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Oxygen Review

T J Reddy / fullhyd.com
Can watch again
Good for kids
Good for dates
Wait to rent it
Oxygen is a near three-hour anti-smoking ad by producer A M Ratnam and his baby boy, which actually led to a whole host of young men lighting up a cigarette as soon as they walked out of the cinema that I was in. They needed a quick release that would stop them from tearing their hair out after sitting through this abomination masquerading as a movie. If you were to heed our advice, you'd stay home, rewatch those (frankly impotent) anti-smoking ads on YouTube and save yourself some time and money.

The film starts and stays relatively humble before it gets into a nearly unwatchable second half. After two "sharpshooters" kill his brother, respected village-based businessman Raghupathi (Jagapathi Babu) decides to get his only daughter Shruthi (Raashi Khanna) married to a dashing man whose details his brother had shared with him before his death. The man is apparently an orphan, lives in the USA and works at Microsoft - a perfect suitor for any Telugu bride.

As the ideal Telugu bachelor, Krishna Prasad (Gopichand), makes his way back from the USA, he is greeted by his factionist in-laws and a whole lot of contrived scenes to make him appear amazing. With a smile so plastic that it would make Aishwarya Rai blush, he makes his way into the hearts and minds of the gigantic family he is about to marry into. Soon, he neutralizes the threat his new family faces from the leader of the opposing faction led by Veerabhadram (Sayaji Shinde) by duly bludgeoning them.

All is seemingly well. But there are two nagging issues the film has yet failed to address. Firstly, who are the people killing members of Raghupathi's family? Secondly, why is Anu Emmanuel's name on the credits and where is she? The answers come soon enough, but (because we are doing smoking-related metaphors) these revelations just plunge a giant syringe of tar into an already pointless film, stopping it dead in its tracks. The reveals are accompanied by loud noises and over-the-top camerawork, and all the show is at the end nothing but hot, black, carbon-filled air. Come to think of it, it is ironic that the film is titled Oxygen.

Oxygen's script is a Frankenstein's monster of every action movie cliché of the past decade. The film begins as a thematic recreation of Vijay's introduction from Adhirindi and ends as an ungodly amalgamation of the ideas in Thuppaki and Khaidi No 150. However, these rip-offs are much easier to swallow as everything in between these two extremes is stuffed with a myriad of boring noise and cheap attempts at garnering audience sympathy.

The film throws factionism, the army, dead family members, an item song, two heroines, some random message somehow shoehorned in and (bad) CGI into the mix and hopes that it will all somehow work. If you want a coherent plot with characters you care about, you're not the target market.

Gopichand himself seems to have realized what he got himself into after he put pen to paper because this is one of the blandest performances you are likely to see from this underused actor. He does not bring his A-game, and that does not seem like an accident.

His co-stars follow suit. Raashi Khanna continues her streak of being wholly forgettable, and Anu Emmanuel, who put in a brilliant shift in Detective, stares into your soul with all the expressiveness of a puppet - it almost appears like her cardboard cutout was used here. The lesser said about Jagapathi Babu and his merry family the better, and anyone who justifies the presence of Sayaji Shinde, Ali, Venella Kishore and Tagubothu Ramesh is either the film's director or... actually, I can't think of anyone else.

The waste of talent does not end there. This is a movie that has Yuvan Shankar Raja as its composer, but cannot milk a memorable track off him. This is a movie that has A M Ratnam and his history of grand production values backing it, but cannot do a half-decent visual effect to save its life. This is a movie whose themes and story could be wrapped up by the two-minute government-mandated disclaimer that plays before it but chooses to be nearly three hours long.

This film has no reason to exist, and this review has no reason to go on much further either.

P S: At the climactic fight, watch as one stationary CCTV camera cuts between ten different angles, has bullet time effects and slow motion, all while relaying a LIVE FEED to the world. *Sigh*

P P S: Please watch Thank You For Smoking or The Insider instead.
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Oxygen (telugu) reviews
Rating is quick and easy - try it!
  • Cast
    Gopichand, Raashi Khanna, Anu Emmanuel, Jagapathi Babu, Sayaji Shinde, Shaam, Chandra Mohan, Ashish Vidyarthi, Vennela Kishore, Ali, Thagubothu Ramesh
  • Music
    Chinna, Yuvan Shankar Raja
  • Director
    A M Jyothi Krishna
  • Theatres
    Not screening currently in any theatres in Hyderabad.
Hari on 2nd Dec 2017, 11:02pm | Permalink
This and Jawan back to back? You deserve better TJ !!
Insider - now that's a movie on a whole different level. Russel Crowe was absolutely fantastic. Thanks for the reminder. Will re-watch it sometome soon.

TJ Reddy on 3rd Dec 2017, 9:08am | Permalink
Taking some hits for the team, my man. The Insider is pretty good but make some time to watch Thank You For Smoking. I rate that film an 11/10 even if the ending is a wee bit wonky.
Hari on 4th Dec 2017, 10:24pm | Permalink
I watched it on the weekend TJ. I thought it lived up to your high praise. I liked the slick title cards too. Most of the writing was super fun with many quotable lines. I esp liked that movie idea :) Good stuff.

TJ Reddy on 4th Dec 2017, 11:12pm | Permalink
It's a movie that makes you root for the bad guy without even realizing it. It takes immense skill to write something so dark. I rewatch it when I hit writer's block. Clears things right up.
The Common Movie Goer on 2nd Dec 2017, 1:05pm | Permalink
Dude, I am sorry for wishing for more 1.0s and 2.0s from Fullhyd the other day. Didn't expect you to have such rotten luck with movies this weekend. Great reco on Thank you for Smoking. Loved that movie when I saw it a few years ago. Everyone here thinks I see way too many movies, but I am beginning to think you've truly seen them all. I wish I could follow you on Twitter or FB or something. (Also, Deepa Garimella, if you are reading this, what happened to your Twitter account? It was the wittiest thing in existence!)

Gopichand needs to stop asking fans to "gundelu meeda cheyya vesukuni padukkovandi! Ee sari gattiga koduthunnam." He's slowly becoming the god of generic, template-based, done-to-death films. Even Kona Venkat has moved on from fool-the-whole-family movies. It's time everybody else does.

Disappointed reading about Anu Emmanuel. I've had enough of Rakul Preet Singh and her shtick. She needs some competition from those that are just as beautiful. Didn't even know Yuvan Shankar Raja was the composer. Trailer was wholly forgettable.

All said and done, hope to watch this film soon and bitch about it. I guess it's people like me who are responsible for these films being made. Oh well, what's life without a little burnt masala?
TJ Reddy on 3rd Dec 2017, 9:05am | Permalink
Rotten luck is not the right way to look at it, dude. It is just a malaise that goes around the commercial cinema genre. Luck has nothing to do with it when people making the films are not even trying to be any form of good.

1s and 2s get me riled up instead of amused and I really hate getting angry so that compounds my anger. I hate feeling like this.

Tollywood is evolving for sure but the pace of said evolution has to be faster than Darwinian.
TJ Reddy on 2nd Dec 2017, 9:08am | Permalink
Thank you, Subbu and Hari. Love the support.
JayZ on 1st Dec 2017, 10:11pm | Permalink
Reddy garu....Love your reviews sir....keep rocking...
Subbu on 1st Dec 2017, 7:10pm | Permalink
I am not interested in watching but can’t wait to read your reviews.
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