After being/becoming a cop in Idiot
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
? 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.