Saaho Movie Review - Uhhoh!
Saaho is an attempt to blow your brains out with a series of non-stop, high-octane action scenes, between a bunch of music videos, with a strange mix of Punjabi pop and wannabe-Rahman peppiness.
U/A: Action, Romance
Cast: Prabhas, Shraddha Kapoor, Jackie Shroff, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Mandira Bedi
This film is so complex in its stupidity that at some point you fear for your brains dimming a bit, if you try too hard to understand what Saaho is really about. Well, don't fret much. Here's a quick primer: There's a black-box that grants one access to Rs 2 lac crore in cash, presumably stored in a bank. It belongs to a dead Mafia kingpin.
Multiple villains—Chunky Panday, Mahesh Manjrekar, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Murali Sharma, et al—seem to be after this loot, and the kingpin's throne. The police could be the hero. Or the villain. Same with Prabhas's character. And the heroine, Shradha Kapoor (in a rather pale and pointless part), could be with Prabhas. Or not.
None of this is important by the way. Just know that this movie is an attempt to blow your brains out with a series of non-stop, high-octane action sequences, between a bunch of music-videos, with a strange mix of Punjabi pop and wannabe-Rahman peppiness. The aim is to play up Prabhas's under-stated swag. And basically propel him as the superhero, plus arch-enemy, all rolled into one—constantly announcing his entries and exits on screen. Every scene and dialogue is supposed to be a movie moment.
And that makes sense. Because? If Baahubali (2015) and its sequel (2017) legitimately created history as the 'first pan-India blockbuster' ever; by association, the superman on screen (Baahubali himself) is indeed the 'first pan-India superstar'. Now that you've figured, 'Why Kattappa Killed Baahubali' (he was really stupid, that's why), pretty certain millions would like to know what Prabhas is up to next.
Check out the trailer of Saaho here:
Which explains this movie's budget, pegged at Rs 350 crore—woah! And most of it shows, to be fair. Whether that be a military tank simultaneously crushing two black sedans to pieces. Or a crackling car-chase, as nod to Fast And Furious franchise. Or going even further with dusty ruggedness as tribute to Mad Max action. Or the long multi-floored action sequence set in a Mumbai chawl...
The camera shuttles between Mumbai, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Romania, Austria… Of course much of it is pure CGI (computer-generated images), shot on green screen that inevitably screws up natural lighting.
What's amazing isn't this. But the fact that with such ginormous access to resources, the filmmakers either didn't have enough time to sharpen their material. Or, probably, the editors were made only half their payment. Saaho could end at the interval. And you'd go home having watched a fairly decent Telugu actioner—the sorts dubbed into Hindi that you come across on Star Gold type channels on late-night telly. Race 4, in Bollywood terms, if you may!
Beyond the interval, the filmmakers, overwhelmed by the experience themselves, essentially give up on tightening and editing the film at all. They let loose on an eager audience merely set-pieces in quick succession, and so much random anth-shanth, akar-bakar, that it becomes impossible to saho (bear) Saaho, once you get closer to three hours.
This is when Neil Nitin Mukesh's character patiently declares, "Kahaani itni lambi hai, soch raha hoon kahaan se shuru karoon (The back-story is really long; now wondering where to start from). Now? Oh. Don't!
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