Taj Mahal : Is ‘Love’ a waste of time?
Release date: 20th March 2010
123Telugu.com Rating: 2.75/5
Director : Arun Singaraju
Music Director : Abhiman Rai
Producer : Shivaji
Starring : Shivaji, Shruthi, Kota Srinivas Rao, Brahmanandam, Nasser, M.S. Narayana, Venu Madhav, Sangitha, Kalpana and Pragathi and Others...
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Sivaji’s latest film ‘Tajmahal’ is also his first as a producer. ‘Tajmahal’ is also a debut venture for Arun Singaraju who directed this film. Shruti made her debut as a heroine in this film. ‘Tajmahal’ has an unlikely storyline especially considering that most of the love stories made are pro-love. It narrates the story of an engineering student who’s madly in love with a girl and how does it impact his life.

What is it about : Sivaji stars as Ajay, a engineering student who’s madly in love with Shruti (Shruti). He has been vying for her attention for almost 3 years with little success. One fine day, he asks her out for a coffee and the two strike a good friendship. When everything seems to be going in Ajay’s favour, he doesn’t realize that Shruti is in love with another guy (Kumar). Interestingly, Kumar is Shruti’s phone friend and she has never met him or seen him. What happens when Ajay proposes to Shruti? Does she accept him or does her love for Kumar pull her back? That forms the rest of the story.

What is Good: ‘Tajmahal’ has an interesting premise where the girl doesn’t know whom she has fallen in love with. This aspect of her characterization runs through the entire length of the film and it has been effectively handled by Arun Singaraju. The first half of the film has nothing much to boast about; however it lays the foundation for the actual story which is unraveled in the second half of the film. The second half of the film turns into a heartbreaking story with overwhelming gloom. It is here that the cast of the film excel and do justice to their roles. Sivaji fits into the shoes of his role with great ease. Although his styling is poor in the first half, he’s got his expressions right. Raghu babu, Kota Srinivas Rao and Nazar perform well in their roles. The biggest surprise is Shruti, who makes a confident debut. She’s beautiful onscreen and delivers a credible performance throughout the film. The only drawback was her over dependence on Kumar to make all the key decisions!

What's Bad: Sivaji’s characterization in first half seems passable but the moment the actual twist in the film is revealed, it throws up lot of questions. The basic problem is his approach to make Shruti fall in love with him. Had he thought of a more subtle way to convey his true feelings, the film probably would have been different. He always approaches Shruti as a stranger and tries to build a relationship from scratch, while Shruti is madly in love with a stranger. In the second half, Ajay’s eagerness to do anything for his love lacks conviction. He knows that there’s no hope left in his love story, yet he carries on to do his duty as a lover! Cameo appearances by Venu Madhav, Brahmanandam are good to an extent but they are out of sync with the storyline. The same goes for Aarti Agarwal who makes her cameo in ‘Mayadaari Maisammo’ song.

Technical Department: Most of the film has been shot in Vizag and some of the songs in Bangkok. The visuals of the sea in couple of songs are brilliantly canned and they compliment the character’s sadness. Editing is alright although it could have been better in first half. The rerecording could have been much better as there were quite a few instances which didn’t have a proper lip sync. Abhiyan’s music is good and it touches the right chord. Arun Singaraju also handled the screenplay apart from directing the film. ‘Tajmahal’ is a good debut film as a director for Arun. If he had taken more care while unraveling the story in first half and Sivaji’s characterisation, it would have been a much better film.

Bottom Line: For a long time, films have been used as a medium to convey a message to the audience. While some film makers chose to let the audience interpret the film, the other have managed to forcibly convey a message loud and clear. So then, what is the message conveyed in ‘Tajmahal’? Contrary to what ‘Tajmahal’ stands for, the film drives home the point that love should take a backseat, when you have to choose between love and parents. It tells you that love is just a part of our lives and we shouldn’t neglect our studies, career. Will this voice be heard amidst scores of films which profess ‘Love is Life’? Well, that remains to be seen. And I am not trying to convey a message, the film is open for your interpretation!

P.S: I still don’t understand why Shruti never used hundreds of Social Networking sites like Facebook, Twitter to find out who Kumar is! She had his phone number and the film itself is set in 2009!!! She should have, don’t you think?

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123Telugu.com Rating : 2.75 /5

Legend:    5 - Flawless
                4 - Must Watch
                3 - One Time Watch
                2 - Wait for the DVD
                1 - Stay Away
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