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Movie review - Mrigaraju
Devi Films
Mriga Raju
Jeevi Rating: 3/5

Jeevi Rating: 3/5 (Three)
: Chiru, Simran, Sanghvi & Nagababu

Mani Sharma
Dialogues: Satyanand
Story, Screenplay & Direction: Guna Sekhar
Producer: K Devi Vara Prasad

Theatrical Release Date: 11th January 2001



There is a village called Adavipalli in the midst of the jungle where the land is having lot of ores. Since it is located between two hills, the government wanted to construct a railway bridge to gap the commutation and make the transfer of goods easier.

In that jungle, there lives a man-eating lion. The latest victim of lions havoc is the death of the chief engineer who is constructing the rail bridge. The Railway department asks Aishwarya (Simran) to go on the mission of constructing the bridge.

Even after Aishwarya resumes the duty, Lion starts terrorizing the crew of the construction team. The ace hunter of Adavipalli, Raju (Chiru), is entrusted with the job of hunting the lion. The rest of the first half is all about how Raju traps the lion and kill it at the cost of Appanna Dora (Nagababu). But, the other lion in the jungle gets enraged at Raju for killing its companion. There is another trouble for the bridge project in the form of forest ranger (Surya) and a local smuggler (Ramireddy). Raju gets rid of these two goons by the interval. Then the viewers are revealed that Aishwarya is the wife of Raju.

In the second half, the flashback is revealed. Raju comes to city to participate in the crafts mela to sell his herbs from the jungle. There he meets Aishwarya, who is come to visit a fun stall along with his fiancée Vicky (Raja Ravindra). When Aishwarya tries to take a shot at shooting the balloon, Vicky disappoints her saying that she cannot do it. Raju, who is an onlooker comes forwards and gives her confidence and tips to shoot. Then Aishwarya's bullet hits the bull's eye. Impressed with Raju's help, she invites him to come to her engagement. At the engagement, Raju spots Vicky flirting with another girl and tells him about the importance of being a good human being. Aishwarya watches the entire episode from the behind and she decides that Raju is a loyal man compared to the flirtatious Vicky. And she seeks for Raju's hand and then they get married. The father of Aishwarya cunningly separates the couple by creating misunderstandings.

The rest of the film is about how the hunter Raju and engineer Aishwarya sort out the matters and complete the construction of the bridge.



Chiru: first half of the film does not have more scope for performance, as there are only a few scenes between Chiru and Simran and his pranks. But in the flashback, Chiru did a fine act. His dances, as usual, are the best.

Simran: Simran's character here got a few shades that of her Yuvaraju character, which is also happens to be the mother of a kid. She did her bit with finesse.

Sanghvi: She did a trivial role in this film, which does not help her anyway to get more projects as Asha Saini is taking the center stage as the second heroine in today's Telugu cinema.

Other departments:

Story: This story is a straight lift from 'Ghost and the Darkness'. Unfortunately, this secret was leaked to the press way back in February of 2000. And the opportunists tried to cash in by buying the remake rights of 'Ghost and the Darkness' and threatened to release the remake two days before Mrigarju. As the story is simple and straight and do not justify the movie's length of 2 and half hours, a flashback story was created to fill in one hour. The original originator of this inspired story was Jayant. He was roped in to make a film for Devi films in December 1998. But he was swapped with Gunasekhar by Vyjayanti movies, that has planned to do another unofficial remake of 'An Affair to remember' (Ravoyi Chandamama) with Nag. Later on Nagababu developed the story line and then Yandamuri Veerendranath and Satyanand roped in to give the final touches. The result is a desi 'Ghost and the Darkness'.

Screenplay: As story is plain and simple, a lot would depend upon screenplay to make the film gripping and interesting. But Guna Sekhar failed stitch the scenes in perfect manner. And he tried to ape the original film in most of the scenes, which resulted in poor copying as we lack the special FX finesse the Hollywood boast of.

Direction: The director is the caption of ship. And Guna Sekhar tried to steer the ship towards the route of the 'Ghost and Darkness' rather than by following the wind. Even in 'Vamsi', B Gopal tried the same thing by getting too much inspired by the original and ignoring the basics. This movie does not have any drawbacks if you look from an average viewer point of view. But it definitely lacks what a typical Telugu cinema viewer looks for.

Production: Devi Vara Prasad needs to be commended for the kind of confidence he had in project by investing 15 crores. He spent 75 lacs on a single set for the Hungama song. He spent another 30 lacs to recreate the Amsterdam city in Annapurna studios. He has taken the entire unit to South Africa to shoot scenes with lion and then spent a fortune on Pentamedia Graphics to recreate the some of the lion scene. He had accomplished his goal of making a rich high budget film with chiru in the Hollywood standard. But what we have to see is if the Telugu people are willing to embrace these kinds of films.

Songs: Like any other movies, songs in this film are as good as the sequence of the scenes in which they are inserted. Chai song is the highlight of the film and an absolute treat for eyes and ears. The next best song is 'Ramayya Paadaletti' in which he made a superb step that is as good as the one he did in 'Abibi' song of Hitler. Third best is 'Satamana' slow song! The other songs are routine songs. Mani Sharma did an inferior job compared his earlier contributions to chiru like Bavagaroo, Choodalani Vundi, Iddaru Mitrulu and Annayya. Even the background flavor of the film is of Hollywood genre, which may not be very appealing for the Telugu viewers.

Camera Work: Camera work is good. But there are a lot of flaws in canning the scenes as the jungle is shot in different locations and it shows up breaking the uniformity of presenting the feel the jungle. In a few songs the light is dark. Sekhar V Joseph had done the cinematography for this film.

Dialogues: Satyanand, who gave dialogues for Annayya has given dialogues for this film too. He excels in the scenes in which Chiru does comedy.

Analysis: As the 60% of the film involves jungle and people may feel uncomfortable viewing the slow paced Jungle action. Another drawback of the film is fights. There is only one fight in the entire film. As the people expect a grandeur climax between lion and Chiru, Chiru eliminates the lion with one stab. The initial part of flashback episode is a big relief. This film is an attempt to make a Hollywood kind of film (that's too inspired by a Hollywood film) in Andhra Pradesh, which may suffer the problem of nativity. The box office fate of this film will be decided in a couple of weeks, though some of the people started writing off the film on the day one. If we go by the weight of the film, it may not become a hit. But this film sports Chiranjeevi, who has the history and ability of turning the average flicks into blockbusters.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>End of mrigaraju Review
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