I’ve said this before and I’m saying it again now before I proceed writing this review: I have the history of disliking most of Puri’s films. That said, I tried my best not to watch and judge this film as a “Puri film” but as a “film” and film alone.
Now, where do I start? I am tired of dons and mafia and all that. I have watched enough of that shit for ten years or possibly more. In the last 5 or 6 years alone, movies with dons and mafia in them have only become more frequent, so much so that at least 3 or 4 actors played the same role in 3 or 4 movies each!! And in all these movies, they seem to come from posh foreign lands, talk in broken Telugu, are surrounded by 4 hot firangi women, talk in broken, incorrect yet posh-sounding English to look cool, have an equally evil chota bhai to do whatever nasty things they do together. And they have business connections with politicians and other powerful men in India. OK, agreed, you are imitating life. But how many goddamn times? Have you run out of ideas?
So Paisa Vasool has one such “don”, too. His name is Bob Marley. Hushh, I know you are laughing. It’s silly, I know. Who would choose such a name for a don? Unintentional comedy. But hold on, it doesn’t end here. NBK’s name in the film is Theda Singh (in Telugu, “theda” roughly translates to “weird”, “not straight”..and we are not talking sexual orientations here). There’s also a line from a song from the film which goes like, “koncham seedha, baaga theda”.
My usual practice is to clearly state how the first half of the movie is, followed by what I felt about the second half. I won’t be making those efforts for this review. Both are equally stupid, loud, regressive and direction-less. The film pretends to have a story but it’s all a farce. Anyone would figure that out. It’s almost like Puri wrote this film as he walked around in the sets. However routine, poorly thought-out, outdated or even silly the story is, the film doesn’t even take ITSELF seriously. There’s hardly any conviction seen in ANY scene.
Music doesn’t help either (why did I even think it could?). Anup Ruben’s tracks are all flat. Balakrishna puts an effort to dance and it shows but that’s not what I paid my ticket money for. There are three women in the film playing “heroines” – Kyra Dutt, Muskaan Sethi and Shriya Saran – and all three of them, okay maybe not Muskaan, are objectified, and they are at the receiving end of the film’s most regressive, cheap dialogues and behavior. Shriya is a spy (she operates a drone in the film so she must be, who are we to say spies are much more qualified and require talents other than flying simple DJ Phantoms?). Kyra Dutt is an ACP who is undercover as a prostitute. I had trouble getting convinced she was an ACP. Her acting isn’t much to talk about. She keeps getting referred to by our hero as an “item”, “lapaaki”. Muskaan sirf muskuraati hain. Usse zyaada kya hain film mein karne ku! I don’t even know the name of the villain guy. As usual, he’s meh. He’s better off at the gym working out than acting.
It’s probably time (long past, maybe?) Balayya quits doing “hero” roles, “romancing” girls half his age. Better late than never. It’s time Puri broke out of his mold. It’s getting really annoying and extremely unlikable now.
I’m going with 0.5 out of 5!
PS: Also, in a scene, Shriya asks Balakrishna if he is a smuggler (upon seeing him carry a bag of smuggled goods) and he replies, “No, I am a freedom fighter. I fight for the freedom of smugglers”. ARE YOU HECKING KIDDING ME?
PPS: All the images are screenshots from the film’s official trailer on YouTube.