Rating: 4/10 (Blinds the Audience)
Cast: Raviteja, Mehreen Pirzada, Radhika Sarathkumar, Srinivas Reddy, Vivan Bhatena (Introducing), Prakash Raj , Sampath Raj, Rajendra Prasad, Pavithra Lokesh, Annapurna, Vidyulekha Rahman, Rajiv Kanakala, Ravi Prakash, Bharat Reddy, Ali, Raghubabu, Bithri Sathi, Jayaprakash Reddy, Tanikella Bharani, Posani, Prabhas Sreenu, Chitram Seenu, Satyam Rajesh, Surekha Vani, Hariteja, Master Mahadhan Bhupathiraju (Introducing)
Story-Screenplay-Dialogues-Direction: Anil Ravipudi
Producer: Dil Raju & Sirish
Banner: Sri Venkateswara Creations
After a long gap of almost 2 years, Mass Maharaja Raviteja is back with his latest offering, Raja the Great in Anil Ravipudi's direction. The young and talented Ravipudi is on a hat-trick and he convinced Dil Raju once again to produce to movie. How does the film fare? Let's find out in this week's review.
Plot: A blind man named Raja (Raviteja) aspires to be a cop as it is his mother's (Radhoka Sarathkumar's) dream. Lucky (Mehreen) is being chased by a goon named Devaraj (Vivan Bhatena) and is constantly on the run. Their paths eventually meet and how Raja solves all of Lucky's problems forms the rest of Raja the Great.
Performances: For the love of god, it is so good to see Raviteja back on screen. That energy, that intensity and that fun factor we have been missing from the silver screen is finally back. Raviteja is literally flawless in the lead role and is extremely convincing as Raja. One can clearly see how hard he has worked for the movie and the efforts he has given. He is literally the saving grace for the film and puts it on his shoulders. The only problem is his characterization as Ravipudi has literally made him a blind man with the abilities of Superman himself.
Raviteja's son Mahadhan Bhupathiraju portrays the younger Raja and he is excellent. The kid has a bright future and will go a long way in Telugu cinema should he choose to become an actor.
Mehreen is adequate as Lucky. She is expressionless and has put on a bit of weight.
Srinivas Reddy is entertaining as Raja's translator Bujji.
Newcomer Vivan Bhatena has an excellent physique and a good screen presence but once again, a commercial villain gets a poor characterization. The villainy isn't necessarily serious but rather sadistic. He also seemed to be imitating Sonu Sood's infamous Jani Bhai character from Ek Niranjan in some instances.
Radhika Sarathkumar as the mother is perfect.
Among the comedians, Bithri Sathi, Posani, and the gang involved in the darkness fight make an impact.
Actors such as Rajendra Prasad, Posani, Ali, and Prudhvi are all wasted in inconsequential roles.
Prakash Raj is alright as the heroines father and Tanikella Bharani is adequate as well.
There are many other cast members but none of them make an impact besides Raviteja to be honest.
Direction: Anil Ravipudi created a knack for himself in Pataas in dealing with sentiment plus comedy and this formula worked in Supreme as well with a little kid. Ravipudi's strong suit is comedy and one can easily say the laughs in Raja the Great are few and far between. The comedy is good in parts but not overall. The relationship between the mother and son is good and the sentimental scene in the 2nd half have come out very well. But the story really has no scope for anything. It's a been there, done that type of story that we have seen N number of times and offers no novelty. Besides the hero's characterization being blind, Raja the Great is nothing more than another revenge story where the hero succeeds in defeating the villain. While logic cannot be expected from commercial entertainers, Anil Ravipudi has taken way too many cinematic liberties in this one. The hero is blind, yet he has the capability to take on as many goons and come out unscathed. He can also follow vehicles with the sounds of bells and with the help of Google maps. Though such scenes are highly illogical, Ravipudi makes sure to extract a superb performance from Raviteja and somewhat cover the loopholes in the writing.
Technicalities: Music and BGM by Sai Karteek is ok and feels too loud at times. Cinematography by Mohana Krishna is decent. The visuals in Darjeeling are pleasing to the eyes. Dialogues by Ravipudi are entertaining and good. Editing by Tammiraju is not good. The film could have been trimmed in the 2nd half to make things more crisp. Art by AS Prakash is fabulous as usual. Fights by Venkat are ok but they defy reality because of the blind aspect. Production Values by Dil Raju are just okay. One cannot see the trademark Dil Raju product with this film.
+Comedy in parts
Analysis and Final Verdict: When the film was announced, people got excited because Raviteja was coming back after two years and Anil Ravipudi proved his talent as a director with Supreme and proved he's not a one hit wonder. With the addition of Dil Raju, one would expect a perfect entertainer. But one feels the movie is far from it.
First of all, Raja the Great does not feel like a Dil Raju film. It is bland, illogical, and lacks any message or real entertainment value that we usually see in films he's produced. Dil Raju has made 3 follies this year in Nenu Local, Duvvada Jagganadham, and now Raja the Great. All of these movies contained routine stories with no real entertainment value, illogical writing, and one man show's by the lead stars. This film is no different and it checks the box for all 3 aforementioned factors.
Besides Raviteja's spotless performance, the film has nothing to offer to the audience besides some decent comedy here and there.
The story is simple. Heroine father kills villain's family member, Villain kills father, heroine is being hunted, hero comes to her rescue. Viola, that's Raja the Great in a nutshell. There's a lot wrong with the movie.
First of all, the film has some bad comedy featuring Rajendra Prasad and Posani. The track with Lucky's family members in the 2nd half is downright repulsive with the constant slapping and hitting of husbands beating their wives and then the reverse in the Gunna Gunna Mamidi bit.
2nd, the characterization of Raja is good but the way he acts in just too unrealistic. The fact that a blind man can beat up so many goons and come out with not even a scratch or bruise on his body is ridiculous. While the dedication of Raviteja to the character is appreciable, the way it's been designed is too much. Raja is your typical Telugu movie hero and he can do everything from sing, fight, dance, and crack jokes despite not having any eyes. The goons are also so stupid that they can't take advantage of a blind man's inability to see and beat him to a pulp. Instead they get their asses kicked. It's just too much to believe and be convinced of.
3rd, the villain kills a bunch of cops and no one does nothing. Does the law exist in Telugu movies? A local goon has so much power that the central police in Hyderabad can do nothing about him. Let's not discredit Vivan Bhatena who has a nice screen presence, but the characterization that the villain has is comical.
Lastly, the goons tie Radhika's hands in front, not behind her back so she can tap for help so Raja knows where she is so can come and save her. With such illogical scenes and characterizations, I can only wonder what Anil Ravipudi told Dil Raju in their meeting when they decided to make this film.
Now if you can ignore all of the points I just made, then watch the movie for Raviteja. No matter how bad the script could be, the actor always puts his heart and soul into his character and the efforts clearly show on screen.
If Ravipudi had made the hero's characterization more flawed than superhuman, worked on some fresh comedy, and wrote a more unique story with some novelty, Raja the Great would have no doubt been a blockbuster and a much better film overall. Ravipudi as a commercial director will only get better with time and this film will definitely help him regardless of the commercial outcome.
Overall, Raja the Great is a film that thinks the audience is blind and takes their senses for granted with illogical scenes and writing. If you can throw logic out the window for 2 and a half hours, watch it only for Raviteja's sincere performance as Raja.