Express Raja is the second film from the director Merpalaka Gandhi who had a runway hit with Venkatadri Express. The first film was witty and light-hearted throughout. It was fresh in way as it was different from the standard Kona Venkat – Gopi Mohan template comedies. This time the cast has Sharwanand playing the protagonist. Coincidentally, the first one starred the Prasthanam’s younger son and now has the elder one. The trailers of Express Raja promise an entertainer like Venkatadri Express. Let’s see how the ‘express’ saga this time turns out to be.
The writers have chosen an unusual plot where the search is for a diamond that has been tied to a dog. Raja (Sharwanand) moves from Vishakapatnam to Hyderabad in search of a job. Raja is a dog hater and to such an extent that he gets rid of all the dogs in his colony by giving them to the municipality. In this process, he ends up giving the dog of his new found love Amulya (Surabhi) also. The troubles begin there and what situations it leads to is the rest of the movie about.
The first of the film is very entertaining with non-stop laughter. The second half drops down at many places though. Towards the climax the movie again gains some strength and ends on a satisfactory note. There is dictionary comedy sequence in the film and it looks weird.
Sharwanand was good as usual. He appeared a bit uncomfortable in the fight sequences as we haven’t seen him in much of heroic films. But, his varied expressions made some funny moments work. Surabhi was ok in the female lead role but nothing extra ordinary too. Their scenes were fine. The best part of the film no doubt is Saptagiri. He gets a full length role and did not leave any stone unturned with his impeccable comic timing when given the right lines. He knows that he should strike the iron when it’s hot. Prabhas Sreenu also gets to share some funny moments. The cast composes of many actors out of which Urvashi in a negative character was noticeable. Chatrapati’s Supreet also has a role in the film. The movie also has other actors who contributed to the laughs like Brahmaji, Dhanraj , Shakalaka Shankar and many more.
The cinematography of the film is by Karthik Ghattamaneni who handled films like Prema Ishq Kadal and Karthikeya. You can see his mark in this film too. Music by Praveen Lakkaraju however is a letdown for the film. There is not one track that’s appealing. One has to patiently sit through these tracks disturbs the flow which the viewer started enjoying. Another drawback is the wafer-thin story line.
All in all, a light-hearted crispy entertainer for this season which might deserve a watch if you are looking a popcorn entertainer.