Businessman's recipe to lessen India's crime rate is this: make the underworld an organized industry, and give every criminal a decent salary, and there will be no want, no poverty, and no crime. This is actually implemented and proved by its protagonist, whose only aim, as the promos rightly tell you, is to make Mumbai, err, pee.
Urological targets aside, Businessman is a Puri Jagannadh movie that mostly gets it right - all cheek and no clutter. The writer-director deftly combines the several forces of dialogue, edgy camera work, background score and energetic acting, to give you an entertainer that is engaging enough to make the following detail skip your attention: this movie doesn't have a comedy track.
Briefly put, the plot follows the mind-games that a gangster Surya (Mahesh Babu) plays with Mumbai's powers-that-be, to gain total control over the region. Beginning by endearing himself to a pocket of the Dharawi slum, Surya moves on to bigger things in life.
So we are treated to the politics of a Mayor election, Delhi negotiations, and election sops, all masterminded by a man with in-your-face amorality, who simply cannot go wrong. And of course, the romance with the Police Commissioner's daughter.
Thanks to a Pokiri-Dookudu hangover, there's also another question that keeps you hooked - what is Surya's background? Unfortunately, the answer isn't very satisfactory, and this, along with the fact that the movie itself has an unclear denouement, might disappoint viewers.
However, Puri Jagannadh (who walks in for a very welcome 20-second cameo) is at his crowd-wooing best, clearly, since it is his dialogues that keep every scene throb alive with zest. It is important to also note that his lines aren't just vacuous material meant to titillate front-benchers - even if you're not a loyal fan of the writer-director, you will agree that these "punch-dialogues" have much philosophy (and more cynicism) to ruminate on.
Critics have good reason to lament his increasing dependence on swear words, but there's no denying the fact that when this audacity is combined with the learned insights of an informed thinker, it makes for seriously potent ammunition.
So potent that he doesn't even need help from Mahesh Babu's star quality. Which, in turn, is so potent that he seemingly doesn't need a Puri Jagannadh dialogue to bring on the hysterical shrieks. This fusion of independent charismas - of the performer and of the conductor - results in a movie crisper than it probably could have been.
Indeed, there are certain scenes and dialogues in Businessman that might put you off because, on the face of it, they're obscene (like the one in which Surya unctuously tells the politician, played by Sayaji Shinde, that he loves him and that he must treat him like a girlfriend), but what we have here are brilliant moments that have a mysterious mix of corniness and wit, that have been delivered with just the effect they were intended to be delivered.
Brahmaji, Nasseer, Sayaji Shinde, Prakash Raj, etc. are all suitable accessories to the script. However, the practice of featuring air-headed heroines continues, with Kajal playing Chitra, the Commissioner's daughter, and this is perhaps the only thing grating about Businessman.
Meanwhile, the background music adds just the amount of pulsating urgency that the script demands. And Saar Osthara hugely helps.
Businessman is recommended, especially for the unfussy Telugu film fan. However, it is rated A, and had there been lesser of Mahesh Babu's little finger, Businessman could have been more fun.