The story is almost identical and has all the staples of a Vaitla film. Big family, small flashback, Brahmi as a bakra. You name it, you have it in Baadshah.
But despite similarities, Baadshah works due to it's comedians and NTR's performance. After a somewhat lethargic first half, the 2nd half is entertainment all the way as Brahmi enters straight away and makes you laugh till the very end. The spoof on Inception and the dream machine is a bit overdone but nevertheless still entertaining. The way they tell him to wake up and say le le le le le le naa raja is too funny. Brahmi puts the movie on his shoulder's in the 2nd half and carries it to the finish line. Vaitla's direction is pristine in the 2nd half and never lets you feel bored. The sangeet songs sequence is a feast for Nandamuri fans with NTR dancing to numeorus Sr. NTR songs. The climax is routine but the pre climax with the villains and Brahmi is hilarious.
While the film doesn't really have a great plot, Vaitla smartly made sure that there is ample entertainment in the film so the audience could care less about the real story. NTR does a fine job entertaining you and this is sure to be an fun ride.
On a whole, Baadshah is a thoroughly entertaining film that has hilarious comedy placed throughout the film. You will be entertained from the word go. NTR and the comedians performance carry this film to the finish line and makes for an entertaining watch. And watch out for Brahmi as Padmanambha Simha who carries the film on his shoulders in the 2nd half and is an absolute laugh riot. I'm going with 7.5/10 for Baadshah.