In real life, media houses are filled with youngsters armed with graduation and masters programmes in journalism. Some make the move after studying economics and political science. Then, there are engineers who’ve turned writers and television reporters. But Puri Jagannadh would like us to believe that a mechanic can find his way into television studios, change the way programmes are conducted and take politicians to task more by brawn than brain.
Rambabu (Pawan Kalyan) is a mechanic whose anger reminds us of heroes of the 80s — the age where angry young men who rose against social injustice dominated the screens. Day-to-day reports in the media of a husband beating up his wife or the elderly at the receiving end infuriate him and Rambabu is off to set things right. One night he puts the brakes on a college feud masterminded by Jawahar Naidu (Kota Srinivasa Rao) and his daring act is telecast on television channels. Ganga (Tamannah), a camera person for a television channel, convinces her boss to hire him as a reporter.
The angry young man is a law unto himself. While it’s fun to watch Rambabu teach a lesson to programming heads Ali and later Brahmanandam who distort facts to manufacture sensational news items, it doesn’t augur well to watch a reporter beating up people with an iron rod in the name of reporting and crusading against injustice.
Meanwhile, Jawahar Naidu’s son Rana (Prakash Raj) murders a veteran journalist, is tracked down by Rambabu and dragged to the police station in full public view. Jawahar and Rana want to eliminate Rambabu and at the same time roll a few dices in the political gamble to topple the existing chief minister Chandrasekhara Reddy (Nasser).
Socio-political dramas are not new. Media playing a role in it isn’t new either. What will make it new is a screenplay with enough twists and turns that reflect the filmmaker’s understanding of politics and the media. The film provides some of it in its key scenes in the second half through Prakash Raj’s game plan and Pawan Kalyan taking him by surprise in the climax. On a few occasions like these, Puri Jagannadh shows he is in control. But most portions of the film ride purely on Pawan’s star power. There’s no room for subtle emotions in a film like this and most actors deliver their dialogues on a high-pitch. Tamannah, despite her somewhat exaggerated expressions, manages not to get overshadowed by Pawan Kalyan. It’s all fine to show her as a camera-wielding tomboy who enjoys an occasional drink, but in typical Telugu film style she’s made fun of for her lack of ‘femininity’. We’ve seen Prakash Raj in similar roles and the sense of déjà vu is hard to ignore.
If the Anthakshari sequences worked like magic for Gabbar Singh, a mock news reading session between Pawan Kalyan and Brahmanandam brings the house down here. Watch the duo make tongue-in-cheek references to Nagarjuna, Prakash Raj and Pawan Kalyan himself.
It’s a film made for Pawan Kalyan fans for whom reviews and analysis don’t matter. As for others, the latter half of the film is gripping if you can sit through the chequered first half.
Cast: Pawan Kalyan, Tamannah, Prakash Raj and Kota Srinivasa Rao.
Direction: Puri Jagannadh
Music: Mani Sharma
Plot: A mechanic turns television journalist and attempts to clean up politics.
Bottom line: An improbable, hero-centric mass masala.