With a series of wide-angle shots, ‘Saaho’ introduces us to a magnificent empire (not Mahishmati) in Waaji. Apart from crores of money, its entire legacy is at stake. All it needs is a savior, as no one can be trusted in this colossal world of evil forces. You just guessed that savior, didn’t you? But the director Sujeeth doesn’t want you to.
He doesn’t even want you to guess the savior’s name until told loudly midway in the narrative. And that’s how the problem begins. The issue is not in throwing the petty and pretty fathomable twists here and there in the name of thrill, the concern rather lies in how the movie conveys this all. The cinematic ride in Sujeeth’s vision is all hazy and mazy, and eventually just comes across as lazy storytelling.
Nothingness is what we see revolving around the majestic screen presence of Prabhas, who balances his mighty persona with his jarring and monotonous dialogue delivery. The movie feels fine only if one adjusts to that delivery soon, which was clearly not my case. He excels in action sequences, as he quietly rides all sorts of vehicles and sometimes flies off the skyscrapers with enough precision to catch a girl falling mid-air, to eventually land in a sea below it! I understand that such mindless stunts have always been synonymous with these action thrillers, but the exorbitant octane action here contributes nothing to the big picture. Chop off more than half of these sequences and the cheesy one-liners given to Prabhas, ‘Saaho’ movie would still stay unaffected, atleast shorter for a better impact!
Apparently complementing Prabhas presence is Shraddha Kapoor as a cop (no twist here atleast), reduced to a mere i-candy to appease the masses. Though firing some bullets to justify her on-screen profession and empowerment, it sadly becomes a usual case in the first half that a blingy song sequence will follow whenever she appears on celluloid. And for the worse, those songs are crass. To her senses as a cop, being undercover in a night club to search for culprit leads to singing ‘Pyscho Saiyaan’. Being the obvious love interest of Prabhas, she also has to bear all the gender stereotypical dialogues and casual harassment sequences – all depicted in the name of love. Oh, that love builds within a few scenes of their interaction, nevermind.
Appearing and dying casually is the supporting cast, with everyone holding just one random character trait to be noted. Mandira Bedi appears to show how shrewd can women be, which she justifies with one final showdown dialogue. Just as pointless as that dialogue, her part has asthma too. Jackie Shroff is the oldie boss being his usual swaggy self. Chunky Pandey oscillates between different levels of doltishness, as he struggles while delivering the quintessential laugh and dialogues of a baddie. Neil Nitin Mukesh is fine in his portrayal of one of the pointless characters ever. Actually, the same can be said for so many parts in the movie, as they all contribute nothing to the entirety.
The best job in ‘Saaho’ has been done by the cinematographer R. Madhi, as he well intends to make an impressive impact shooting the stunts and locations through all sorts of angles, as the no – brainer whimsically switches its setting from the Mumbai roads to an ala – Dubai land of tall skyscrapers to a locale having both deserts and beaches – all this candy floss ceases to appeal after a certain time. When the movie talks action, innumerable villains pop up from nowhere to meet their obvious fate. Once the movie seems tired of action, the uninvited auto-tuned songs as thrown as fillers where Shraddha, Prabhas, Jacqueline try making up for the vivid void in storytelling.
All the hyped 350 crore budget, the constant might of Prabhas, the appeal of Shraddha, the high – octane sequences, the stunning locations, complemented by lots of twists and action in an exhausting runtime of 170 minutes – Saaho has it all, but this all has been blended in a way that ends up conveying Nothing – exactly my takeaway from this pointless and forgettable affair.
P.S.: The name of that anticipated savior of the empire shall not be revealed in this no – spoiler review. You must have guessed it by now. If not, then keep guessing, as the movie expects you to do while it drags lazily!
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