He's no teenager (as the man himself points out in Mirapakaya), but he's one star who you probably don't want to age any further - for a long, long time.
Mirapakaya is a simple action-comedy, with goons, guns, screaming, cops, and a pair of nothing heroines. But somehow, you don't seem to mind the monotony of Tollywood's villainy, Prakash Raj's zillionth role as an exotic don, the over-simplified romances, or anything else, actually.
Simply because the man in the middle of it all is doing his own thing, shooting his mouth away and personifying the exceptional combination of tremendous screen presence and marvellous comic timing.
And because just like at the end of most Ravi Teja movies, it feels like a tornado carrying a bunch of blaring boom boxes in its eye just hit the screen.
The story has a touch of Main Hoon Na
to it, with Rishi (Ravi Teja), an Intelligence Bureau officer being sent for an undercover operation to Hyderabad. He must play the role of a teacher in a college there, so this is where his journey as a Hindi lecturer starts.
It's not much of a script, and nowhere close to novelty. But then, you don't really complain, thanks to the towering - and very loud - presence of Ravi Teja. The villain track is central to the film, but though overdone, Kota Srinivasa Rao's fine moments with the hero make it worth sitting through. The college comedy is fun as well. The fights are boring, though.
Sunil and Brahmaji shine during their respective slots of airtime, but they could have been given more. Basically, everyone in the film is a prop for Ravi Teja to spew his trademark irreverent wit and sarcasm, and it works.
One of the negatives of the film is the romance involving Richa Gangopadhyay's character. The actress plays a "traditional Brahmin girl" (whose life revolves around classical music, obviously). It's a character a version of which Ravi Teja has had incredible chemistry with earlier
; but Gangopadhyay is not a patch on Asin (then again, these are her early days in filmdom).
She is a misfit in the role, and also, her dubbing hasn't been taken care of - so what could have been an immensely enjoyable love story crashes.
On the other hand, Deeksha Seth, the other leading lady, is wasted. Even though she has her rough edges, she's spirited, spontaneous and unaffected, quite unlike the mannequin-like Gangopadhyay.
Mirapakaya is a slicker production than some of the current crop. Bright visuals and a couple of tastefully-choreographed songs make this a pleasant watch. The music might not be chartbuster material, but there are a few interesting tunes thrown in.
A much better offering than what the other biggies have thrown our way (Nagavalli
and Parama Veera Chakra
being a few) this season, Mirapakaya's one for the happy festivities.