We could've simply listed out the cast of Rabhasa and filled up this entire page. It would've also been the definitive guide for casting directors just finding their way in Tollywood.
Rabhasa probably stars 90% of Tollywood - a hero, 2 heroines, and around 10,000 supporting actors. The amount spent on the costumes of all these characters would equal the GDP of Europe, and the amount spent on the fake blood for these characters would feed its population for a year.
Unfortunately, all the money cannot fill up the movie with sense. Everything that Srinu Vaitla gets dangerously close to getting wrong with too many characters, Santosh Srinivas actually does. The result is a nightmare on screen and a case study in a script meltdown.
The first half of Rabhasa proceeds in a fairly routine manner. Karthik (NTR Jr) is the loving, ideal, helping, caring and handsome son of doting, loving, ideal and caring parents (Nasser and Jayasudha). Karthik's mother wishes that he marry her niece Chitti (Samantha). Being the loving, ideal, helping, caring and handsome son, our man decides to go to the city and woo Chitti.
Due to a small misunderstanding, Karthik ends up mistaking Bhagyam (Praneeta), Chitti's friend, for Chitti, and proceeds to woo her. By the time three-fourths of the (no, not movie) first half is up, he realizes his mistake and returns to wooing Chitti.
Chitti's father Dayanand (Sayaji Shinde) sends his goons, and Karthik breaks all their bones without breaking a sweat. Dayanand then approaches another group of goons lead by Ajay to beat up NTR. You learn here that Ajay and his band of goons have also been searching for NTR. And after this, you lose track of the movie. Because right at this moment, around a thousand characters enter it.
What these thousand characters have to do with each other, what they have to do with Karthik, how the villains' batch of the first half meets up with the villains' batch of the second half, how the director manages to fit in Brahmanandam into the equation, and how you can ruin your long Vinayaka Chaturthi weekend form the remaining movie.
Director Santosh Srinivas writes a story which is a mash up of his first film Kandireega
and every other hit / semi-hit that was released in the last 5 years, and the result is a complete mess. Neither the comedy nor the emotions hit home. The film plays out exactly like Kandireega, minus the fun.
Rabhasa's biggest flaw is its deterioration into a tiresome sequence of fights, all of them involving NTR beating up a thousand goons. The fun part is that all these goons have more bounce than the rubber balls kids play cricket with. When any of them is thrown on the ground, he bounces back, flips over mid-air, and falls down again.
NTR does the same thing he's done in 99% of his movies so far. So do Samantha, Praneetha, JP, Ajay, Sayaji Shinde, Raghu Babu, Nagineedu, Satya Krishnan, Seeta, Surekha Vani, Nasser, Jayasudha, Brahmanandam and all other known names in the movie. So does Thaman, churning out the same kind of music he's churned out in over 50 films so far. So does the action director and so does the choreographer. And so does the producer - so much money is lavished on each frame, it makes you cringe.
If you still wish to see Rabhasa, then you will perhaps blend in perfectly with those screaming "Jai NTR, Jai Jai NTR" in the theatre this morning. But if you are not an NTR fan (and maybe even if you are), allow us to warn you off - Rabhasa is brilliantly boring and roaringly routine.