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Raksha Review

Raksha
EDITOR RATING
3.0
Performances
Script
Music/Soundtrack
Visuals
6.0
3.0
7.0
6.5
Suggestions
Can watch again
No
Good for kids
No
Good for dates
No
Wait to rent it
Yes
Raksha is a remake - almost scene-to-scene - of Phoonk, and if you have already watched Phoonk, it's like walking over a bed of live coals once again since the coals this time are from a different supplier and so there's a chance you may have a pleasant experience this time. The nightmares of Phoonk are all intact in Raksha - the meaningless close-ups of assorted household items, random camerawork, jolting background music in plenty of irrelevant places in shameless attempts to scare, and a general strategy of using scary scenes as an end in themselves rather than because they are part of a cohesive narrative. A zillion scenes (1 zillion = 1 billion billion) don't make sense in the end. And that's understating it.

On the brighter side, there's no crow anywhere. (There's no one alive who's watched Phoonk and didn't wonder what the crows were all about anyway.)

Raksha is the story of Rajiv (Jagapati), wife Swati (Kalyani) and young daughter Raksha (Neha). When Rajiv, a successful realtor, fires Venu (Rajiv Kanakala) and his wife Madhu (Satya Krishna) for embezzling his money, they start using black magic to traumatize Raksha. Atheist Rajiv does not accept for a long time that this is supernatural stuff, preferring instead to rely on normal doctors and psychiatrists, despite the warnings of his wife, mother (Radha Kumari) and even maid (Bhargavi). Things however reach a stage where the doctors throw up their hands, and Rajiv needs to finally look out of the box.

Like its Hindi version Phoonk, Raksha is slow, and full of red herrings - attempts to scare you through shots and background music effects, though most times the actual scene aimed at frightening you has nothing to do with the story or the black magic at all, examples being all the ominous close-ups of random objects before the black magic has even started. It betrays a lack of capability in writing a well-rounded script/screenplay where everything makes sense in the end. We are going to watch a movie, not a loosely connected assortment of scary shots.

Which brings us to the script and screenplay - it's amusing to see the exact same story and screenplay have different credits in Hindi and in Telugu. The Hindi version is credited to Ram Gopal Varma, and the Telugu one to a Vamsi Krishna Akella. And what was the reason for making a Telugu version anyway?

Jagapati is better as an actor now, but you can still see the frailties in the heavy-duty scenes. The kid Neha playing Raksha is not good enough, especially compared to her Hindi counterpart. Thanks is part to that, the movie simply does not scare. The other performances mostly pass muster, except that of Satya Krishna (the wife in the fired couple), who is clearly a misfit.

Sanatan Baba, a witch-doctor played by Pradeep Rawat, is an example of how childishly the film tries to scare - his eyeballs are completely white (and those tacky effects...). The background score is tailored to scare, but the movie betrays it.

Raksha is good for no one. If it's scares and thrills you are looking for, try this one instead.
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RAKSHA SNAPSHOT
Raksha (telugu) reviews
USER RATING
6.0
1 USER
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  • Cast
    Jagapati Babu, Kalyani, Subbaraju, Rajiv Kanakala, Satya Krishna, Thota Neha, Atul, Radha Kumari, Narsing Yadav, Chandra Sekhar, Dr. Melkote, Jeeva, Jayasudha, Pradeep Rawat, Bhargavi
    3 users say this is wrong.
  • Music
    Amar Mohile
    5 users say this is wrong.
  • Director
    Vamsi Krishna Akella
    3 users say this is wrong.
  • Theatres
    Not screening currently in any theatres in Hyderabad.
    3 users say this is wrong.
RAKSHA USER REVIEWS
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USER RATING
6.0
1 USER
Performances
Script
Music/Soundtrack
Visuals
4.0
7.0
10.0
8.0
Can watch again - No
Good for kids - No
Good for dates - Yes
Wait to rent it - Unsure
Aakash Chandra on 19th Sep 2008, 4:51pm | Permalink
Everyone knows its Phoonk remade. Exactly as everyone would expect, the master(RGV) remains master for a reason. Jagapathi babu has tremendous screen presence but I just cant believe his shoddy amateur acting and so were others. Ashwini Khalsekar's weird laughter suited the ambience of Phoonk so much that sathya's laughter or her desperate attempt to get the tiger's scars is laughable even though its supposed to be irritating. The few things that are better than phoonk are undoubtedly the background score, and the coherence in narrative and jayasudha. The only advantage that raksha seizes is that its nativity is very south indian/ telugu. savita's visual poetry is noticeably absent. Well not bad for a first-timer director akella but RGV himself saying that raksha is better than phoonk is more a publicity gimmick than him being humble.

Pros: bappi-tutul back groundscore, nativity
Cons: bad acting by everyone except kalyani
RATING
6
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