Pushpa: The Rise (Part 1)
After the excitement of Spiderman – No Way Home had reached a crescendo, I decided to keep the momentum going. And so I finished watching the Telugu film Pushpa The Rise in a packed theatre on Sunday evening. Right from the time its trailer was out, I was excited to watch Allu Arjun and Fahadh Faasil together for the very first time on celluloid. Its trailer was absolutely a rage but by the time I went in for the film, its reports were out and the word of mouth of mixed(surprisingly). Does the film then live upto the massive expectations, lets find out.
Story & Screenplay
Pushpa The Rise which is just Part 1 of the entire story, follows the story of Pushpa and his rise up the ranks while smuggling red sandalwood. The story has all the ingredients of a commercial potboiler that would cater to the masses even though the plot here is wafer thin! The screenplay is a mixed bag. There is a buildup for the entire film here. While the introduction of the protagonist was welcome by the audience with claps and whistles, I had an instant problem with the love story which was showcased. Firstly, the love story was just not required. Secondly, it was cringy where the main protagonist is seen stalking the female. Stalking can never be justified and to think that a protagonist who is worshipped is shown doing that is ridiculous because so many would feel that stalking is normal. In a totally different scene, the protagonist has his hand on the breast of the female, again cringy. What this love story does is that it just adds crucial minutes to the overall runtime of 3 hours and has zero impact on the screenplay!
But on the positive front, the situations created are quite interesting particularly in the first hour. The way the writers introduce the world of the protagonist and his equations with the characters around are amazing to watch. The character of the protagonist is designed to ooze style and machismo. The interval point is the highlight which rounds up a good first half. But with the focus shifting on the love story in the second hour is a dampener which I have briefly mentioned above. But towards the last 20 minutes with a nemesis being introduced, the drama props up yet again culminating into a thrilling final act that nicely sets it up for Part 2. Overall, an entertaining screenplay but you expected more!
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are a mixed bag of solid one-liners and equally cringy ones. A few of the dialogues(in Hindi Dub) will make you laugh as well. The music is just about average with all songs stalling the flow of the drama. The BGM is good in parts but above average in the rest of the scenes. The editing surprisingly is off in a few places. The report of post production work continuing a day prior to its release may well be true. Director Sukumar has done a good job but I personally expected more from him. Perhaps this is just the origin story but still it coukd have been tighter. To give you a perspective, the last 20 minutes could easily have started early on in the second hour. Guess Part 2 will be better.
For those of you who would go in for Fahadh Faasil would be left disappointed. Although he is brilliant but his character is introduced only in the final 20 minutes. Rashmika Mandana as Srivalli is just about average and to be fair she has very little to do. None of the other characters stand out as the entire focus is on the protagonist Allu Arjun who shines as Pushpa. He has stardom written all over him and he oozes in style and substance. He has some of the best written lines and he delivers them catering to the front benchers. Safe to say this is an out and out Allu Arjun film that will make him a PAN India star.
Pushpa The Rise is Entertaining but you did expect more at the end of the day. Strictly a one-time watch. Available in a theatre near you.