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"Gajendra" ... action-packed fare.

VIJAYAKANTH VIRTUALLY announces his entry into active politics in Evergreen Movie International's "Gajendra" (U/A). At every point Liyakath Ali's dialogue states obviously or subtly, that the actor has finally made up his mind. But the matter gets repetitive and contrived in the climax — it could have been a little underplayed. Otherwise this action-packed fare, a remake of "Simhadri," (Telugu) and directed by Suresh Krissna maintains the momentum till the end except for the brief lull in the first half.

Just like in "Nayakan," the hero would even kill a person if it would help many. The police force has a very docile role to play as Gajendra takes law into his hands and goes on a murderous spree to annihilate the bad men, with his axe like weapon. The story takes place in Hyderabad where he strikes terror in the villains, and in Rameswaram, where he is the humble Man Friday of Azhagarsami (Sarat Babu), very much like what Sivaji Ganesan was to S. V. Ranga Rao in "Padikkatha Maedhai." It is 20 years since the eldest daughter in the household Lakshmi (Seetha) left her dad's home, to marry her lover and live in Hyderabad. And when Gajendra is just about to bring about a union between the two, calamity strikes as an underworld kingpin kills Seetha at a shopping mall. Fate takes away the life of her husband (Rajiv) also and their shocked daughter, Indhu (Laya) loses her mental balance. Gajendra retaliates and the entire city that has been terrorised by the villain's atrocities looks upon him as a saviour. Laya has a more solid role to play when compared to new-find Flora, who hardly has anything to do. But it is a relief that both don't sing and dance with the hero. Suresh Krissna deserves to be complimented for it as the absence of mindless duets helps a great deal in keeping the pace fast and interesting. M. S. Bhaskar as the Telugu speaking patient at the hospital has you in splits. The actor has the uncanny knack of mimicking dialects perfectly. Ramesh Kanna adds to the fun.

The loudness in Deva's re-recording is a sore point — a complete contrast to the melody in the short and crisp title music. Pratap's top angle shots are enjoyable but they soon become too much of a good thing.

"Gajendra" is another Vijayakanth product that deifies the hero. Probable or improbable, the fan out there is thrilled when his hero brutally bashes up the villains. And that's the psychology that makers cash in on.


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