Star Cast: Prabhas, Shraddha Kapoor, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Mahesh Manjrekar, Chunky Pandey, Murali Sharma, Jackie Shroff
Rating: 3/5 Stars (Three stars!)
In the entire story, half a dozen bad men are chasing a black box, and are being chased by police including undercover cops like Ashok (Prabhas) and Amrita (Shraddha Kapoor). Amongst numerous gangs in a futuristic city of Waaji, one is led by Roy (Jackie Shroff). He dies (or is killed) in an accident post which all of the gangs unite to get that black box.
By end of the first half, Ashok is no more undercover, he falls madly in love with Amrita, villains have their cameos and audience is officially confused about what the makers want to establish. In this chase of what’s said to be 2-lakhs-crores (lol), the gangs of Waaji, amidst very ordinary twists, fight each other to know what was in that Black box. Who got it? What it contained? Was it really as important as introduced? You’ll get to know ‘if you’ survive through the second half.
Sujeeth’s story is a mess of many shallow ideas that could’ve hit gold if treated properly. He has tried to visualize a towering plot, efforts are visible in the screenplay too but when it’s converted on screen, it’s loathsome. Editor A. Sreekar Prasad messes up and my heart isn’t ready to believe that it’s his solely his fault. Not a single good scene is established well, thanks to a number of unwanted cuts to bridge multiple sequences. This kind of idea needed stability in the script which lacks clearly here. Throughout the movie, the sense of ‘what it could’ve been’ remained with me.
It subtly includes references from Batman (the terrace shot), Mission Impossible (chase sequences), Iron Man (Stark Tower in Waaji). I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, but don’t make it so obvious so it loses the novel value. Through the grand sets, Sujeeth also tries his hands at symbolism (Note a scene in which Prabhas & Shraddha hugs each other in front of a couple-hugging statue whose heads are on fire) but fails miserably at it. The symbolism is there just for the sake of it, without having any impact on your narrative.
Prabhas’ performance somewhat intrigues you in watching what’s going on. Though his Hindi is horrible, and his original dubbing artist should’ve done that job for him. He’s styled well, but so is Chunky Pandey. Shraddha Kapoor’s track is the most unwanted thing in the film, of course after the fact of this story getting such humongous backing. She looks as she’s in her other movies, has a couple of unwanted action sequences, that’s about it.
Out of all the baddies, Chunky Pandey was the most convincing as Devraj. He shares one brilliant scene (toh aap kyun hasse?) with Tinnu Anand. Jackie Shroff’s cameo is wasted, Neil Nitin Mukesh is his usual self (continuation from his Players’ character). Mahesh Manjrekar gets no space to shine.
After analysing A. Sreekar Prasad’s editing, I’m sure this is Sujeeth’s fault after all. There has been a blunder with a way he has narrated the story to Sreekar. Because R. Madhi’s cinematography still balances after a couple of stumbles but the editing gets worse by the second. There were times when one lengthy shot was required, but it’s been divided into four snappy (read: messy) ones to tarnish the effect.
Ghibran’s background score is the clear winner for me! It rises above every ordinary thing and leaves a mark. Yes, there were a couple of moments in which the signature tune was missing but it’s still okay given the mess everyone has made. A big boo to the producers who decided to involve not one but four dreadful songs in the film – totally uncalled for.
The Last Word
All said and one, Saaho is Prabhas’ Ra.One moment. Both the movies had amazing potential and failed to tap it. It’s a 350-crore worth of opportunity lost! You can watch it for the visuals. If the makers re-release it muting the dialogues, chopping out the four songs & Shraddha Kapoor’s track, it comparatively can do well.