Pushpa: The Rise Review - Allu Arjun's charm can barely hold this dull and bloated movie together
Pushpa : The Rise follows the story of a smuggler named Pushparaj and his rise to power. This plotline has been used by movies countless times and while some were good and others bad, Pushpa falls somewhere in between. It has decent performances, great production value, nice camera work, and a charming lead but what it does not have is a proper or well-written script. The movie takes so much time with bad subplots that it rushes through the main plot, and when it finally does get interesting you release it's just built up for the sequel.
By the time it ended, it felt like this was supposed to be one movie that somehow got cut into two parts. It is clear that the makers of this move saw KGF and its success and tried to do something similar. Now, KGF also had a similar plotline but it stuck to the script and never tried to be anything else, it was not trying to hype up its sequel and it succeeds in standing on its own.
For an action movie, Pushpa doesn't have a lot of action sequences. There are a few littered around its three-hour runtime but they felt dated and weren't that exciting, and that is never a good thing especially for a movie like Pushpa.
Rashmika Mandanna is in the movie and does the best with what is given to her which is to be the pretty girl in the village that rejects the hero's advances then falls for him after he rescues her from a bad guy. She and Allu Arjun have good chemistry but the movie keeps going back to that subplot and interrupting the main plot so many times that it ends up being irritating than sweet.
The movie also has a villain problem, do not get me wrong there are plenty of bad guys in the movie but none of them had any real impact felt till Fahadh Faasil shows up. But this is near the final act and while the rivalry between Pushpa and Bhanwar Singh is fun to watch and interesting, it only highlights the villain problem I mentioned before.
So Pushpa is an okay movie and you really don't need to watch it to understand the sequel. In fact, I have a feeling that the trailer for part two will fill you in with all the details anyway.