Eeswar Prasad (Venkatesh) is the commissioner of police of Hyderabad. One day he receives a call from a stranger (Kamal Haasan) that he has planted bombs in various cities and they will be trigged off at 6 pm if Eeswar Prasad does not release four most dreaded terrorists from the police custody. Eeswar alerts his team and makes arrangement to release the terrorists and at the same time he tries to trace the stranger. The rest of the story is all about whether Eeswar finds who the stranger is or not.
Kamal Hassan: Kamal Hassan has done a brilliant job as a stranger in the movie. However, the characterization in Telugu/Tamil version is too strong for Kamal. Kamal behaves as if he has upper hand over the commissioner right from the first scene. With that characterization, the sympathy we have for the common man character doesn't get created. Another point to note here is that the strengths and ability of the stranger is slowly revealed over a period of time till the interval in 'A Wednesday' and it adds up to thrill. Where as in Eenadu, they tried to show Kamal Hassan as a stud right in the first scene where he prepares a RDX bomb.
Venkatesh: Venkatesh is nice as a police commissioner and it is a welcome decision for him to shed his star image to do a different character. Except for a couple of small glitches in dialogue delivery, Venkatesh did well. Again the comparison with the original character is inevitable here. In the original Anupam Kher played the role of an officer who was almost on the verge of his retirement when he gets a call from a stranger. Where as Venkatesh's character in this movie is a middle aged. How an old man deals with such an unprecedented crisis situation is much more fascinating than a young guy dealing with it.
Others: Anuja Iyer is alright as a TV journalist. Gowtami seems to have dubbed her voice. Ganesh Venkatraman (who did the role of Trisha's boyfriend in Aakasamantha movie) did the role of a hot-blooded cop and he is alright. Dr. Bharat Reddy is good as a sincere cop. Lakshmi did an important role of chief secretary to the CM. Poonam Kaur did a small role.
Story - screenplay - directon:
Story of the movie has the right blend of thrilling elements coupled with nice message. Screenplay of the movie is adequate. Direction of Chakri Toleti is good in parts. However, the characterizations should have been much better. As I mentioned in artists performances, the director made Kamal Hassan's character too strong. A feeble guy like Nasiruddin Shah achieving such a huge task of planting bombs and taking the Government for ride was thrilling. Where as a person like Kamal Hassan who is shown as a great bomb assembler in the first scene doesn't give the same kind of effect. The characterization of hot-blooded cop played by Ganesh Venkatraghavan doesn't have the required precision. The character of Lakshmi is also little confusing. The conflict and friction between Venkatesh and Lakshmi looks too personal (like in between family members or friends) than between two top brass officials.
I had reviewed A Wednesday right on the day it was released (review here) and I enlisted seven scenes I loved in that movie. I am going to compare how those seven scenes fared in 'Eenadu'
1. The scene in which police commissioner gets the CM to give all powers to him in order to negotiate with the stranger.
2. The rowdy pissing in pants and telling the truth the moment he sees Arif Khan.
3. The scene in which director dupes us into thinking that Arif Khan catches hold of the stranger on the top of the under-construction building (a similar screenplay technique was used in ‘The silence of the Lambs’ where the director dupes us to think that heroine surrounds the house of the killer)
4. The way the stranger sips coffee and eats sandwich while negotiating with the police force.
5. The final twist when terrorists are taken to Juhu air-strip.
6. The scene in which the stranger reveals the cause behind his act.
7. The terrific encounter between the two in the last scene
1. The characterization of Lakshmi diluted the required effect.
2. Arif Khan's character is not properly etched and this scene in the movie is ineffective.
3. This scene is also not effectively handled.
4. This scene is alright.
5. This is nice.
6. The reason given by stranger is appears out of place. This movie is about terrorism and the reason given by stranger is irrelevant to terrorism.
7. This is good. Finally I saw both Kamal and Venky in the same frame of the movie in the end.
Music by Sruthi Hassan is nice and it suited with the tone of the movie. Dialogues by Neelakanta are adequate though I expected more powerful and realistic ones from him. Manoj Soni's cinematography is good. The usage of RED camera seems to have worked for the movie. Movie is slick and sophisticated on the technical aspects. And Chakri should be commended for assembling the right work from the technicians. Editing is fast.
Remaking a Hindi blockbuster featuring character actors with stars in Telugu/Tamil is always a risky proposition. A Wednesday worked purely on content with actors complementing it. By adding the stars to Telugu/Tamil version, the characterizations got changed. Hence the needed effect gets diluted. The plus points of the movie are Kamal Hassan, Venkatesh and technicians. The negative points are characterizations and script changes. Kamal Hassan and Venkatesh should be appreciated for doing this movie that has single costume, no songs and no romantic angle. Since I have seen the original and reviewed it too, I couldn't resist doing vital comparision. However, the fate of the Eenadu will depend on how people who haven't seen A Wednesday receive it.
Chakri T interview
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