Rating: 6/10 (Logicless Gurram)
Allu Arjun has been getting better and better with each film in terms of performance. He has teamed up with stylish director Surender Reddy for an action film called Race Gurram. This film was released on April 11th, 2014. Does this horse cross the finish line completely? Yeah it does, but not with a lot of logic. Find out why in my review
Story: Ram (Shaam) and Lakshman aka Lucky (Allu Arjun) are borthers who have been coincidentally named after the Hindu deities of the same but never see eye to eye. They're are constantly fighting and at logger heads and exact opposites of each other. Ram is an ACP in the police department and in very sincere and honest towards his work while Lucky is jobless and does nothing with this friends all day. Their mother's (Pavitra Lokesh) wish is to see them united one day. Lucky falls in love with Spandana (Shruthi Hassan) who comes from a family with abnormal behavioral traits, stemming from her father Bheem Prakash (Prakash Raj) and he finds about their love story. Lucky challenges him that he will win her over even tho Prakash believes he is not the right man for her. Prakash then reveals to Lucky that he will never accept their love because Ram told Prakash what Lucky does all day and how he's aimless. Lucky then tries to get back at his brother and the bond between them severs even more.
In the meantime, a corrupt factionist turned politician Maddali Shiva Reddy (Ravi Kishan) kills an ACP and is wanted for murder and Ram is trying to bring him to justice. Lucky gets in the way of the case and takes on Shiva Reddy himself without knowing who he actually is. The rest of the story is about how the consequences of that police case affect Lucky and his family and how he takes down Siva Reddy in the end.
Performances: Allu Arjun has delivered his best performance to date in this film and has completely re-invented himself in Race Gurram. His performance is the highlight of this movie. If Trivikram unlocked his comedy angle in Julayi, then Surender Reddy uses it to full extent here. The way he says Devudaa is surely going to become a cult saying for the future. His performance and intensity in the interval scene is outstanding. This film belongs to Bunny.
Shaam is very good as Ram and puts in a sincere performance. Pavitra Lokesh and Tanikella Bharani are good as the parents of the brothers.
Shruthi Hassan delivers her best performance and it's funny because of the awkard characterization.
Prakash Raj entertains as Bheem Prakash and their whole family beliefs and ways of life are hilarious. MS Narayna is good as the tea shop owner and brings some sentimental value to this film.
Ravi Kishan as Siva Reddy is ok. A better villain and well known face would have been better. Mukesh Rishi as Siva Reddy's father is ok as well. Special mention must be made to P Ravi Shankar who dubbed the voices of Shaam, Ravi Kishan, and Mukesh Rishi effortlessly.
Posani is highly entertaining as the gullible politician who the media thinks does good deeds. It is Brahmanandham that steals the show as Kill Bill Pandey and rocks the film with his 20 minute presence towards the ends of the film. Saloni is alright as the old flame of Shaam.
Technicalities: Music and background score by Thaman is top notch. This is definitely his best album ever made and it will be something you will be singing years down the road. All the songs have been shot superbly and his music translates onto the screen. Dialogues are good. Cinematography by Manoj Paramahamsa is excellent. His taking and the way he has shot the film is simply superb and a major asset for this film. Story by Vakkantham Vamsi is ok. Art is fine. Fights are well composed but one feels they're not realistic. Editing is average as the second half drags. Screenplay by Surender Reddy is entertaining but lacks crispness. Production Values by Nallamalupu Srinivas (Bujji) are outstanding and not a penny was comprised on this film as it has been shot very stylishly and in a grand manner.
Analysis: Surender Reddy has always been known for making films that were more style than substance. He proved that he could be an effective director by mixing style with entertainment well in Kick which is a class today in terms on entertainment value. In Race Gurram, he's tried to to do the same and only partially succeeds. The film has no logic whatsoever and despite the entertainment factor, you scratch your head at some of the incidents in the film.
To start off, Race Gurram starts off well and showcases the Tom and Jerry like fights between Ram and Lucky and why they don't get along and when Allu Arjun is not at home, he is at MS Narayana's tea shop with his friends doing something stupid and saying Devudaa half the time. His father knows he's useless and wants him to do something but he never does.
Siva Reddy seems more like a comedy villain than a man who's supposed to be taken seriously and he's dancing and singing songs half the time and his ruthlessness and villainy lacks clarity. You wonder why the characterization was written like that.
The first half is passable with entertaining comedy and some absolutely nonsensical scenes such as the late night party drinking and dancing scene and Allu Arjun and Prakash Raj's track about how he will get Shruthi. Comedy and the songs make up for an entertaining first half and ends with a powerful interval bang.
Post interval, the film goes all over the place and the fact that a politician like Siva Reddy is helpless against a useless chap like Lucky is unbelievable. If Donald Trump was being bugged by some no name guy on the street, he would have that person sent away and done something to him so that he would never bother him again. Maybe in this case deport him but that's a whole another topic. Bottom line is that Siva Reddy who possesses so much power lets a common man walk all over him and reduce him to an ant at the end of the film by cheating the system. While he does use his power to destroy Lucky's home, Lucky somehow manages to convince Posani that he has cancer and wants to make a wish to the Make a Wish Foundation and be a police officer for a day when in reality, he's the cheating the entire system and using it as a means to get back at Siva Reddy and take him. If the common man could really do all this, wouldn't life be so easy in taking down corrupt people and people we don't like? And then you have Brahmandham who does entertain as Kill Bill Pandey but his characterization is way too over the top. The films takes an eternity to finish and even the climax is dragged. This is how much logic is missing in this movie.
On a whole, Race Gurram makes for a solid one time watch for it's entertaining narration and Allu Arjun's performance. If you can throw logic out the window as explained before and watch this film with an open mind you will be entertained. I'm going with 6/10.