Rama Krishna aka Rakhi (NTR) wants to join the railways and become a station master. He has a doting sister and a caring father. He has a heart of gold and is very attached to his sister. His sister is married to a prospective NRI software engineer. However, tragically in-laws burn her alive. The rest of the story is all about how Rakhi avenges death of not only his sister, but all those women who are tortured by men.
NTR: NTR gave his some of the best performances of his career, especially in the scenes that lead to the interval. It will be not be an exaggeration to compare NTR Jr’s histrionics in the sister scenes to that of the legend NTR who made himself a strong position as ‘aadapaduchula anna’ in the black and white era. I would also like to appreciate NTR’s big heart for allowing the heroine calling him ‘bondam’ and ‘fatty’ (though in lighter vein). It is a good sign that NTR is coming out of the shackles of ‘hardcore mass hero’ image that he perfected long ago with Simhadri. However NTR should seriously consider reducing his weight.
Ileana: Ileana who is known for her glamorous looks, has a performance oriented role in this film and proved herself extremely competent as an actress. She is very good in the scene of supporting the hero marrying another girl. She oozes sex appeal in ‘zara zara’ song dressed in a long wet white shirt on the beach.
Charmme: Charmme plays the role of innocent maradalu of hero. She does not wear any make-up and tries to bring her own perspective to this character by playing her part differently. She has done the dubbing, but although she has come a long way since the Chakram days, the typical Godavari accent has not come through effectively.
Others: The girl who plays the role of NTR’s sister is very competent. Sunil is exceptionally good in his first scene as the vastu-believing man. The comedy by Brahmanandam as a TV channel owner provides some relief. Suhasini essays the role of IPS officer Meenakshi Iyer. She has gone overboard in some scenes (maybe because she is doing the role of a Tamilian). Prakash Raj does a guest role as the judge in the climax scene. Ravi Varma is fair in the negative role. Chandra Mohan, Rajyalakshmi and Brahmaji are adequate.
Story - screenplay - Direction: Story of the first half is routine. The second half story of this film has resemblance to films like Bharateeyudu and Tagore. Krishna Vamsi who disappointed Telugu audiences with Sri Anjaneyam, Chakram and Danger comes up with a commendable performance as a director by sticking to basics. He could translate the emotions in the first half to the audience perfectly. He handles the sentiment scenes before the interval point extremely well. However, he could not narrate the film in an interesting manner in the latter part of second half (after the court killing scene following by the song). The director should have made Suhasini’s character as an intelligent and strategic cop, then the part about her tracing and meeting NTR would have been gripping. The screenplay of the film is adequate. The way he has shown all popular women in the title cards is very good. The following shots by Krishna Vamsi stand out.
1. NTR running with the car while speaking to his sister when he sends her off.
2. NTR sister dying and putting her hand on NTR (symbolic)
3. The shot after the interval where a blind lawyer is shown entering the court (symbolic)
Other departments: Music by Devi Sri Prasad is good. ‘Zara zara’ (2nd song) and ‘Rakhi Rakhi’ (3rd song) stand out in terms of picturisation with Krishna Vamsi’s trademark. Rerecording and background music is excellent. Cinematography by S Gopal Reddy is an asset. Dialogues are good, but at times tend to be preachy (railway station episode and a few scenes in the second half). Artwork by Ravindar is very realistic (the set of the railway colony house, railway bogies etc). Editing by Shankar is adequate. Stunts in the film are OK.
Analysis: First half of the film is good. You come out of theatre filled with emotion during interval. The second half is adequate though there is bit of heaviness due to the continuous revenge sequences. The plus points are NTR’s exceptional performance, Krishna Vamsi and the first half. On the flipside, a compact second half should have done wonders to the film. Rakhi is not a film for fans and the first day crowds. The real verdict of Rakhi will come out when family crowds and ladies enter the theatres for the second show.
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reviews of previous 5 films