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Review : Gajaraju – A slow, elephant’s tale
Gajaraju Release date: 21 DEC 2012 Rating : 2.75/5
Director : Prabhu Solomon
Producer :Bellamkonda Suresh
Music Director : D. Imman
Starring : Vikram Prabhu,Lakshmi Menon

Legendary Tamil actor Sivaji Ganeshan’s grandson Vikram Prabhu is making his Telugu debut with the film ‘Gajaraju’. The movie is the dubbed version of the Tamil flick ‘Kumki’ and Bellamkonda Suresh has bought the film’s rights for Andhra Pradesh. The movie has Lakshmi Menon as the heroine and Prabhu Solomon is the director. The movie is releasing across Andhra Pradesh tomorrow but we have been to a special press show.

Story :

The story of Gajaraju is set in the Talakona forest in Chittoor. A small village called Devagiri is frequently attacked by a rogue elephant and to counter that, the village head Veeranna (Anantha Vaidyanathan) decides to bring in a Kumki elephant to tame the rogue tusker. Kumki elephants are used to tame and capture wild elephants. Boppanna (Vikram Prabhu) comes to know about this requirement and takes his elephant Manikyam to Devagiri to make a quick buck, despite knowing that Manikyam is not a Kumki elephant.

Boppanna comes across Singi (Lakshmi Menon) and falls in love with her. The village of Devagiri is very conservative and does not condone love marriages. As Boppanna grapples with this, Manikyam now comes face to face with the rogue elephant and things get out of hand.

What does Boppanna do in these circumstances? Will he be able to win his lady love? Will Manikyam rein in the rogue elephant? That needs to be seen.

Plus Points :

Vikram Prabhu shows good potential for a newcomer and he can go a long way if he grooms himself a little. Lakshmi Menon steals the show with a good performance that is natural and balanced.

Thambi Ramaiah’s comedy is a major asset for the movie and he comes in whenever things start getting a little slow. Aravind Vaidyanathan has also done a good job.

The film has beautiful visuals and the beauty of the forest is laid before you in all its glory. The waterfall in the forest has been shot majestically. The songs ‘Ayyayyo Anandame’ and ‘Kanne Sogasulu’ have been shot richly. The basic plot of the movie is fresh and such themes have not been explored too often in our films.

Minus Points :

As is the case with all Tamil dubbed films, this movie too suffers from excessive Tamil nativity. The climax, the starkly real scenes and some of the costumes will not appeal to our people here.

The story of the movie is revealed in the first 45 minutes itself and as a result, the rest of the movie becomes extremely predictable. The romance between Vikram Prabhu and Lakshmi is not very effective. Even the key scenes in the romantic track fail to strike an emotional chord with viewers

Because of Animal Welfare measures, the final fight sequence between the rogue elephant and Manikyam had to be recreated with CGI. The quality of visual effects in these key moments is very bad and spoils the experience for viewers

Some characters in the movie have no proper justification. Eg – forest range officer’s character.

Technical Aspects :

Sukumar’s cinematography is a major highlight for this movie and he has shot the forest scenes very beautifully. Imman’s music is good but background score is just average. Editing could have been better.

The director fails to sustain the interest of viewers till the climax. He has done a good job with a few episodes, but on the whole, his work is nothing spectacular.

Verdict :

Very few Telugu movie lovers will find this movie appealing. As is the case with most Tamil dubbed films, excessive Tamil nativity and a tragic ending spoil the experience for viewers. Brilliant cinematography and a few good songs are plus points for the movie. If you want to see something different this weekend and don’t mind a slow pace with next to no entertainment, you may try this flick. Rating – 2.75 /5

Reviewed by Ashok Reddy M
(translated by Emmess)


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