Saroja- Movie Review

September 7, 2008

Venkat Prabhu opens his second innings with Saroja produced by Amma Creations after a successful ‘Chennai 6000028′ first innings. Saroja is a loose remake of the 1993 Hollywood film ‘Judgment night‘. Though this movie is a remake, Venkat Prabhu has amiably intertwined his sub-plots into the original main-plot, indianising it, suitable for our audience. The movie is at the danger of being condemned by those who lay emphasis on aesthetic components as ‘Plagiarism’. Anyhow Saroja emerges out well as a quality entertainer with ‘Navarasas’.

The movie projects open ‘the day before yesterday’ of the actual action day, where we see a tanker lorry taking off from Intana, Orissa. Immediately after this, we are pushed on to the ‘yesterday’ of the actual action day in which we find Saroja{Vega} the only daughter of Vishwanathan{Prakashraj} a business honcho leaving for school. And finally we are carried on to the actual day where a team of friends: Jagapathibabu{SPBCharan}, Rambabu{Vaibhav Reddy}, Ganesh{PremG} and Ajay{Shiva} consisting of two brothers, start for Hyderabad to see a Cricket match. A summary of what happened next would be- the container is knocked down during the second day of its journey, Saroja gets kidnapped and our heroes take a strange route to Hyderabad. The turned down container is the turning point of the plot which forces heroes to meet the villains. Though the rest may appear like a run of the mill story, Venkat Prabhu has taken pains to make it different to sustain the interest of the audience till the very end.

A ‘Psycho(1960)’ kind of Highway plot, Realistic action, subtle humor, little pathos and a bit of romance and glamour are the elements which constitute this commercial conglomerate. Screenplay and slapstick humor seem to be the biggest forte of Venkat Prabhu. His ability to produce laughter even at the time of disaster prevents this movie from falling short of its target. This movie mercilessly mocks at Teleserials, commercial heroes and kiddish youth. Undoubtedly Satirizing is one of the trademarks of a Venkat Prabhu film.Though most of the scenes in the first half are directly lifted from Judgment Night, Venkat Prabhu’s movie making skills become evident in the way in which he develops the ‘Saroja girl’ plot. The whole cast wonderfully performs what their master has asked them to do. Proper interlinking, good foregrounding and an attractive falling action make this screenplay even better. PremG’s comedy gives the impression of being effective only in his brother’s movies. If Venkat Prabhu is going to be more original in his future projects, he’ll be in the list of top-notch Tamil Directors.

A few in the audience may find it difficult to make out the plot interlinking at least during the exposition. Secondly, the Policemen appearing and living like thugs look a bit odd, though the Director tries to tie the loose strings at the end. Also too many guest appearances slog the progress and diverts the main focus of the film. A very few scenes fail to go in tune with the final effect.

Yuvan Shankar Raja’s background score for this film is another breakthrough in film scores after Vettaiyadu Vilaiyadu. As an example we could quote the tune which swims through when Rambabu meets Pooja{Kaajal Agarwal} in a romantic flashback. Yuvan’s House and club tunes along with rap and pop here and there when the movie moves in darkness, make this movie a musical treat. Sakthi Saravanan’s camera has created the perfect screen tone for this movie. But during the rooftop scenes and chasing scenes we feel that the camera is a bit shaky. Praveen KL/Srikanth NB’s editing is another important aspect to be commended. Venkat Prabhu and his crew deserve a cheerful applause for what they have done. Good review by Pallava . . .

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