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Rajadhiraja Review

Deepa Garimella /
Can watch again
Good for kids
Good for dates
Wait to rent it
Finding a ganja-seller, a chain-smoker, a health minister, a murderer and a streetwalker in the same room can be funny. Finding that there's someone actually playing all the five rolled into one, can be nauseating.

Many smokers don't like getting caught smoking, but Gangavaram Sailaja (Mumtaz) is something else. Not only smoking, the health minister also hates to get caught for murders, money-laundering and other itsy-bitsy felonies that she keeps committing from time to time. She has the loyal assistance of a doctor, a lawyer and a policeman in this.

These three are the elder brothers of Raja (Lawrence), this chap who lives in Araku with a sister-figure and a nanny who brought them up. Back in their childhood, their father was lost to the collective negligence and subsequent brutality, of a doctor, a policeman and a lawyer. The stricken family decides that Raja will turn his brothers into white-washed versions of those three.

Now, the last person who knew how to make elder siblings listen to the younger ones, passed away in 1870 BC, so even as Raja strives hard to make ends meet and to get his brothers a decent education, those fiends are turning out to be about as sweet as a bunch of Nazis on a summer camp with Lord Voldemort.

Raja finds this out when the doctor brother pulls the plug on his sick sister when she doesn't come up with enough money for her operation, and the other two cover up his tracks by chopping the nanny's head. The furious Raja decides to get back.

He sweet-talks his brothers into moving in with them. He becomes their anonymous perpetrator now, and keeps making threatening phone calls to them. But the three wear expressions that look like they should slip into something more comfortable - like a coma, so that they never quite figure out that it's Raja who's making all those calls.

It is the outwitted, defeated Sailaja who puts two and two together, and leads the brothers into finishing off Raja. A lot of impaling, bloodying and screaming later, Raja decides that since he's the Brahma who created the three monsters in the siblings, he must now be the Shiva who destroys them.

This film has three female leads for Lawrence to dance around with - a horny village belle, a nurse (a clueless Kamna Jethmalani), and Raja's love interest who's also the evil Sailaja's sister - and they all seem like the kind who think a chessboard is an optical illusion.

Rajadhiraja has a lot of 'mass' elements, down to the rustic blaring trumpets in the songs, and the sleaze that doubles as comedy. The script is just a series of one gory fight after another, and the characters are too exaggerated.

Lawrence's dances aren't quite as unbelievable in this film, and as for his acting, he stands out more for enthusiasm rather than for any real talent. Mumtaz, with an uncanny resemblance to Sita, has done quite an interesting job.

This one's a low-end product that our fellow-countrymen from across the southern border decided to make a quick buck out of - and it's one of the quickest ever made. If you're so angry with yourself that you'd brutally pummel 3 hours of your life, you might as well get your own table fan along - Sandhya's air-conditioning's also on a vacation.
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