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Movie review - Okkadu
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Jeevi rating: 4/5
: Her army
Genre: Action
Banner: Sumanth Arts
: Mahesh Babu, Bhumika Chawla, Prakash Raj, Rajan P Dev, Achyut, GV, Sangeeta, Geeta, Mukesh Rushi, Dharmavarapu Subramanyam, Paruchuri Venkateswara Rao, Telangana Sakuntala.
Music: Mani Sharma
Lyrics: Sirivennela
Dialogues: Paruchuri Brothers
Art: Ashok Kular
Cinematography: Sekhar V Joseph
Editing: Srikar Prasad
Story - Screenplay - Direction: Guna Sekhar
Producer: MS Raju
Release date: 15th January 2003


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Obul Reddy (Prakash Raj) is a factionist in Kurnool. He falls in love with Swapna (Bhumika). Obul Reddy kills Swapna's brother (Achyut) when he passed a remark about the age difference between Obul Reddy and Swapna. Obul Reddy also kills another brother of Swapna. Horrified by the impending danger, father of Swapna gives her certificates and money and asks Swapna to go to her uncle's place in USA. Obul Reddy catches her when she starts traveling.

Ajay (Mahesh Babu) is a Kabaddi player and is the son of an Assistant Commissioner of Police (Mukesh Rishi). At this juncture, Ajay - who is in Kurnool to play Kabaddi games - rescues Swapna from the hands of Obul Reddy and takes her to Hyderabad. Ajay takes Swapna to his house and hides her in his room. Ajay, with the help of friends, arranges passport, visa and flight tickets for Swapna.

Mean while, the Home Minister (Rajan P Dev) who happens to be the brother of Obul Reddy asks ACP to search for Swapna and the guy who has taken away. When ACP realizes that it's his own son who did the crime, Ajay and Swapna runs away from his home and hides in Charminar.

The rest of the story depends on how Obul Reddy traps the couple again and how Ajay emerges victorious.


Mahesh Babu: Mahesh Babu has shown a different dimension to his acting skills with this film. That is the i.n.t.e.n.s.i.t.y in his eyes. Without making hero uttering a single word, the directors have shown this kind of intensity by writing powerful situations in the past like the Chiranjeevi's introduction scene in Khaidi and Nagarjuna's chain scene in Shiva. Mahesh Babu worked really hard for this film and it showed up in the output. He carried the film on his shoulders.

Bhumika Chawla: Bhumika is the perfect fit for the role of Swapna. The dubbed done by Savita Reddy is also apt. Though she looked sensual in songs, there is a danger of masses complaining about the glamour aspect (no exposing) of heroine.

Prakash Raj: Prakash Raj changed his mustache in this film, which resembles that of Hindi villain Gulshan Grover. He provided good amount of entertainment with his serious as well as comedy acting. The way he says 'I love you' to Bhumika is hilarious. He is the only actor who can justify that kind of role.

Telangana Sakuntala: She acted as 'Ramulamma' - the cigar smoking lady don and mother of Prakash Raj. She provided entertainment with her typical dialogue deliver and peculiar walking style.

Mukesh Rishi: Mukesh Rushi played a soft role of a sincere police officer and it's a refreshing change for audience to see Mukesh Rishi doing a character which is other than a dread some villain.

Others: Chandra Mohan played the role of helpless father who lost two sons. Rajan P Dev played the role of Home Minister in two consecutive films (Naaga and Okkadu). Geeta acted as mother of Mahesh Babu in this film. She is also pretty good. Niharika - the cute little girl who acted as niece to Venky in 'Preminchukundam Raa' - acted as sister of Mahesh Babu in this film. She is an asset to the film.

Technical Departments:

Story: The basic storyline of a film is how a man acts as a guard to a woman and saves her from danger. The entire first half is devoted to establish the story and the second half has a single mission of hero sending heroine to USA. It's a pretty interesting plot. The original caption of 'Her Army' would have been retained with Okkadu title.

Screenplay - Direction: The director's real worth of screenplay comes out when the storyline of the film is thin. Guna Sekhar excelled in screenplay department with excellent screenplay. Guna Sekhar has a special style of frames of taking. He maintained the class touch of the film throughout and elevated mass elements to exhilarating effect. Guna Sekhar seems to have done this film with positive vengeance.

Dialogues: Dialogues in this film are apt and well measured. Paruchuri brothers have done neat job in dialogues department. There are few effective mass dialogues in the film that elevated situations.

1. Mahesh: 'Nenu Kurnool Kabaddi aadataatiki Vachaanu. Kaani vere aata aadavalasi vachindi'
2. Prakash Raj to Mukesh Rushi (while taking Mahesh Babu in a Sumo to kill him): Em ACP! Nee kodukuni teesukuveltaante neeku tension gaa vunda?
Mukesh Rushi to Prakash Raj: 'avunu. Tension gaa vundi. Naa koduku gurinchi kaadu. Mee gurinchi'
3. Mahesh to Prakash Raj: 'Tella chokka vesukunna prativaadu factionist kaadu'
4. The dialogues where Bhumika humiliates Prakash Raj by talking about magatanam

Photography: Photography by Sekhar V Joseph is excellent. Cinematography is one of the outstanding aspects of Okkadu.

Sets: Set work by Ashok Kumar is very good. The 2 crore worth Charminar set is very good. And the devadas kind of set for the last song in this film is also exceptionally good.

Editing: Editing by Srikar Prasad is crisp. His sharp editing kept the pace of film in good condition.

Lyrics: As said by Sirivennela in audio function, the songs of the film are interlaced in the narration of story. All songs narrated the storyline and the mood of the film.

Stunts: Stunts for this film are extraordinary. The stunts have rich technique associated with it, but at the same time the mass fights (naatu kottudu) are rightly composed to enthrall the masses. First fight and last fight of the film are extraordinary.

Music: Mani Sharma has given excellent songs and background music. He can be proud of his 50th film. Here is the sequence of songs in the film

1. Hare rama: This song is pictured on Mahesh Babu and 10's of dancers with Charminar backdrop. This song is like an M TV video. Very neat and glorifying with good steps by Mahesh Babu and ultra modern choreography
2. Nuvvemaya Chesavokaani: a typical heroine introduction song taken in beautiful and luster scenic locations.
3. Sahasam Swasaga: This song comes as a situational song where Mahesh Babu escorts Bhumika to Hyderabad with interludes like Bhumika telling about her flashback to Mahesh Babu. The camera work and editing for this song is superb.
4. Cheppave Chirugaali: This song is the best situational song in this film. Though hero sings this song, the director has taken good care to show all the artists dancing in this film. Excellent song with good class steps.
5. Hai re hai: This songs starts with a conversation between Mahesh and Bhumika in Charminar and then the location shifts to abroad where Mahesh Babu excites his fans with full-speed steps.
6. Atharintiki: This song starts as a situational song after Bhumika dares Prakash Raj about his manliness then it migrates in to beautiful Devdas-like sets designed by Ashok. This song has good Lawrence kind of mass steps with Mahesh Babu and Bhumika wearing royal dresses.

Production: MS Raju is known for his lavishness and uncompromising attitude in film production. The film is rich in technical values and postproduction effects. He spent 2 crores for Charminar set. He also spent lot of money in hiring thousands of junior artists for scenes like Kabaddi match, Muslims men and Burkha clad females procession.

First half of the film is very good. Second half is good. The narration has become slow in the second half. But keeping in mind that there is only one thread (Mahesh sending Bhumika to USA) to be narrated, we can't expect a better second half. All the scenes that happen in Mahesh Babu's house provide lot of entertainment with subtle comedy. Mahesh Babu deserves an outstanding blockbuster and Okkadu has all the ingredients to become one.

Trade Talk: This film has got positive talk everywhere and is declared as a hit. But the range of the film depends on relative performance of other films, world cup's effect and how families embrace it.

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