Tejafilms.com Rating: 8.5/10 (Excellent)
It's been almost a year since Mahesh Babu's Khaleja was released. Now earning the tagline Superstar once given to his father, he teamed up with comedy film specialist Srinu Vytla for Dookudu. As he has become a big star now, Mahesh's films are waited for bated breath and hysteria all over. Directed by Srinu Vytla and produced by 14 Reels Entertainment, the film was released on September 23rd, 2011. Did Vytla deliver the goods this time? Find out in my review
Story: Shankar Narayana (Prakash Raj) an honest man with ideals who does a lot for the poor. His good deeds find enemies (Kota, Supreeth, Sayaji). Shankar’s son Ajay (Mahesh Babu) grows up to be an honest and tough cop.
While the whole world thinks Shankar Narayana is dead, he is actually recovering in a hospital. Meanwhile, unaware of all this flashback Ajay sets on a mission to hunt Nayak (Sonu Sood), a dreaded mafia don. In this process, he comes across Prashanti (Samantha) and falls in love with her. Meanwhile, Shankar Narayana recovers but he is not supposed to go through any sort of stress.
For this, Ajay starts doing all sorts of things to keep him happy. The story takes a turn when Ajay discovers about the attack on his father and decides to take revenge. How is Nayak's realted to Shankar's condition and how do Brahmandham and MS Narayana fall into this setup forms the rest of the story.
Performances: For the first time in a film, Mahesh Babu delivers an all around powerpacked performance. This movie is a slap in the face to those who said he can't do comedic scenes and has no comic timing. Mahesh Babu is simply superb and brings unseen energy levels in the past to bring Ajay to life in this film. It's safe to say that it's Mahesh all the way and the film ride on his star power. Samantha is wasted in a simple role and only appears in about 6 scenes and 4 songs. Nasser is entertaining as Murthy. Every Vytla film has a main attraction and he is none other than Brahmanandham. Vytla knows how to use his coming timing and talent to the maximum and he is hilarious as wannabe actor Padmasri. His performance in the climax in too good. After him, it's MS Narayana that will make you laugh the most. He is equally as hilarious as Bokka Venkat Rao and the showreel he has of various films is the highlight of the film. Sonu Sood, Prakash Raj, Tanikella Bharani, Pragathi, Chandramohan, Kota, Supreeth, Subbaraju, Prabhakhar, Suman, Shafi, Ravi Prakash, are all adequate. Special mention to Siva Reddy who will also make you laught with his mimicry.
Technicalities: Music by Thaman is good and nice t watch on screen. Every song is picturized well. Background score is a little loud and repetetive. Dialogues by Kona Venkat are entertaining. Story by Gopimohan is ok. Cinematophrapgy by KV Guhan and Prasad Murella is top-notch. This is one the most stylish films in recent times. Fights are good. Editing by MR Varma is below average. Many unnecessary scenes could have been taken off as the flow of the film meanders a bit in the first half and some connectivity looks weird between the scenes. Production Values by 14 Reels Entertainment are outstanding. This film is visually rich and it clearly shows on screen.
Analysis: Srinu Vytla is known for making films that have wafer thin plots but excellent comedy so that no one cares about the story as they just want to be entertained. He has a comedy formula of large extended family of hero, finding out who the villains are, and finding a guy to make a bakra to toy with the villains and finish them off in the end. Dookudu is no different. Dookudu's storyline meanders between Ajay's responsibility as a cop and dutiful son to ensure that his father is ok and doesn't regress after recovering from his condition. As a result the film is overly drawn out at about 175 minutes. But never once during this film do you ever feel bored becuase of the comedy infused into the script.
Mahesh Babu, Brahmanandham, and MS Narayana are the heroes of the film and despite Vytla's average direction in parts, they single handed lift some scenes and make them extremely entertaining. The 1st half is long and drawn out as the director is showing both threads at the same time. The cop episodes and the MLA reality show are both done well and are entertaining in their own ways. While the cop episodes have action, the MLA scenes are meant for comedy. The interval bang is superb and sets up a nice 2nd half and Dharmavarapu Subramanyam makes you laugh throughout in this half with this antics. Comedy takes the cake in the 2nd half with Mahesh and co. convincing the comedians that they now have a new reality show in hand when it's actually a plot to finish off the villains and this is told in the most entertaining way possible.
On a whole, Dookudu is a must watch for it's entertainment factor and the performances of Mahesh Babu, Brahmandham, and MS Narayana. Despite excessive length and uneven screenplay, this film is hilarious and will keep you glued to your seat for the whole 175 minutes. The climax will have you gasping for breath because of how hard you will be laughing. Watch this one and forget your problems and laugh away.