Inspired by western cowboy movies, our Tollywood filmmakers
have now and then come up with their own desi version. Probably
the first of its kind was Mosagallaku Mosagadu followed a
decade later by Kodhama Simham. This oldest and most enduring
genre has hit the screens once again.
You have it all - cowboy hats, horseback heroes and villains,
fast paced action, a traditional hunt for treasure and the
battle between the good, bad and the ugly. And combine this
with the usual Telugu film masala makes Takkari Donga is quite
an ideal weekend treat.
Raja (Mahesh Babu), a petty thief who is on the most-wanted
list of the sheriff, is capable of hood winking an entire
battalion of guards to rob a train or a bank.
A good one-hour of the film is spent to show his machismo
and encounter with the dusky petty thief Bipasha Basu. Life
is a song for Raja until he starts out on a mission at the
request of Veeru Dada. Raja sets out across the sun-kissed
Grand Canyon to take Veeru's daughter Bhuvana (Lisa Ray) to
Veeru's brother Dharma. The drama slowly unfolds as Rahul
Dev, the past enemy of Veeru, comes hunting for Veeru and
his family. Here we have the Telugu filmi background: Rahul
Dev is a common villain having murdered the hero's father
and sister in the past.
If you are an avid viewer of western cowboy movies, you may
find this a trifle mundane. But considering the effort put
in, the crew deserves applause for the slick production. The
Amazon forests, the journey through the mountains, deserts
and the final descent through the thundering waterfalls keep
you on the edge. Above all, the cinematography by Jayanan
Vincent paints a memorable portrait of the forests of Vikarabad,
Nasik, Rajasthan, Chalakudi, Arizona and Grand Canyon.
Fresh after the success of Murari, Mahesh Babu delivers to
expectations. He is completely at ease and shows marked improvement
from his earlier films. Bipasha Basu and Lisa Ray just add
spice. Rahul Dev is a huge letdown. Though he calls most of
the shots in the latter half, his acting leaves little room
for appreciation. All he has done is fret, fume and get on
If you don't mind half a dozen songs slackening the pace of
the film Takkari Donga is a complete entertainer. Go for it,
but leave your thinking caps behind.
Times of India.