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Raaj Review

Hemanth Kumar /
Can watch again
Good for kids
Good for dates
Wait to rent it
When the pre-release hype about a film happens to be only its lip-locking scenes, you know the expectation curve has instantly nose-dived. However, the movie in contention, Raaj, plunges into the nadir of lameness and stupidity.

Sumanth stars as Raaj, a fashion photographer who wants to call off his marriage with Mythili (Priyamani). He tells his father that he's in love with a girl named Priya (Vimala Raman) whom he had met in Goa; however the 2 haven't met in quite sometime after a one-night stand.

His father tries to drive sense into him, and finally, Raaj agrees to marry Mythili. Although the duo's marital relationship starts on a sour note, the two eventually fall in love with each other.

When everything seems to be going on all right, Raaj happens to come across Priya once again in Hyderabad. He skips his business trip to London to search for Priya and to try finding out why she had left him in the first place. How this decision affect the relationship between him and Mythili, and why Priya left him in Goa forms the rest of this story.

The basic plot of the film is 'inspired' from the Vincent Cassell - Monica Bellucci starrer L'Appartement, which was later remade as Wicker Park. However, plagiarism is the least of the problems that plague the film.

After 2 directors were dropped mid-way, it was a third, V N Aditya, who finally took up the onus of completing the film. The backstage chaos shows - the film leaves a lot to be desired in every aspect, not least in terms of how the characters are etched out.

Then, the story is patchy. The movie opens with some random scenes patched together to depict the awkwardness of a newly-married couple; and quickly, it shifts to a scene where Raaj lusts for Mythili after he sees her in a swimsuit. Also, the much-hyped steamy scenes hardly make an impact.

Sumanth never rises above his poorly-written characterization to save the sinking ship. Moreover, it's hard to empathize with his character, one that is torn between love and marriage.

Priyamani does justice to her role to some extent; however it's still beyond anyone's understanding why she would sign such a film. Vimala Raman is a complete mismatch in her role. Neither does her glamour work nor does she try to act.

2 songs - one shot in Himachal Pradesh and another in Goa - are visually appealing, and they are the only saving grace of this film. The titles credit V N Aditya as the story & dialogue writer and director of the film, but his work never does justice to the stripped-down version of the original story.

Avoid this flick. Period.
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