Kalyan (Sharwanand) is the complete anti-thesis of his righteous, sensible, composed brother, Chakravarthy (a tired looking Mohan Babu). Most probably, he's also the complete anti-thesis of you. Because hopefully, you're not the kind who would burn your own car just because your brother won't buy you one more. Plus, hopefully, you've not starred in Raju Maharaju.
Chakravarthy, a saintly business tycoon with an equally virtuous wife Ramya (Ramyakrishna), loves his brother Kalyan to bits, but is wondering whether he's being a good boy. Prompted by the dozens of chalaans
sent to their house by the city traffic police every month, he hires a detective (Brahmanandam) for the purpose.
It's not because he doesn't trust Kalyan, he explains - it's just that he wants to check on him. That sounded very complex to us. Maybe because we just saw the first fight of the film by Chakravarthy - after the intellectual levels of that, anything seems complex.
The detective's findings, of course, are gagged by the good-for-nothing Kalyan, which suits Chakravarthy's blindly loving nature well. Kalyan is now busy falling in love with this goody-two-shoes Sneha (Surveen Chawla). She, however, always looks at him like he's something the dog spat out. At this, Kalyan arranges for her to fail in her exams, supposedly using his influence.
Any normal girl would have immediately fallen for Kalyan - with contacts like that, she could go places! But Sneha still makes faces like he forgot to bathe, and Kalyan really stops bathing by now - it's because he's crazily in love. Ramya feels sorry for him and pleads with Sneha to make him feel better. Sneha agrees, but soon, Kalyan is involved in a hit-and-run case, and unknowingly kills Sneha's father.
The mess turns gooey now. Sneha's shows her fury by demanding and getting the whole of Chakravarthy's property in return for Kalyan's release from prison. She turns cold and calculating from then on, not leaving a single stone unturned in insulting Kalyan and his entire family, who are now working almost at chaprasi
levels at various places to keep their setup going.
Meanwhile, Kalyan's family members are falling over themselves in order to flood one another with affection and kindness in this crisis. This is how Kalyan learns that love is greater than anything in this world - including money, a sexual harassment case, all your certificates, your kidney, and human pharmaceutical testing.
He also learns a secret about the tattoo on his brother's arm, that no one saw coming. What's more, Sneha was only pretending to take revenge to teach Kalyan a lesson, because she loves him. Anyone who didn't see that
coming deserves to sit through the entire film.
Raju Maharaju has an overdose of melodrama, hackneyed dialogues, and a lot of other things that will make you rush to watch reruns of your aunt's favourite sob-opera on TV to recover. The whole revenge bit is overdone, like the way she gets someone to slap on him a sexual harassment case at his office.
The visuals and the scipt seem tired, but the performances are really good - Ramyakrishna has a fantastic tear-jerking scene towards the end. Sharwanand's character seems like a poor cousin of what he was in Gamyam
. He's good and cute enough, though he tends to look a little lost in places. Mohan Babu's dialogues are intended only for the front-benches. There are comedians, too, but nothing they do is worth the trouble.
One of the songs is playing on FM all the time, and it's the only one good to listen - Chakri's music is otherwise lacklustre mostly. Along with that ridiculous cowboy song with a blond Sharwanand.
A film that opens with an abandoned baby with a tattoo on its arm has only one way to go. And it's going to go there alone.