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Raja The Great Review

Raja The Great
T J Reddy / fullhyd.com
EDITOR RATING
4.0
Performances
Script
Music/Soundtrack
Visuals
7.0
2.0
3.0
4.0
Suggestions
Can watch again
No
Good for kids
Yes
Good for dates
No
Wait to rent it
Yes
After being/becoming a cop in Idiot, Venky, Vikramarkudu, Mirapakay, Kick, Power and whatever other movies I am not aware of, Mass Maharaja Ravi Teja is back after a two-year break with an all-new goal.

In 2017, Ravi Teja and director Anil Ravipudi welcome you to their world and ask you to watch Raja The Great achieve his lifelong dream of being a true bastion of society. A man who infuses courage in every man, woman and child he meets. Who acts as the guiding light to many a person who is disillusioned with his/her life. Who rips off Woody Woodpecker's signature laugh to mock the downright brain-dead bad guys that inhabit his world.

Raja is also furiously driven by a need to fulfil his mother's dream. And he also comes equipped with a best friend who waxes poetic about how people look at him. When all these powers combine, they bring him close to achieving a wholly original, one-of-a-kind goal that he has spent many drops of his blood, many beads of his sweat and not-so-many actual tears in pursuit of.

He wants to be a cop.

Oh. Well. Um.

Ravi Teja plays a blind man in this movie. So there's a wrinkle that wasn't around before. And. Yeah.

Damn it movie, I wanted to be nice to you.

Raja The Great is a movie you get when a writer/director and studio assume their audiences are blind to the regular slew of masala movies their cohorts fill cinema screens with on a regular basis. We have hero with impediment (visual impairment this time round). Was the inspiration Kaabil or Daredevil? Discuss. We also have delicate heroine with powerful dad - who is either played by Prakash Raj or killed by Prakash Raj. Don't forget to add a tad of comic relief that involves a lot of slapping in there, and top it off with a bad guy - who inexplicably is in possession of that statue of a bull that adorns Wall Street - with his voice dubbed by Ravishankar.

We call Ravi Teja Mass Maharaja damn it and these elements will make a good mass movie that extracts some of those sweet rupees.

While money is an admirable motive to make a film, or do any task for that matter, the product being sold to the customer needs to be of worth to them. If I pay a rupee to buy a piece of chewing gum, I expect it to (a) freshen my breath for the foreseeable future and (b) taste good. If it didn't do either, the makers of said piece of gum will incur my ire. While cinema is art and subsequently the enjoyment of said art is subjective, a film needs to be well-shot, well-acted, well-written, well-edited, well-scored and, most of all, ENTERTAIN to make the audience feel as if they've been given their money's worth - Paisa Vasool (not the ironically entertaining Balakrishna movie) if you will. Raja The Great's problems begin with its over-indulgent script, and slowly permeate into other aspects of filmmaking.

While one review cannot be not enough to list out every fallacy in logic and reason with the script of this film, I'll throw out an example to state my case. At a juncture in the film, Raja's mother has been abducted and is being driven away in a bunch of vehicles. Raja's identifier, a string of bells, is muted by an incoming train. Raja deduces that the bad guys are on their way to the next railway junction. He gets on board the train and uses the map app to tell him where to get off. While all this is hunky dory, the bad guys follow the same path as the train for some ungodly reason instead of stopping or going in any other direction.

Yo, numbskulls. You know he is blind, right? He can't hear those bells. You see him whereas he can't see you. He'll go to next station and not find you there while you get to kill both his mom and girl. Plan success! Cake and coffee for everyone! Yedhavallara. With dumbasses like these as your henchmen, you don't need a hero to kick your ass. These f***ups will hatch a plan, fail on executing said plan, and have you killed, all in one quick swoop.

As a mass movie, Raja The Great is devised to not make use of Ravi Teja's considerable dramatic acting talent. While the man himself is perfectly amiable in his role, the writing, direction, score (loud is all I can say about that) and cinematography (still showing off the lighting equipment in the background for f***s sake) surrounding him and his co-stars is sorely lacking in either originality or coherence.

While the movie has a few instances of self-referential humour combined with pithy observations it makes about the film industry itself with a little dose of heart added to the mix, this small indicator of positives is quickly mauled by three - count them, three - separate scenes where the hero defeats the bad guy. What purpose is this supposed to serve apart from making the movie an unholy 150 minutes long with no clear distinction between acts?

While I could go on for another 1,000 words about the issues plaguing this one, I'll refrain. The film in itself isn't putting in much effort in being anything original, so why should I? I'll leave you with the usual line critics like packing into their write ups - "this is strictly for Ravi Teja fans". And after you Ravi Teja fans watch this film, come find me and tell me the purpose of and character given to Ali, Rajendra Prasad, Posani Krishna Murali (and his brothers) and Jayaprakash Reddy in the grand scheme of this film. I'll be sitting myself in a corner introducing my face to my fist waiting for your responses.
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Veturi Sarma on 21st Oct 2017, 7:43pm | Permalink
The henchmen had no idea the ringing bells thing was attached to their car. God, do you even watch the movies? Or be busy making up one liners for your reviews
TJ Reddy on 21st Oct 2017, 8:03pm | Permalink
Hey, Veturi that part of the film becomes a non-factor when they see him going their direction on the train but choose to follow him instead of turning and going any other way or even stay in place.

He is blind remember. Can't see them or hear the bells from a train station away. The jokes are based on the flaws in the movie mate. None of them are unwarranted.
Veturi Sarma on 21st Oct 2017, 8:16pm | Permalink
The point I was making is the henchmen assumed that he wasn't on their trail anymore once they crossed the railway crossing. And the henchmen never kill anyone, it's an unwritten rule. There's a reason they are henchmen. If the logic sounds farcical, it's coz the premise is and if you question the premise, there won't be any film in the first place. I'm not defending the writing or anything here, it's just that I feel that particular scene was not the one tonne singled out . Anyway it is reasonably safe to assume there won't be any good masala movies coming anymore coz Telugu directors don't know what to do with our heroes. So whatever masala comes up, we take it, as long as it's nonpretentious, which is the keyword here
TJ Reddy on 21st Oct 2017, 8:40pm | Permalink
But that is the issue Veturi. There are many instances where they show the henchmen seeing Raviteja on top of the train. It is patently ridiculous when a film forgets its own rules just to make its lead look amazing. Just imagine how thrilling this premise would have been if Raja had to use deductive reasoning all the way.

I'd love a good masala movie when it sticks to its rules and doesn't break them just because the writer forget how to move the plot forward. For example, I really enjoy Kick, Idiot and to a lesser degree Mirapakay. But films like Bengal Tiger and especially this one are nothing but long, dumb and loud.

The one scene I pulled out is a microcosm of the problems plaguing this film. I have nothing against specific heroes or their fanbases. Literally, every star, big or small has entertained me in at least one film, no matter how ridiculous it is.

Temper or Dookudu or 100% Love or Vedam are all movies with problematic premises but they are not repetitive and they aim to entertain and in my opinion, Raja The Great has nothing new on offer except for the blind character and the second half is just an exercise in tedium.

Most of all, the film made Raviteja unfunny for a whole film. That just broke my heart.
Josh on 19th Oct 2017, 10:09pm | Permalink
@ TJ - Haha.. I have been commenting here on a daily basis this month, dude.

My holy grail is good storytelling. I rate a well-made movie high no matter what else is wrong with it. But aside from that I'm more concerned about how the target audience perceives the film.

Sometimes, though, the stuff is so offensive that I have to put it down. Or I just try to not get near the film.

And happy Diwali, man! I tried not to burst crackers but my niece won. I hope you have a good one either way.
TJ Reddy on 19th Oct 2017, 10:40pm | Permalink
My goal always is to cater to a target audience while using the platform to inform them as to why some things work and some don't. I have had noble failures like Judwaa 2 but I see people's mindsets changing as well when Jab Harry Met Sejal or Tubelight or Rock on 2 etc tank at the BO.

I do not wish ill upon any person working in any film industry and no one is trying to make a bad movie but when they underestimate an audience's capacity to perceive quality, they are bound to misfire more often than not.

My Diwali is going to be spent watching 4 movies, dude. Thankfully I outgrew fireworks a while ago.

BTW, love your sketches and a friend of mine loved it to a degree where she wanted to emulate your work and detailing. High praise indeed.

Happy Diwali to you too
Hari on 21st Oct 2017, 2:01am | Permalink
You are doing just fine TJ. Do not change anything. We need a different perspective in each review. Where is the fun if reviews follow a template?
TJ Reddy on 21st Oct 2017, 6:14am | Permalink
Haha. I couldn't change if I wanted to Hari. It's just how I'm wired. Josh and I like philosophising films and that gets us here. He is a nicer guy and hence gets to be sweet, thoughtful and funny and I'm more of cynical d*** which puts me here.
Josh on 21st Oct 2017, 7:38pm | Permalink
I think we're just cynical about different things but hey, I'll take the compliment :)
Josh on 20th Oct 2017, 7:37pm | Permalink
Perhaps that's the difference between us. I don't think the film makers underestimate the audience. I simply believe the audience is responsible for the movies it consumes. No matter how those films you mentioned tanked, Kaabil is still a hit. And getting to Telugu, we are actually not terribly keen on quality or intelligence or morality.

Give my thanks to your friend. I'm planning to send out these sketches to my friends (I've reserved one for TCMG if he shares his address) once October ends. Let me know if she'd like one.
usualsuspekt on 19th Oct 2017, 9:14am | Permalink
Didn't intend to sound harsh. I like reading reviews on Fullhyd and don't really read anyothers escept maybe Indiaglitz whoa lso do sensible reviews.
Yes we come to fullhyd for humor filled sarcastic reviews but I believe the basic premise of the movie should be part of the review no matter how bad the movie is.
Ch3rs!
degenerate mutant on 19th Oct 2017, 12:03pm | Permalink
Agree - reviews are easiest to read when they follow a standard template, and the plot needs to be an integral part of them...
TJ Reddy on 19th Oct 2017, 9:33am | Permalink
I know you meant no malice mate. But the film's plot is wafer thin and can be summed up in a sentence. I had to work around it as hence we get this.Had to work with what little I had.
Nelloreodu on 19th Oct 2017, 5:25am | Permalink
I am an ardent believer of this site not a follower but believer. But I always had one problem which is evident in below link, a review of a movie called Balupu.
http://movies.fullhyderabad.com/balupu/telugu/balupu-movie-reviews-5505-2.html
There was some soft corner for RaviTeja's movies. Now I have another problem. This particular reviewer. I can say that I have checked almost all the reviews of this reviewer. He did not like any movie except some 1990s Tamil dubbing movie of Prabhu Deva. Please team of Fullhyd please check it once.
-A sincere request from a believer.
Nelloreodu on 19th Oct 2017, 8:23pm | Permalink
Sorry I missed a small but important information. None of this reviewers Indian movie reviews are encouraging. I seriously don't mind or comment on others reviews as everyone can have their own opinion. But fullhyd was diff even Deepa's reviews were too good except when it was Ravi Teja. This is the only site I share on my social media pages because the reviews are just hilarious. But this one reviewer's reviews of Indian movies is very discouraging. I don't want to sound jingoistic. I know we make shitty movies but not all of them are shitty. Even though there are different reviewers in this site they all seemed like one voice. If you go by the same logic Raja the great is worse than Balupu, which I don't think so. And even going by the same reviewer standards Raja the great and raju gari Gadhi are worse than VIP2, which is wrong. Now you might want to judge me and categorize as some hero's fan based on me venting out. But I am just a Fullhyd believer and I want to believe(sorry cudnt miss the chance to use the reference)
TJ Reddy on 19th Oct 2017, 8:37pm | Permalink
I understand your stance man. I, like other reviewers, can only express my personal opinion. In all honesty, I don't think films can be graded by alphanumerical scores as well. I would highly suggest reading the review than using the score as an accurate representation of the film on a whole.

For a common filmgoer, the feeling a film induces matters more than technical nous. As a reviewer, I need to look into every single aspect from thematics to technicalities to overall enjoyability. That dictates my score for films.

Sitting down with a person and explaining my rationale would help you understand the stances I take but since we can't do that, I'm suggesting the next best thing.

A review is but an opinion and we can have different ones. But when push comes to shove, Raju Gari Gadhi 2 and Raja The Great have severe logical problems that did not help suspend my disbelief as I was watching the film.

When glaring errors like those make their way into a script, the film falls sharply on the quality scale.
Josh on 19th Oct 2017, 9:18pm | Permalink
I have tried to communicate the same in other comments sections with other aggrieved commenters. Except, my scheme of numerical rating differs from yours fundamentally. I try to evaluate a film in its own niche whereas (I think) you rate each film on your own standards. So I usually attract brickbats from people who believe all films, no matter what language or genre or aspirations, should be evaluated on the same scale of 1 to 10 whereas you'll keep coming across folks who're upset that most of your regional film reviews fall under 5. In both cases the only solution is to read the review and interpret the rating.

I do disagree with you and agree with Nelloreodu but I understand that it's really a personal choice on how to ascribe an objective uni-dimensional quantity to an innately subjective multi-dimensional entity.
TJ Reddy on 19th Oct 2017, 9:42pm | Permalink
JOSH!! You're back.

Let me contain some of that excitement here. What I meant to say was the technical aspects of writing a watertight plot and performing filmmaking duties can be judged quite objectively.

But the feeling a film induces goes into the subjective.

Case in point, The Dark Knight or Mad Max Fury Road or Raman Raghav 2.0. I give those films an 11/10 solely for how great I feel after watching them. But I do know the plot has severe issues. I look past it because of my subjective view of the film.

Most films don't make me feel that way because of how poorly they are rendered. I wish I could like more films but I only run into about 20 to 30 films a year I well and truly enjoy.
The Common Movie Goer on 19th Oct 2017, 12:25pm | Permalink
Hi @Nelloreodu. The review you are referring to was by Deepa Garimella. While she will always remain the queen of movie reviews (Anupama Chopra who?), period, she was a hardcore Ravi Teja fan. She would try to go soft on his movies, but quite often ended up bashing them anyway. Seriously, check out her 1.0-2.0 reviews. I bet you anything you will literally ROFL, and not feel even a smidgen of pity for her for having to sit through such monstrosities.

TJ, Josh, and Nupur love some movies as much they hate some. Definitely a case of mistaken identity. And it doesn't help that none of the movies in the recent past (barring Jai Lava Kusa) have been any good.

Stat Attack (Rating - No. of films): 9.0s - 1, 8.0s - 2, 7.0s - 4, 6.0s - 2, 5.0s - 11, 4.0s - 14. 3.0s - 6, 2.0s - 1, 1.0s - 2

Given the small sample size, it's quite close to a gaussian distribution.
Kishore on 19th Oct 2017, 12:06pm | Permalink
Yes, Nelloreodu - you seem to have gotten your facts wrong here...
TJ Reddy on 19th Oct 2017, 6:29am | Permalink
I've been in fullhyd's employ for just over 3 months and have not reviewed a prabhu Deva remake. On the contrary, I've reviewed many films positively. Please do a double check on your research.
usualsuspekt on 18th Oct 2017, 7:47pm | Permalink
Sorry I cant call this a review.
I don't see what the movie is about..all I see is your rants about what you didn't like and one scene/incident in the movie?
Is this a review or a Comment?
How could Fullhyd pass this as a review?
The Common Movie Goer on 18th Oct 2017, 11:40pm | Permalink
@usualsuspekt, I see your point, but I'd rather read this review over the greatandhras and jeevis. They give away practically all the plot points, twists, and scenes except for the climax (which is wholly predictable anyway). The review gave me a great idea of how difficult it would be to sit through the film, and tells me what's good and not so good about the film. Of course, I'll end up watching the film anyway and probably disagree 100% with the review, but calling this a comment is a little harsh. It's more like commentary, which, when you think about it, is basically how a review is supposed to work. Right?
TJ Reddy on 19th Oct 2017, 6:26am | Permalink
Thanks for that TCMG. Overly sarcastic is not my style of writing usually but I needed to that this time so.tjat the review wouldn't come off all too boring and technical. If you do watch the movie, let me know what you think.
TJ Reddy on 18th Oct 2017, 7:58pm | Permalink
Also the critique of one specific scene acts as a microcosm of the film as a whole. It's an illustration of the poor screenplay.
TJ Reddy on 18th Oct 2017, 7:57pm | Permalink
Well usualsuspekt the plot of the film is simple. It's about Raja trying to keep the heroine safe from a bad guy who wants to kill her and that's about it when it comes to plot. The film is wholly based on it's screenplay and hence the critique is about said screenplay.

The film does not allow room for much else. If you see past the surface humour. The critique is right under it. I didn't want the readers to have a drab time reading a straight faced review.
usualsuspekt on 19th Oct 2017, 9:16am | Permalink
Didn't intend to sound harsh. I like reading reviews on Fullhyd and don't really read anyothers escept maybe Indiaglitz whoa lso do sensible reviews.
Yes we come to fullhyd for humor filled sarcastic reviews but I believe the basic premise of the movie should be part of the review no matter how bad the movie is.
Ch3rs!
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