Raju Gari Gadhi 2 cast: Nagarjuna Akkineni, Samantha Akkineni, Seerat Kapoor
Raju Gari Gadhi 2 Director: Ohmkar
Raju Gari Gadhi 2 rating: 2.5 stars
Raju Gari Gadhi 2 is a remake of Malayalam film Pretham. Director Ohmkar has remained very faithful to the original Malayalam film, except for drastic dramatisation of some scenes. And that’s understandable as the director has to keep Nagarjuna Akkineni’s stardom in mind while writing scenes for the Telugu version as subtlety may not be in line with the actor’s mass onscreen appeal.
Pretham was an okayish film, which was salvaged by lead actor Jayasurya’s performance, who plays the role of a mentalist. Remaining faithful to the original, Raju Gari Gadhi 2 also comes up short on impressing the audience.
Compared to the Malayalam film, the remake has many flaws. Importantly, Ohmkar has got the entire concept of “the mentalist” wrong.
Let’s consider Manichitrathazhu a bit before we further discuss Raju Gari Gadhi 2. The 1996 super hit Malayalam film revolves around a room of historical importance that has been haunted by an ancient ghost with bloodlust. The opening of that room sets the vengeful ghost free and possess an innocent and vulnerable girl. A brilliant psychiatrist, brilliantly played by Mohanlal, investigates, gathers knowledge and chalks out a plan to trick the ancient ghost into believing that it got its revenge so that it can go to the light. That psychiatrist displays some abilities such as mind reading. When it was remade in other south Indian languages years later, the ability of this iconic character was overplayed.
Raju Gari Gadhi 2 suffers from the same fate. Ohmkar’s Rudra (Nagarjuna), introduced as a world-renowned mentalist, boasts of a skill set of a psychic. While mentalists rely on their parlour tricks, observation and deduction skills and mental tenacity to make clever guesses, psychics are the ones that claim to have special powers that include speaking with spirits.
A simple online search would have helped Ohmkar to understand the basic difference between psychic and mentalist. Instead, he has developed Rudar’s character based on alternative realities produced by his right hemisphere brain.
When psychic weds mentalist, Rudra emerges. He can tell a lie by looking at the reactions of others. At the same time, he can visualise what played out at a crime scene by touching the people involved in it. Jayasurya’s character in Malayalam did not have this ability, which is no less than supernatural.
Rudra is supposed to be the observational expert that catches a deception with the minute facial reaction that gives away the truth. But, Ohmkar has made his actors overdo their reactions to certain situations making it very obvious. Even a 10-year-old child can catch Ohmkar’s wrongdoers. No need for a mentalist.
Rudra is called in to probe paranormal activities in a room at a resort jointly owned by three friends, played by Ashwin Babu, Vennela Kishore and Praveen. The room is haunted by ghost Amrutha, played by Samantha Ruth Prabhu, who killed herself after falling prey to jealousy and voyeurism. What happened to her and who did it? It’s a piece of cake for Rudra to find out, given his skills.
The director had a very good opportunity to make a strong statement against online voyeurism but he has just used it only to create a hopeless situation for the victim to live.
R Diwakaran’s cinematography and composer S Thaman’s background score helps the audience to be engaged in underwhelming scenes. The horror and comedy in this film work in parts that flow towards a less impactful climax that has been dramatized with nature-defying graphics and morale-boosting dialogues.