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Promises and lies


GUN SLINGER: Mahesh Babu tries his best in a different role.

Nijam (TELUGU)

Cast: Mahesh Babu, Rakshita, Talluri Rameshwari

Dir: Teja

Mus: R.P. Patnaik

AVOIDING THE obvious and introducing elements of surprise at every stage has been director Teja's forte. Despite that extra effort to display his characteristic skills in Nijam, the result is not quite satisfactory. The film is unevenly paced and has excessive violence.

The plot deals with avenging the wrongs done to a family and society by punishing the unscrupulous and corrupt rogues in key positions. The film echoes the themes from Bharateeyudu. The very title Nijam (The Truth) is suggestive of the lack of it.

In his introductory note on screen, Teja explains that the song - Chandamama Raave that mothers sings to their children is a "bluff". "How would the child who grows up fed on these lies from infancy shape up, is the base for developing the story," the director says.

This is a wrong example that Teja has chosen. The popular song was in circulation even before man landed on the moon. And the song just raises a hope of man and moon meeting. It beckons the moon to come nearer to the child. For a child, the moon in the sky has always been a fantasy and not a lie. Teja evolves this concept into a three-and-half hour drama that lacks continuity and grip on the audience. The narration is uneven and constantly oscillates between possible and impossible events. The first half provides a perfect base with a touch of reality, the second, devoted to the solution, lacks imagination and stagnates.

For the romantic element Teja uses young Rakshita in an avoidable display of vulgarity. There is no comic relief apart from some provided by Shakeela.

Fire officer Venkatweswarlu (Ranganath) becomes a victim of a person named Devudu (Gopichand), the henchman of Mafia Don Sidda Reddi (Jayaprakash Reddy). Devudu sets the marker ablaze, after his boss makes advances at his girl friend Malli (Rasi). Venkateswarlu slaps Devudu, who is deeply insulted. He murders his boss and becomes the crime lord. He then creates a rift between Venkateswarlu and his wife Shanti (Talluri Rameswari).

This blows up into a major issue with a corrupt police SI (Brahmaji), who is hand-in-glove with Devudu, imprisoning Venkateswarlu. The SI demands money from Shanti for the release of her husband.

Ramu (Maheshbabu), Venkateswarlu and Shanti's son, on his return after his college, moves earth and heaven for justice. At every stage he is faced with corrupt people. The situation worsens and Venkateswarlu is murdered. Shanti now asks Ramu to take up arms and avenge his father's death. The second half of the film deals with how the mother and son go about the job.

To give a happy end to this crime story, Teja introduces an investigating police officer (Prakashraj), who issues a clean certificate to Ramu and his mother. Talluri Rameswari who plays Shanti, once again displays her rich talent as the mastermind. Maheshbabu also gets a different role. Ranganath and Brahmaji prove good assets. Rasi gives a fine performance. Music by R.P Patnaik, is very average. The different playback voices used for Mahesh do not suit him. The technical side is dominated by impressive fights, good photography and editing.

GUDIPOODI SRIHARI

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