Toss is a raw deal to the audience
Toss – Head or Tail? It brought Upendra, Kannada screen’s terrific mass hero in the main lead and soft hero Raja as mass hero (say character). Priyadharsini Ram (of Manodu fame) who took up the credits for story, screenplay, editing and direction depended much on editing and crisp shots rather than the content. He tried to join the threads of an inadequate role for Upendra and unsuitable role for Raja. The result is a raw deal to the movie buffs.
Neel alias Neelkanta (Upendra) and Agastya (Priyamani) are siblings. Purse alias Parasuram (Raja) is their buddy. The two police families get separated from each other as tragedy strikes in the form of death of their fathers through the manipulation of their jealous colleague Naik (Suman). Twenty years pass by. Neel, who turns a dreaded gangster, thinks that his father was killed by Parasuram’s father (who is also no more). So, he wants to kill Parasuram, his buddy, to take revenge. Interestingly, Parasuram, who works as Police informer, falls in love with Neel’s sister. After a couple of flashback episodes, Neel realizes his fallacy and wants to ring in the marriage of Parasuram and Agastya. When the duo (Neel and Parasu) are about to kill Naik (who is now Police commissioner), he commits suicide. But, in the climax fighting, Neel is shot in the chest. After death, Neel wishes good luck to Parasu and Agastya – as he travels amidst clouds dressed in his typical "Upendra" style.
Upendra, appearing before Telugu audience after a gap of five years, is terrific in his getup and impressive with his base voice. He appears in a song sequence much to the relief of his fans. However, there is a strong feel that his role is not fully developed. Raja did his job neatly. But, he gives an impression that he could do soft and romantic roles well. His mass mannerisms are okay to watch, but too dramatic. Priyamani is glamorous and beautiful all through her characterization. She did the role of a blind girl with ease. However, the return of vision at the climax is merely dramatic and expected. Kamna Jethmalani does some hip shakes and mediocre comedy. Ramya, who played the jodi to Upendra, looked impressive in her vamp-like role (but with positive shades).
Suman played the villain. Till the climax, his characterization is kept as a positive one. This is a plus point to the film. Krishna Bhagwan played the role of a corrupt police constable. Abhinayasree played his lady interest. Ali appears in some episodes with them. Venu Madhav is part of the comedy troupe. Harshavardhan (Crime News anchor) appears in the beginning of the film as a witness against Neelkanta (Upendra). Though it lasted for a few minutes, it’s a nice watch.
The story has some originality and novelty too. But, Priyadharshini Ram messed up things by knitting the screenplay too tightly and doing the editing like a censor board member. Several of the scenes give a feel that they are not complete. This creates confusion among the audience more often.Direction is good in parts. But for the acting of Upendra, most part of the film runs like a stage play. Ram amazingly succeeded in establishing the brother-sister sentiment. At the same time, the realization factor is not shown convincingly. Cinematography is average to good. Almost all the stunt sequences are lessons in boredom. A couple of songs are really nice. The song after the interval bang – with Raja and Priyamani – is superb with excellent photography. Comedy is made as a separate track. Everybody expects something with Venu Madhav, but it turns out to be a big disappointment. Same is the case with all the comedians. Though Ali is there, he evokes no laughter at all. Krishna Bhagwan’s role is just okay. . Music by Mani Sharma is a great asset to the film. Background score is good in parts. There are some catchy dialogues in the film. Oka Abaddani Nijam Ani Padi Sarlu Ante Adhi Nijam Kavacchu. Kaane, Oka Nijanni Vandha Saarulu Abaddam Anna Adi Abaddam Kaadhu. Kanapadevanni Nijalu Kaavu. Nijalanni Kanapadavu. (A lie told ten times as a truth can become a truth. But, a truth termed as a lie for hundred times can never be a lie. All that we see is not real. All that is real will not appear.) Upendra’s dialogue: Bhagavadgeeta Chadhivithe Neethi Thelusthundi. Kaamasutra Chadhivithe Boothu Thelusthundi. Neelakantanni Chadivithe Chavu Thelusthundi.
The movie is released to a meager talk. However, Upendra’s Bomma on the posters worked wonder in making the theatres houseful on the opening day. The longevity depends on how the audience receives it.