Shiva (Puneeth Rajkumar) is a pick-pocket, but quits, and starts selling tickets in black for a living. But he wants a proper job that will impress his girlfriend. He goes to ACP Vikram Rathod (Nasser) for a job, but is put on hold. So meanwhile, he does what anyone hunting for a job to impress his girlfriend would do first - he starts looking for a girlfriend.
He is smitten by the bimbette Preeti (Hansika Motwani) at first sight, which is surprising since he otherwise seems a pretty intelligent guy. He gets a kick out of courting her and seeing her having a fit every time she encounters him. Eventually, of course, she stops avoiding him, when he uses every piece of equipment in a gym to beat the hell out of some goons who misbehaved with her.
Now, Shiva does not know that Rathod is Preeti's father. Neither did we. Preeti, however, does - that Rathod is her father, we mean. Rathod knows about these two, but these two don't know that he knows. Rathod knows this, too - that they don't know that he knows. And meanwhile, we know it all - what's coming next, we mean.
Shiva's proximity to his daughter infuriates him, so on the pretext of helping him get a job, he makes him a police informer in the gang of the dreaded international terrorist D (Rahul Dev). This, so that he can nab the traitor from the police department in the gang, and also nab Saleem (Suman), D's accomplice, in the process. So the next time you're in a relationship, ask your partner what his/her parents do for a living. And ask your partner to ask you what your parents do. It saves so much trouble.
Preeti's questions as to what Shiva's job is are met with I'll-tell-you-laters, but when she witnesses one of Shiva's escapades, she disowns him. Meanwhile, the ACP is happy that things are going as planned. Shiva even gets him Saleem, but the ACP gets ready to shoot Shiva too dead. The climax is something that anyone can guess.
Bangalore being passed off as Hyderabad can be hard to digest, but even otherwise, this poorly written but keenly executed formula-product-import isn't something Telugu audiences are looking forward to. We've seen many such, and much better, too. The courtship, the comedy and the dialogues are all too contrived. The dialogue writers have been very lazy - they even copied a couple of well-known lines from here and there, hoping no one will really watch this film, and even if anyone did, would not care.
However, Puneeth takes the cake for his energy levels, his acting, his dance moves and his stunts. Hansika's emoting is way too exaggerated. To top it, her dubbing artiste screeches her way through the proceedings, with enough decibel levels to shatter canine eardrums. Nasser and Rahul Dev make their presence felt well, though Rahul Dev's is mostly limited to sipping brown liquids from glasses. Suman Ranganathan makes a guest appearance in a rather sad-looking item song.
A few songs are likable, but not chart-busting material, even if this weren't a Kannada-dubbed film. The camera has been sufficiently tilted and slanted to give a 'slick' effect in almost every scene. The fights are on par with Tollywood standards in the gore-factor as well as in the grunt-factor, with the final scene showing a bunch of iron rods protruding from Suman (who was incidentally forced to land on them).
Pandugadu is more in familiar territory than all the dubbed fare in the city, but even then, it might be better to be Bangalorean if you have to enjoy it. And in that case, you might as well have watched the original.