Saaho Movie Review: Lavish filmmaking can’t rescue convoluted writing

I think it’s safe to conclude from Saaho that director Sujeeth is a big fan of twists. You may have seen films with one or two major twists, but this is a film whose every major character seems to have one. Perhaps because other characters have at least one twist, Prabhas’ Saaho, the hero, gets two. As it is, it is a bit of a struggle to get your head around who’s hurting who and for what reason exactly, but just as you somehow pieces motives together, uh oh, here comes another twist. Mandira Bedi plays a character called Kalki—and yes, she has a twist too, but we digress. Kalki, when learning of a character’s secret identity, is short of breath and dramatically falls down—somewhat like Sivaji Ganesan does in Padayappa. It’s a reaction that pretty much summarises my response to this film.

Saaho is a film that tries to be clever but isn’t willing to put in the grunt work necessary to make twists work. Like its protagonist, Saaho, whose fingers twitch in anticipation of a fight, this film is overzealous about showing off its budget, and what better way than through action sequences—by a Hollywood stunt choreographer—never mind their purpose. The film’s many sequences feel like echoes of Hollywood films you have seen over the years. An opening robbery scene in which a mastermind uses unwitting accomplices reminds you of The Dark Knight. As bullets rain around them, Amritha (Shraddha Kapoor) and Saaho writhing in romantic pleasure reminds you of Mr. and Mrs. Smith, a film I’d rather not be reminded of. The extended chase sequence on an open stretch that involves some crazy vehicles running into and over each other, is, I suppose, Mad Max: Fury Road. At one point, I even got reminded of Superman, when Saaho realises his winged jet suit isn’t working, but nevertheless aligns himself in mid-air before coolly gliding down like some sort of mutated avian human. For a film that betrays Hollywood aspirations, it is regional—and not in a good way at all—in how it sneaks in underwhelming songs. One song, Baby Won’t You Tell Me—that seems straight out of a cheesy boyband album—seems carefully placed so as to incite maximum frustration. (Continued under the below link)

For the remainder of this interview (and there’s a lot more left, I assure you), please visit https://www.cinemaexpress.com/reviews/telugu/2019/aug/30/saaho-movie-review-prabhas-shraddha-kapoor-sujeeth-lavish-filmmaking-cant-rescue-convoluted-writin-13978.html

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