In a scene from the film, Posani retorts Kasi majili kathalu cheppakundaa sarigga katha cheppu (Don’t beat around the bush, please come straight to the point). There he was talking to the hero but the remark came across like a hard-hitting one. That exactly makes an allusion to the dismal way of story-telling the director resorts to in Potugadu, remake of a Kannada film Govindaya Namaha.
It’s raining template-ish movies in tinsel town. Yes, that’s right. Potugadu also tries to touch glory with a template – four heroines, four songs, unwarranted comedy, forced emotions, intermittent fights, illogical subplots, back-and-forth narration and finally ‘All’s well that ends well’ climax. Amid this rigmarole it forgets to bring in the key element of entertainment.
Govinda (Manchu Manoj) is a careless guy and is never serious about life. In the opening scene, he is atop a hill to commit suicide. Before embracing death he wants to break loose and raise a toast. At the same spot Venkat, a software engineer (Posani) runs into him and starts narrating his sad tale of love. They go through banter and exchange their woeful stories.
Govinda is smitten by love and he loses it always due to his offhand behavior. He runs away from someone, and his slip of the tongue throws him far from someone. That’s not all. He also tries to flee with his boss’ ‘foreign’ fiancée, but at all times destiny takes him elsewhere. All these incidents don’t deter the fervor of Govinda to find true love. For the fourth time, he feels lucky and decides to set things right but he is kicked by the fate.
The movie starts with the story of Posani and after chewing 20 minutes, it moves with the hero and his story. Director Pavan Wadeyar loads it with many flash-in-the-pan moments that couldn’t make a taut screenplay. All through the film, the hero character is filled with negative shades, and the director uses couple of scenes and a fight as a vehicle for his character metamorphosis. That’s so sudden and unpalatable.
Manchu Manoj is in his usual self and tries to evoke chuckles. But his performance seems mechanical as he is doing and overdoing the same thing in every film. It’s time to hone his acting skills and try something new. The heroines – Simran and Anupriya – are like passing clouds, and only Sakshi’s Mumtaz creates some impact. Others grab some screen space and shell their quota of a song and dance number and leave. None of them are charming and they suffer from ‘missing lip sync’ syndrome.
Music by Achu Rajamani is impressive in parts but on the whole fails to create and impact. The behind-the-scenes footage during the end credits is classy. Had the makers shown the same enthusiasm in creating a decent film between the scenes, the movie would have been an entertaining one.
Please remember – When you plan a perfect interval block, please cut the scene at the right time and save the surprise for the second half. If you plug in some boring and illogical sub-plots (the one with Stacy that killed most of the second half), they dampen the main plot. Manchu Manoj – the rocking star, as he calls himself, couldn’t rock the film. Potugadu is a movie with many masala elements sans entertainment. That’s an apt way to describe the film.
Final cut: The most intriguing question in Potugadu is when Govinda and Venkat are at the verge of committing suicide, why Govinda reserves all the twists and justifications till the end as a writer narrating a story to a producer or a director. He could have revealed everything when the small stories got over. Pavan Wadeyar might have thought it will act as a ploy to hook the audience but never realized it may backfire.
My Rating: Expectation – 7/10; Reality – 4/10view less