They say art is universal and that music has no boundaries, but more often than not, we tend to find something too Tamilian / Malayali for our tastes. Take the music of Run Raja Run for example - the songs sound funky and fun and are pretty nicely shot, but somewhere we kept thinking that the songs had a distinct Tamil flavour. Where, then, is the universality that we hear so often about?
The film, too, has different flavours - very Goan / Anglo-Indian in the first song and the first few shots, then distinctly Tamil-esque for a while, followed by a very Telugu ending. That the director of the film is famous in the short film world probably contributed to this - it is almost like a series of short films put together, each giving out a different vibe.
Run Raja Run is the story of Raja Harischandra Prasad (Sharwanand), a guy who breaks up with girls before you can finish drinking a Thums Up. One fine day, he meets up with Priya (Seerat Kaur), a girl who's never had any luck with her love stories. The two unfortunate souls team up and find love in each other.
The twist in the tale comes in when Priya's father, Police Commissioner Dilip Kumar (Sampath Raj), asks Raja to help him nab a gang of kidnappers. Raja responds by kidnapping Priya in an attempt to smoke out the gang. The subsequent cat-and-mouse game between Raja and Dilip leads to some (actually several) twists and turns, and a pretty foreseeable ending.
Run Raja Run bounces about in theme - from a pretty romantic comedy, it briefly shifts into Venkatesh territory (a sacrificing hero), and then morphs into a thriller with a vengeance angle. And the segues are not super smooth, so to say. Like we mentioned earlier, Sujeeth, the director, seems really good at making short films - the longer a thread goes on, the more he appears to lose focus. Some of the romantic parts in the movie jar big time with the rest of the flick.
What keeps Run Raja Run going is the fact that Sujeeth does not let the proceedings get heavy at any time. The film has a light tone with liberal doses of humour sprinkled in at regular intervals. The songs, though one too many, are pretty well shot, and make for decent viewing, too.
The actors do a fine job. Sharwanand gets into his role effortlessly and is fun to watch. His dialogue delivery is pretty different, and suits the character, too. Seerat Kaur is pretty good and displays some good moves in the songs. Sampath Raj, whom we've seen in some pretty serious roles so far, does one with a lighter side to it, and acquits himself pretty well. Kota and the other supporting actors do a fair job as well.
The film is glossily shot and the locations are pretty new. The whole feel is that of a technically sound film made within a limited budget, which again makes you root for it.
Run Raja Run has enough twists and turns to keep you engrossed enough for a one-time watch. A pretty decent effort by a debutant director.