Ragada has Nagarjuna playing a guy from Kadapa who speaks in the Telangana dialect. It's so illogical that you know that the director must also be aware of that, and all your Telugu movie-watching experience tells you that it will be explained in the end, and that the explanation will be a load of BS. Well, it's not. Explained, that is. That's like someone you have contempt for, not even remembering your name.
That also explains the IQ behind Ragada in general. Nagarjuna's last release
disappeared from the theatres in 3-4 weeks, and Ragada looks like it'll plumb the same depths. Made on a shoestring script and lavish denial, it happily believes in itself. The film has no strong core theme or structure, it doesn't care about appearing even remotely logical, it completely lacks romance, and the plot requires an IQ close to your mobile number to understand it. Plus, there's formula all around - 2 heroines, completely uninspired songs, ridiculous fights, and a hero made out to be God. If it were not for a comedy track featuring Brahmanandam, this movie would set your life back by a few years.
Satya (Nagarjuna) is a native of Kadapa who lands in Hyderabad and directly runs into a gang war with shootouts happening. He single-handedly beats up all the goons of one side, and no one shoots him even though he's a sitting duck - the general theme of the movie. The leader of the other side, GK, is grateful to him, and makes him a partner in business. A lot of villians are now introduced, and very soon you lose track of who is against whom and for what.
In the process Satya runs into Sireesha (Anushka), who falls in love with him.You also figure out that Satya has a violent flashback in Kadapa (like everyone else in Andhra Pradesh). Also entering Satya's life with her parents and brother is Ananthalakshmi (Priyamani), an orthodox brahmin girl who he rescues from some goons in his spare time. This appears pretty much like a sidetrack to the main story, but quickly everything gets entangled with everything else, and to all the issues in your life that make you feel inadequate and worthless, the plot of this one gets added.
Standing out in Ragada is the hero speaking in the Telangana dialect - perhaps the first time that a mainstream hero has done in Tollywood. And in a bid to avoid alienating other audiences in these troubled times, the hero's native place is shown to be Kadapa. And, like we said, things are left at that. Director Veeru Potla doesn't see any other issues, like perhaps audiences wondering why a person brought up in Kadapa would speak the dialect of another region. More importantly, this is attention-grabbing in itself, and distracts from the actual movie.
The film seems incoherent for the most part, with too many characters plotting too many things. The movie is rated A, too, and there's a reason for it - plenty of gory violence. And a lot of it meaningless, confusing, and incapable of engaging you. As we've said, there are numerous villians, no one of them is characterized strongly enough for you to await his decimation by the hero, and that results in a strong good-evil core premise missing. The fights themselves are also way too unrealistic even by Tollywood standards - the climax fight particularly so.
While the comedy, especially involving Brahmanandam, is generally entertaining, the dialogue-writing oscillates between good and mediocre, with the latter increasingly predominant - the dialogues in the climax are particularly a feast for people wanting to die.
Nagarjuna is his usual self, but the movie has the feel of an ode to him - constant lines praising his looks, including by the villians, make the film feel more like a resuscitation effort for the career of the star than like professional story-telling. Anushka and Priyamani look like they've been shoehorned in; there's no courtship - an evergreen draw - and there's no role for them except for the glamour factor. Actors like Kota too are wasted with pointless presences, and Brahmanandam ends up being the best part of the movie.
The songs are forced into the movie in the most archaic manner of Tollywood, and the music is painfully mass-y. Also, for a film that tries to be politically correct, Ragada makes too much fun of brahmins.
On the whole, this one is likely to have only a blink-and-miss presence in theatres, and even if you don't blink, you should miss it.