Review Movies

Bluff Master: Good writing in an outdated story

Satya Dev and Nanditha Swetha

Satya Dev and Nanditha Swetha  

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‘Bluff Master’ rides on Satyadev’s energetic performance

Bluff Master is a remake of Sathuranga Vettai (Tamil) and refers to a money game. The story is outdated, with the original having released four and a half years ago. It revolves around a con man who manipulates people so easily that he has made it an art and is completely remorseless. He has so many ideas up his sleeve that even if he is caught by the cops, he is confident of wriggling out of the situation by dangling a carrot in front of them. It is amusing to see the hero sell stories and give gyaan, along with justification for cheating and stealing. Predictably, he has a sentimental story about why and how he developed greed for money and a strong belief that money makes the world go round. A naive woman (Nanditha Swetha) falls for this narration and also for him. “Battalannaka masipovatam manushulannaka mosapovatam chala common,” he says, convinced that what he does is not a crime at all.

Bluff Master
  • Direction: Gopi Ganesh
  • Cast: Satyadev, Nanditha Swetha
  • Music: Sunil Kashyap

The writer presents too many episodes of cheating to showcase the protagonist’s wit and intelligence; at times these hoodwinking episodes get on our nerves. The movie is structured well — the rise of the bluff master, his great fall and finally his redemption. Just like the rise, his fall too is steep. The film becomes an easy watch because it doesn’t get too melodramatic and the climax also can’t get better than what is offered to the viewer.

But on the flip side, the film is too predictable and the writers make absolutely no effort to give it a contemporary feel. We have seen such scams in many movies and none of them look relevant today. For instance, these days no villager is so dumb to purchase acres of land on the moon and then drag the bluff master to court for justice. If that scene is aimed at drawing laughs, then imagine how hapless the situation is. Some cerebral effort in including latest online/cyber crime episodes could have sparked some interest.

Bluff Master’s writing is not bad and is a straight translation from the Tamil film. A few scenes from the original have been deleted and this works well for this Telugu version. While Nataraj is laidback in the Tamil original, here Satyadev’s body language is active. Though the film attempts to glorify negativity, there comes a character and a climax which reminds us of a similar situation in Aatagadhara Siva.

The change in ideology, the absolving of sin and holding a newborn baby is a perfect visual storytelling of beginning a life afresh. There is a dialogue that goes “you don’t need to cheat people, just provoke the greed in them and they will make your job easy”. Some of the dialogues ring true but the makers should have just dubbed the film and released it immediately, maybe it would have worked. Technically too, Bluff Master doesn’t impress. Satyadev’s energy and the background score try to elevate the story.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2020 5:39:13 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/bluff-master-review-good-writing-in-an-outdated-story/article25850256.ece

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