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Saahasam Movie Review: Lazy Rehash

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A busy police station in Coimbatore on a sunny afternoon. Prashanth, frustrated for a reason only he knows, bashes up people in the room, breaking apart every piece of furniture visible to him. When he’s done, he finds a table that is still in good condition. He brushes off a shard of wood resting on his shoulder. With so much force that the 2-inch long, 2-gram heavy shard hits the leg of the table, and breaks it!

In another Saahasam scene, Prashanth is chasing the villain (Sonu Sood) who has just kidnapped his girlfriend. It’s a vehement car chase, but our hero can’t get ahead. Intelligently, he realises that this way he’ll never catch up. So, he figures out a short-cut. One where he rides his car through the glass panes of a building, rides throughout the floor (which looks like an office), comes out of the building, spectacularly shattering glass panes again, and voila! He lands right in front of the villain’s car.

If that’s not Saahasam enough for us, what is?

*****

Prashanth in Saahasam Movie Stills
Prashanth in Saahasam Movie Stills

After a spate of one insignificant film after another, Prashanth had gone on a hiatus. Now he has chosen another insignificant, lazily made film as his relaunch vehicle. Saahasam, is the story of Ravi (Prashanth), a carefree ‘youngster’ who doesn’t believe in hard work for money. He likes to make a quick buck and participates in small-time betting. He bumps into Bittu (Sonu Sood) and his gang and gets mixed up in a bank heist. How he helps the police uncover this heist and how it lands him in trouble forms the crux of the story.

*****

The problem with Saahasam is that it is a frame-by-frame copy of Julayi. So much that most of the scenes not involving Prashanth have been directly cut from Julayi and pasted into Saahasam. It’s obvious that Sonu Sood, Kota Sreenivasa Rao, Vamsi, and everyone else mouth lines in Telugu. Over that is some unconvincing Tamil dubbing. The difference in cinematography is evident and scenes that include both Sood and Prashanth are the outcome of some unfortunate green matte work. One wonders how much actors are paid for such ‘ctrl+x ctrl+v’ scenes. Given that Saahasam was in production for years, it’s baffling that the outcome looks so lazy.

*****

Prashanth and Amanda in Saahasam Movie Stills
Prashanth and Amanda in Saahasam Movie Stills

The story, courtesy Trivikram Srinivas, is improbable and over-the-top story. But what made Julayi bearable was lead actor Allu Arjun. Known for his comic timing and goofy expressions, Arjun fit the bill of the vetti guy who can perform extravagant stunts, and indulge in eccentric and crazy antics, which impress his girlfriend. In contrast, Prashanth, despite the efforts of the makeup department, doesn’t look young. As the goofy young man, he is simply unconvincing. In some scenes, he valiantly tries to imitate some of Arjun’s expressions. But alas, such fail.

The heroine doesn’t have much to do here, largely because she’s superfluous to the storyline. Barring a few cliché scenes where she’s kidnapped by the villain. The filmmakers went all the way to Australia, to task the heroine (Amanda) with looking pretty and dancing in four songs. Creditably for her, she delivers all the necessary expressions and lip syncs well.

*****

The only impressive parts of the film are the scenes involving Thambi Ramaiah and MS Bhaskar, which draw out some audience laughter. It’s a welcome change from the hilarity of the serious sequences. The film has six songs, dispersed at equal intervals. By the sixth song, the audience is visibly restless. Thaman rehashes the Telugu tunes, with lyrics so juvenile that they could be used as modern-day children’s rhymes:

“Hey Punjabi Pizza Va
Palakkad Pasta Va
Italy Idliya Fusion Iva”

*****

A former Prashanth fan (Jeans, Thiruda Thiruda), I can’t help but wonder why he chose this script, stale even by Tollywood standards, to make his comeback. That too at a time when Tollywood is changing its stereotypical mass entertainer format, and Tamil cinema is witnessing a wave of fresh concepts and realism. The filmmaking in Saahasam looks incompetent, lacks sincerity, and, in the end, the audience is left looking as clueless as the Japanese backup dancers in the song ‘Angry Bird Penne’, one of the film’s songs.

*****

The Saahasam review is a Silverscreen original article. It was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the movie. Silverscreen.in and its writers do not have any commercial relationship with movies that are reviewed on the site.

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