Potugadu Review

Critic Rating: (2/5/5)

Amongst the many things that make cinema a personal experience, perhaps the most precious is silence. And the unhealthy state of loud cinema (literally and emotionally) we have been breeding for some time is a real threat to the future of an audience. Of late I’ve been watching audiences go restless for the slightest stretch of silence, I’m talking as less as 10 seconds. And some of the loudest contributions to this state of short attention spans have been Manoj’s sloppy eccentricities. His films, brimming with punch lines, chaotic edits, discontinuous character behaviour and head throbbing song and dance routines is as loud as it can get.

Plot

Remade from the Kannada film Potugaadu is the story of a stud and four of his affairs. Govind (Manoj) arrives at a steep cliff with some liquor and some water. He’s come there to kill himself. Also there for the same purpose is Venkat (Posani), a 35 year old software employee who wants kill himself to prove his love to the girl that ditched him. And they get to talking about each other’s reasons.

Govind talks in detail about his affairs, even describing other characters of his past. First there was Vaidehi – a Brahmin girl from his village, then it was Mumtaz in the city, one Stacy who is a boss’s fiancée and Mary the social worker. None of the affairs last long enough, the expositions about which come in a clutter in the final scene, kind of the film’s loudest moment (writing wise).

How Loud?

For almost the entire length of the second half the Mumtaz character listens to Govind’s life experiences from behind the wall of a ward room, she listens, listens, Govind walks out in the end to go suicide again, she hides her face, walks behind him, the Venkat character helps him make more revelations, Mumtaz is still listening, and after such audible self-reflections of any good Samaritan protagonist you know what happens.

Manoj

Manoj is kind of better than the other star kids in terms of diction and he’s quite the funny man, but, the way he over exploits these skills makes the watcher restless and exhausted. He needs to mellow down quite a few notches, bring in a little silence to his acts and work with a free flowing dialogue.

The film wasn’t a total bore, but, it was gaudy enough to kill any of its finer elements.

Reviewed by Rohit

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