Success, at least in the world of Telugu cinema, is a definite curse. It boxes you in, limiting you to a certain genre and making you repeat things again and again hoping they will succeed again and again.
Take Thaman for example. This reviewer just noticed that he's not had to change the name of the music director for the last four reviews he's written. Neither has he had to change his opinion about the music. All the songs sound like you've heard them before, and the beats in all the songs sound like they've been recorded during Ganesh Nimarjan. All the voices sound like they've been run through a nasal synthesizer without a trace of a natural voice. Aagadu is no different.
Then take Srinu Vaitla. One drunken sequence, one dance sequence (preferably featuring Brahmanandam), a huge joint family with loads of supporting characters used only for comedy, and main characters who speak exclusively in punchlines - these are the staples in every Vaitla movie, and he will not put a toe outside the line.
Aagadu is no different. It is a standard issue Srinu Vaitla film, and has every element that you would expect from such a flick. Mahesh Babu plays a cop, just like he did in Dookudu
, Vaitla's previous film with him. He is Encounter Shankar here, a cop known for his sincerity and fearless approach.
Then you have Sonu Sood playing Damodar, a dreaded don, like in Dookudu. You have Brahmanandam playing a power broker who Mahesh makes a fool of in order to get at the villain, like in Dookudu. You have Nassar, playing a corrupt subordinate of Mahesh who creates some middling comedy, like in Dookudu. You have Tamanna playing Mahesh's love interest, and like Samantha in Dookudu, hardly does anything more than appearing in three scenes and four songs.
The story mixes those of Gabbar Singh
and Dookudu. So Mahesh comes to a remote village ruled by a Don and brings an end to the Don's reign. There is also a small revenge angle baked into it, and some small bits of sentiment. The elements do not form an organic whole, and the film feels like it's been stitched together. The comedy too does not match Dookudu in calibre, and works only in bits and spurts. It almost feels like Vaitla himself is tired of his formula.
The only thing that is fresh in the movie is Mahesh. The actor changes his dialogue delivery, using an uber fresh modulation, and looks dashing. He's also attempted to dance, and succeeds mildly in some of the songs. Tamanna does her tired tropes, as do all of Vaitla's other actors.
Technically, too, the film seems to have been wrapped up in haste. The song Saroja has such terrible CGI that the images seem blurred.
If you liked Dookudu, watch it again - that is any day better than sitting through the 167-minute long Aagadu. And if you didn't like Dookudu in the first place, don't even bother with this one.