Raja The Great movie cast: Ravi Teja, Mehreen Pirzada, Vivan Bhatena
Raja The Great movie director: Anil Ravipudi
Raja The Great movie rating: 2 stars
Tollywood star Ravi Teja is introduced as ‘Mass Maharaja’ a reputation that he earned due to the choice of his movies. Calling him ‘Maharaja of mindless entertainer’ would be more befitting as he has made a career with such films. You don’t go to watch a Ravi Teja film, which is directed by Anil Ravipudi, expecting a Nayakan. It’s only fair that we judge his latest offering, Raja The Great, by the standards of mindless entertainers.
If you are willing to turn off your ability to think rationally for few hours, you can hope to be mildly entertained. You know that the logic has gone out the window, the moment you see Devaraj (Vivan Bhatena), kill a bunch of witnesses in front of a fully armed team of cops. You know there is no place for rationality when Devaraj slaughters a bunch of high-ranking cops with impunity in the next scene. And you know you can’t expect continuity when the top police officials don’t take action on Devaraj and move on without breaking a sweat about him killing their colleagues. That’s when you remind yourself it is a Ravi Teja film, which is directed by Anil Ravipudi and it will help you in keeping your sanity intact in a highly nonsensical situation you find yourself in while watching this film.
But, you have to give it to director-writer Anil Ravipudi for reasserting his faith in such movies time and again and upping the game with every film. Who else can play the protagonist with an oversized ego created by Anil better than Ravi Teja? The actor thrives in such roles.
In Raja The Great, Lucky’s (Mehreen Pirzada) life is in danger. She is being pursued by Devaraj as she was also responsible for the death of his brother in a police encounter carried out by the honest police officer, played by Prakash Raj. Next scene, Lucky is in Devraj’s clutches, and Prakash and his team sacrifice their lives saving Lucky’s. As pointed out earlier, the government or the police department take no offence to their killings. Never mind.
Lucky is now in Darjeeling under police protection provided by the Inspector General, played by Sampath Raj, who is also a friend of her slain father. Raja, (did I mention that he is blind?), bribes IG’s wife with sweets and joins the secret operation to protect Lucky. So much for honesty.
Raja stands in the way of Devraj’s lust for Lucky’s blood. I imagine the one liner of this film reads this: a hero protects his heroine from the villain. We have seen hundreds of such stories in the last 100 years of Indian cinema. So, Anil makes it a bit more challenging for the hero by making his character blind with uncanny skills.
It is clear that Anil has drawn his inspiration for Raja from Marvel Comics character Daredevil. The blind Ninja gives Devraj a hard time coupled with his over-the-top antics even as he makes Lucky fall in love with him.
In a scene, Lucky tells Raja that she has no emotions and she is inexpressive, which is so true in the context of Mehreen’s acting ability. She seems incapable of doing anything more than a poker face irrespective of the situation. Her father is getting butchered. Poker face. Her relatives disown her. Poker face. Her life is at imminent risk. Poker face.
It is a masala movie with ‘Mass Maharaja’ at the helm, so other characters in the film just get a passing reference with no real contribution to make.
But, what bugged me about this film, is the director’s thinking to make light of domestic abuse. Four brothers hit their wives and children just for amusement. And to keep the women audience happy, Anil makes a role reversal, letting wives bash their husband. I wish I could tell him that domestic violence, regardless of which gender perpetrates it, is simply not okay.
One last suggestion, if you view Raja The Great through the prism of a spoof movie, you may find it very hilarious.