- Written by Puri Jagannadh
- Directed by Puri Jagannadh
a popular dialog from Pokiri
Pokiri - Movie Highlights
Even though we have so many mass films (in the name of entertainment) from every industry in India, not all have the charisma to create history. It happened to the Telugu film Industry and such films happen once in a generation. 'Pokiri' (Rogue) not only released to positive critical feedback and became the highest-grossing Telugu film of its time but also rewrote the 75 year old history of Telugu Cinema in terms of Box-Office success and popularity. Its success elevated Mahesh Babu to super-stardom and brought recognition to Puri Jagannadh as a writer and director. The film was remade into Tamil as 'Pokkiri' in 2007 by Prabhu Deva with Vijay. Prabhu Deva again remade the film in Hindi as 'Wanted' with Salman Khan. Also the film was remade in Kannada as 'Porki' by M V Sridhar with Darshan. Although the Tamil and Hindi versions were super success but none can match the original in terms of its attitude and presentation. The plot of the movie is copied from Johhny Depp-Al Pacino starrer 'Donnie Brasco' (also a Malayalam film 'Evar' starring Jayaram and Biju Menon has the same theme). Today when we look back, Telugu Cinema's history can never be complete with out this pure entertaining, commercial, action flick.
Hyderabad is being controlled by two mafia gangs, one is Ali Bhai (Prakash Raj), who is based at Dubai and operates through his associates and another by Narayan who is at loggerheads with Ali Bhai's gang to gain supremacy. Pandu (Mahesh Babu) is a vagabond and ruffian working for gangs for money. Along with his few friends he first joins Narayan but later joins Ali Bhai's associates all for the money. He falls in love with Sruthi (Ileana), an aerobic teacher who lives with her single mother and a kid brother. Her neighbor Brahmi (Brahmanand) keeps pestering her for marriage although there is lot of age difference between them, which leads to comical situations now and then. A corrupt police officer, Pasupathy (Ashish Vidyarthi), who works for Ali Bhai, is attracted to Shruti and keeps harassing her. When Pandu saves her from his clutches, she falls in love with Pandu but is unaware of his activities. Their closeness enrages Pasupathy and he keeps track on Pandu. Working for Ali Bhai, Pandu helps the gang in killing Narayan's henchman. Sruthi who wants a courageous man to take care of her and her family proposes to Pandu but at the same time Narayan's men attack them. He kills many of them ruthlessly in front of her and reveals her his true identity of being a hit-man and on a wrong path and asks her to reconsider her proposal. Shruthi is shocked to learn that Pandu is a gangster with no qualms about killing people. In the meantime Ali Bhai visits Hyderabad on some big plans and kills Narayan. He meets Pandu and others and chalks out plan to kill a minister to which Pandu objects because it would also kill several innocent children which enrages Ali Bhai. Exactly at the same time a police raid happens and Ali Bhai is arrested. Ali Bhai's henchmen retaliate and kidnap the daughter of Police Commissioner, Sayyad Qadri Pasha (Sayaji Shinde). They film her lewd video using which they threaten Pasha to release Ali Bhai or they will release the video to the media and the internet. When Ali Bhai returns to his den he comes to know through Pasha's daughter that an undercover officer has infiltrated their gang and has been tracking them for long. How Ali Bhai finds out the true identity of the infiltrator and whether Pandu is able to contain Ali Bhai revealing his true identity forms the crux of the story?
When a movie becomes hit, everything about it is appealing. Well, this is the typical Telugu movie for mass audience but can be liked by others also. The emphasis is on pacy narration and the approach has worked. Puri Jagannadh has got it right as a scriptwriter and he surely knows the pulse of the audience. Its story is peppered with fast-paced action, romance, comedy etc all put into one and is designed as a mass masala extravaganza which is the requirement of general audiences who flock to theatres and celebrate the same. It has all the necessary ingredients that go into making a commercial pot boiler. Superb direction lends the necessary touch culminating into a fine commercial film. The slick editing and superbly choreographed action scenes are major highlights of the film. Fight master Vijayan has done a fantastic job. Action scenes in a local train and the shoot-out in the ruins along with the climax sequence will make the adrenaline rush. Mani Sharma's music is another plus. With so much going on in the story, the songs are fitted well into the narrative which adds commercial value to the film. Title track ('Jagadame'), 'Devuda', 'Gala Gala' and 'Dola Dola' songs are catchy and peppy. Background score is impressive and elevates the mood of the film. Apart from action, the romance gets equal weight, and the dance sequences are fantastic. The movie's most important factor is its tempo which does not sag through the entire length of the movie, but is definitely not without flaws. While comedy track of Brahmanandam-Ali-Venu Madhav is jarring and off track, too much action and glamour work against the drama of the film. The film's pace is upped a little once Prakashraj makes an appearance. The big twist is quite predictable but manages to be thrilling because of the way it is presented.
When a film is conceived, the right casting plays a very important role in the success of the film. And in Mahesh Babu, Puri has got an able ally. His strong screen presence works to the advantage of the film. His cool attitude and characterization makes 'Being Bad' has never been better. He looks fresh, young and full of energy. Ileana looking gorgeous is another attraction for the movie. Her exchanges with Mahesh and the natural chemistry that flow between them is a highlight of the movie. Prakash Raj as Ali is the ultimate villain in the film. His mannerisms and body language would surely win applause. By now he has perfected the combination of villainy and humor which he tried in every other film thereafter. Shayaji Shinde, as an honest cop, is a standout and steals the show in certain intense moments. Ashish Vidyarthi does a remarkably effective job of coming across as a genuine creep. Nasser is convincing and solid as usual.
If you like some racy action and fun, then this great action gangster flick would be your kind of film.