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Pushpa: The Rise Movie Review

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If there is one film industry that has mastered the art of crafting loud mass action masala entertainers, it would indisputably be Tollywood. Look at the number of films made on the genre over a time period spanning around two decades and the rate at which they get churned out. The numbers are massive. Also, they are getting good at planning big budget flicks. Thanks to film maker S. S. Rajamouli for his fabulous Baahubali franchise. Director Sukumar tries to drive down the lane carved out by the latter by launching his own Pushpa franchise. If director S. S. Rajamouli went Baahubali: The Beginning, story teller Sukumar goes Pushpa: The Rise. And just like his colleague he goes for a pan India launch. So, how has the Tamil version of the flick come out? Is Pushpa solid enough to replicate the success that Baahubali enjoyed? To know that let us get in to the movie review.

Pushpa The Rise Movie Poster

Pushpa The Rise Movie Poster

Pushpa: The Rise follows the life of Pushpa Raj (Allu Arjun), a daily wage red sandalwood cutter in Seshachalam forest who is ridiculed for being a bastard. When the film opens, we see a character warning Pushpa about a police raid that is about to happen. A task force headed by Dsp Govindappa (Shatru) is on the move. Now Pushpa must act swiftly, and save the red sandalwoods stored in the nearby depository station. We have the typical Tollywood style masala sequences that Pushpa deploys to secure the red sandalwoods. This puts him in the good books of his boss Konda Reddy (Ajay Ghosh). Pushpa comes up with secret pathways and cutting-edge methods to transport the red sandalwood logs. With a blink of an eye, he rises to the top of the ladder and becomes Konda Reddy’s partner. On one occasion, Konda Reddy’s dealer Mangalam Srinu (Sunil) hands him the responsibility of taking care of his red sandalwoods stock. Dsp Govindappa raids the spot. Yet again Pushpa bamboozles Govindappa with the help of his sidekick Keshava (Jagadeesh Prathap Bandara) and gets away with the stocks.

Konda Reddy and Pushpa are invited to a party where Pushpa eavesdrops Mangalam Srinu sealing a deal. He learns that Mangalam Srinu is selling the woods at a much higher price to the nickels and dimes they receive. He decides to place his demand to be paid more but latter calms down calculating the risks involved in going up against Mangalam Srinu. Meanwhile, he comes across Srivalli (Rashmika Mandanna) and falls for her. The duo decides to get married. In unfortunate turn of events, Pushpa end up getting insulted on the day of his marriage and is questioned of his identity. Enraged Pushpa, vows to become the most powerful man in the locality. He smuggles the red sandalwoods to Chennai and cuts a deal by himself. This does not land well with Mangalam Srinu. In the meantime, things get clumsier between Pushpa and Konda Reddy. When Konda Reddy is about to kill Pushpa, Mangalam Srinu’s men ambuscade them. Pushpa escapes. But Konda Reddy gets killed. To put an end to the violence that is disrupting his business, MP Bhumireddy Siddappa Naidu (Rao Ramesh) intervenes and facilitates an entente.

Days go by, Pushpa becomes an influential man in the locality as he desired. His position is challenged when Bhanwar Singh Shekhawat (Fahadh Faasil) is posted as the district’s SP. Can Pushpa retain the control of his territory or will he have to bend to Bhanwar Singh Shekhawat’s authority, is what makes the rest of the flick.

In mass action masala genre, logic and reality are the first element that goes for a toss. Going in to Pushpa: The Rise looking for these factors is a hopeless mission. So, if we are accepting to overlook this booboo, is the movie entertaining then? Well, yes but in bits and pieces. When a film’s solo purpose is to give its protagonist the larger-than-life image, it is hard to expect to take way anything else from it. Apparently, heroes taking a single path like staying focused and completing a mission, or a goal, or going after a single villain is not enough anymore. They have to solve problems in multiples and take on macho and brawny villains at different power levels. The more villains he deals, the more heroic he becomes. Pushpa: The Rise follows this template to the T. Oh yeah, the hot item number that ran in to controversy is the one thing that offers us a huge relief.

Actor Allu Arjun is dynamic as always. Generally, in films like this, heroines do not get adequate space to move the proceedings. Actress Rashmika Mandanna’s Srivalli is not any different. Actor Fahadh Faasil seem like a dummy villain. Perhaps, he has a meaty part to play in the next installment. Actor Jagadeesh Prathap Bandara is effective. Actor Ajay Ghosh is adequate. Actress Samantha sets the floor on fire with her sizzling hot number. The rest of the cast has delivered what was asked of them.

On the technical front, music director Devi Sri Prasad’s tracks are not inspiring except for the peppy number. He adds value with his background score which aids in setting up the mass moments. Cinematographer Miroslaw Kuba Brozek have covered the drama from best angles possible. His camera work is one of the biggest strengths of the film. Editors Karthika Srinivas and Ruben have emphasized the work of their colleague with their sharp cuts.

On the whole, the first installment of Pushpa fails to lay forth a strong foundation to get us to anticipate for its second installment.

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