Critic's Rating: 3/5
Friday 15 January 2016
Sharwanand , Surabhi
Raja (Sharwanand) and his friend (Prabhas Seenu) lead a life without any responsibilities or jobs in Vizag. Raja's father, a social worker, scolds him for not doing anything. One day his father's sishya and Police Inspector finds a job for him in Hyderabad and sends him there. Soon after landing in Hyderabad, Raja falls in love with Amulya aka Ammu (Surabhi) at first sight.
He meets her as salesman of Oxford Dictionaries and this leads to some funny romantic track between them. As he fears dogs, one day, he hands over Ammu’s pet dog to the Municipality team and she breaks up over this. So, he decides to go to Municipality and bring back the puppy and win her love. A series of events unfurl…
After delivering successful Run Raja Run with Sharwanand, the production house made Express Raja which is directed by Merlapaka Gandhi who debuted with Venkatadri Express(VE). Like Venkatadri Express, the writer-director have employed similar screenplay for this too. While VE had Hyderabad and Tirupathi as backdrop, here it is Hyderabad-Vizag-Nellore.
Like the recent Bhale Manchi Roju, the movie has too many incidents interlinked, a chain of events impacting the other to reveal another twist. In the beginning it seems perfectly alright and funny too. But this film has a very flimsy story line, so it seems stretched beyond a point.
Express Raja starts off on a breezy manner. The fun factor is there. Some cheerful drama happens in the first half. Peppy songs and cool visuals dot the proceedings. Yet, it leaves viewers unsatisfied as the runtime is too lengthy for this kind of movie and the story goes on even when there is nothing happening. For example, the track of Urvashi as Sridevi of Vasantha Kokila and Shakalaka Shankar's recording dance troupe comedy seem forced.
The film has plenty of superficial and illogical scenes too.
Regarding the performances, Sharwanand looks trendy for the role. Acting? Well, the role doesn't demand him to show off his acting skills except running around the girl, mouthing dialogues and singing songs. Surabhi is beautiful. Prabhas Seenu as Sharwanand's friend and Sapathagiri have provided some good laughs. After a long time, comedian Sapathagiri has done comedy that actually works. Surabhi has done justice to her role. Brahmaji who has played a superb role in Venkatadri Express has not repeated the same magic. Supreet and Nagineedu are okay.
One of the major highlights of the film is the catchy and peppy songs by Praveen Lakkaraju. All songs are impressive. Karthik Ghattamaneni's camera work and Ravindar's artwork are praiseworthy. The movie has very slow pace and run time is too lengthy. Better editing was needed for such kind of story.
As story and screenplay writer and also director, Merlapaka Gandhi has not shown much variety compared to his notable debut.
Watchable for its good first half, peppy music and some genuine laughs despite not so impressive second half and lengthy scenes.
Time pass comedy entertainer
Average comedy entertainer
Decent rural family entertainer
Soubin Shahir and Mamta Mohandas shine in this conventional film