Pushpa: The Rise Movie Review Rating: 3.5 out of 5.0 stars
Star Cast: Allu Arjun, Fahadh Faasil, Rashmika Mandanna, Dhananjay, Sunil, Ajay Ghosh
What’s Good: When a three-hour-long film doesn’t let you bother about the time pending, that’s an achievement in itself
What’s Bad: Depends too much on Allu Arjun, hence losing the ability to keep the same high with other characters (apart from Fahadh)
Loo Break: It’s 179 minutes, you’d naturally need one plus there are a couple of songs you can skip (NO, NOT THE Samantha one)
Watch or Not?: If the runtime doesn’t scare you, jump in and get lost!
Available On: Theatrical Release
Runtime: 179 minutes
It starts with the climax (not really, but that’s what the background narration tells us so) as we learn about the Japanese culture of newly married men gifting their wives expensive gifts. One such gift shown is a musical instrument made of Red sandalwood to get us into the story of how it’s smuggled from India. Back home, we’ve Pushpa (Allu Arjun) working as a labourer to extract Red Sandalwood having the ego of a mad king. As our usual heroes, Pushpa, too, has the ambition to be a big shot one day.
Following his dream with the gifted guts and a tilted shoulder, Pushpa joins the gang of Konda Reddy (Ajay Ghosh) to prove his worth. He steps the ladder of fame and success by being himself attract way too many eyes including of the cops’. Pushpa tries to undercut the existing crime-lords to reach the kingpin. In the way, he stumbles into an equally mad IPS officer Bhanwar Singh Shekhawat (Fahadh Faasil) and what happens next is how this entertaining chaos ends (or begins).
Pushpa: The Rise Movie Review: Script Analysis
Sukumar, despite following all the formulas one could to portray the ‘from beggar to a crowned king’, has written the characters exceptionally well to make a difference. From the way Pushpa negotiates while beating up the goons to the style he’s unabashedly boastful about, Sukumar adds too many times beautiful layers creating the messed-up world of Pushpa. In no way the director wants to see you Pushpa as your typical dashing, flawless hero of the film and he wants you to try to accept him regarding his flaws.
The ’tilted shoulder’ trait does wonders for the character, as we see many action sequences & even Sekhar Master’s choreography designed around it turning out to be a blast. Little things like Pushpa stripping his chappal in a song while dancing, and then getting it back while doing the step are an amusing choreographical touch. The almost-180 minute runtime does pinch you where it hurts the most including some very abrupt transitions between scenes (and songs).
Polish cinematographer Mirosław Kuba Brożek just loves to sway his camera in between a plethora of props. The slo-mo gliding through leaves action sequences doesn’t look tacky and are extremely soothingly done garnering a wave of seetis from AA fans. Special mention for Shreyas Talpade to just add another layer of brilliance with his Hindi dubbing for the lead.
Pushpa: The Rise Movie Review: Star Performance
This is Allu Arjun in all his glory proving why you don’t exactly need an extremely strong script to establish a thudding impact through a character. Not at all saying the script is below the mark, but Allu’s character overshadows every grand thing in the film. His magnetic presence, coupled with all those quirky traits of sitting cross-legged and having ‘beedi’ in the shittiest of the situations, is more than enough to keep you hooked for 179 minutes.
Fahadh Faasil joins in late to the party announcing a strong role in the sequel but easily glides in to stand neck to neck against Pushpa. You couldn’t enter in the last 30 minutes of the film and manage to share equal limelight with the already established lead of the film until you’re Fahadh Faasil.
Rashmika Mandanna, with all the cuteness she possesses and natural acting chops, remains to be the speed-breaker of the film. This is also because her character couldn’t flourish as well as Pushpa and hence the flaws of the script are very much visible during her sequences. Dhananjay as Jolly Reddy, Sunil as Srinu and Ajay Ghosh as Konda Reddy provide the just about right amount of evilness to fight Pushpa. They all, of course, receive a predictable treatment but that doesn’t stop them from creating an intriguing nuisance on-screen to be addressed by Pushpa in his style.
Pushpa: The Rise Movie Review: Direction, Music
Sukumar does the majority of the applaud-worthy work at the writing stage when he decides to pen Pushpa’s character in the most blatant way possible. This makes the job easy for ‘Sukumar the director’ when it comes to the larger scheme of things. He doesn’t do much with the basic outline of the story keeping it pretty uniform with what we’ve seen before, but he does a bunch of small captivating things at the inner level to keep you glued.
This is Sukumar’s 10th film with the veteran music director Devi Sri Prasad and it shows how DSP is very well aware of the director’s style of filmmaking. Without getting too loud, DSP manages to instil the euphoria of Pushpa’s presence with his orchestral sets. Too many songs add to dragging the film near the 3-hour mark. You just won’t be able to listen to Samantha’s item song because she mutes every feeling with her scorching presence on stage. Not being nitpicky but I definitely heard a BGM piece freakily similar to something used by B. Ajaneesh Loknath in Avane Srimannarayana. Could be confidence, but it’s there and let me know if any of you find the same.
Pushpa: The Rise Movie Review: The Last Word
All said and done, Pushpa is pure MASStertainment and a golden lesson for all those directors selling crass in the disguise of producing films for mass. All hail the MASSter, Allu Arjun!
Three and a half stars!
Pushpa: The Rise Trailer
Pushpa: The Rise releases on 17 December, 2021.
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