A review , year old...

Well , Probably it is plain inconsiderate to pen down a review for a movie 1 yr exactly after its release , but i believe and i do believe it very strongly that i have to type down (I know , m no Critical Critic !) on wht i feel over it as i just finished watching it for the fourth-time-ever , and this time , a lil more meticulously than ever.

It was a dry sunday morning and having had no other exciting stuff on hand to brag-on after the brunch , switched on the TV to spot the 'Leader' movie being Telecast on Maa Channel.Oops, the other alternatives being those dubbed Nagarjuna movies on Sony and a Yuk-Horror on Star Movies !!..(It was just far beyond tolerance to watch it and i had to switch on to some pleasant movie to keep rejecting some of the scenes i was managing to watch for about five minutes then , And 'Leader' looked like a savior !)

Leader is a powerful, inspiring movie, but more importantly, it tries to be an honest, brave movie. And this, its greatest strength, is also its downfall. What appealed to me the most about the movie is also what has stopped it from being accepted wholeheartedly – its brave but failed attempt to show that changing the system is not a cake-walk, and that to do it, one has to become part of the system and be willing to play the rules of the very game you are trying to change.

The movie struggles to find the right balance between being a fantasy about a single man changing the political landscape, and being an honest film which showcases how deeply corruption is embedded in the system, and how it is impossible for any one person to change it. Unfortunately, the movie is unable to fully embrace either line and go ahead with it, and ends up making compromises and becoming an in-between film, which, though it still makes for excellent cinema, leaves one with a vague sense of dissatisfaction.

For a movie about changing the system, the audience should be raging at the system as they walk out of the theater, all pumped up to go and change it. If it was more in the style of realistic cinema, one would be coming out of the theater with a sense of despair that things will never change. In Leader however, one is really unsure how to react.

I found the shades of grey in the protagonist Arjun (Rana Daggubati) quite fascinating. Here is a ‘hero’ who does not hesitate to bribe people to get what he wants, evoke his recently assassinated father’s memory to win people on his side, manipulate an innocent girl into falling in love with him for an ulterior motive. Of course, one is willing to forgive him for all of this because the ultimate goal is noble; but showing that Arjun was willing to play by the very rules he detests and wants to change is a very brave directorial decision in the land of the whitewashed hero of Telugu cinema.

Leader’s rather lengthy digression into romance in the second half is also problematic. My problem is not with the romance per se, but the kind of romance shown here seems out of place in a movie like this. I’m rather surprised at how badly the romance bits were handled, given the Shekar Kammula is a director whose previous movies were all about relationships. However, I was told after watching the movie that the second half actually had a portion about Telengana partition; with the actual Telangana agitation just before the movie was due to release, this portion had to be chopped off, and was replaced with the romance. I don’t know how far if it is true, but it does seem to make sense, given how the romance seemed completely cut off from the rest of the movie, though ostensibly its very much a part of the narrative.

That apart , Rana Daggubati is , without any doubt, the best looking thing I have seen on screen in a long, long time and undoubtedly has an incredible screen presence, and delivers an earnest performance too. No awkwardness of the first-timer here at all. Priya Anand and Richa too hav their performances delivered to a satisfactory level.The senior actors like Suhasini and Kota give great performances, but that is to be expected.Can't really attach any gilt to Mickey Meyer (his songs have a sense of sameness) but I really liked the ‘Maa Telugu Talli’ remix !! .

So all in all, I thought this was a great movie, a very brave effort and I was quite impressed by it.And watching gave a sense of completeness to my sunday afternoon , I was happy about !!


Post a Comment