Express Raja Review, What’s Behind: Prestigious banner UV Creations roped in second time their hero Sharwanand after ‘Run Raja Run’ became a big hit. Merlapaka Gandhi debuted with hit ‘Express Raja’ directed this flick while Surabhi of ‘Beeruva’ is heroine. Let us see, how fast ‘Express Raja’ speed is in our following review.
Express Raja Story: Raja (Sharwanand) and his cousin Seenu (Prabhas Seenu) have no goals in life except enjoying time to the fullest drinking and smoking making their respective parents suffer in Vizag. On plan to join a software company, Raja and Seenu land in Hyderabad only to see Raja falling in love at first sight with Ammu (Surabhi). Playing his tricks selling Oxford dictionaries, Raja gets close to Ammu and love blossoms. To impress Ammu on birthday, Raja robs a Puppy belonging to Binami British (Supreet) who is again connected to wannabe MLA (Harish Uthaman), son of Nellore local lady villain (Urvashi). An interesting and key incident kicks off the movie networking all of them with Recording Dance Group owner (Shakalaka Shankar) and Pollution Giri (Sapthagiri). How all these sub threads are connected to Raja’s father (Nagineedu) and a charity scam is rest.
Express Raja Artists and Technicians: To brief on the story, it’s wafer thin with respect to central male lead. Merlapaka Gandhi just came up with a bunch of characterizations interconnected coherently to a main incident makes narration to move on entertaining screenplay demands rather than on role significance. May be this is a new thought process in film making from new, young talents more or less unworried about core content but are more focused on technical aspects. This makes ‘Express Raja’ journey dead slow on content perspective but still makes the drive enjoyable to most extent with new element or character popping every 15 to 20 minutes. Above all, an emotional bond or striking chord with audience has become a hurdle for Merlapaka in this voyage. Dialogues from him were never so substantial unlike the excellence we saw in ‘Venkatadri Express.’ Cinematography by Karthik Ghattamaneni is life and soul with unnecessary high impacting DI/Color Mapping disturbed the natural feel. Sathya G’s editing truly lacked in sharpness needed to give a real Express speed feel. Praveen Lakkaraju song composition is refreshing and so is BGM. Production standards from UV Creations are first rate.
On to performances, it’s not at all mandatory to call Sharwanand as hero of project because every artist had their own substance and screen time to excel. However, the protagonist is a tailor made role for Sharwa and he did it with ease. Surabhi is beautiful in few frames and gave her best. Prabhas Seenu got a full length character to keep things going on with his timing. Sapthagiri is decisive player in this comic ride taking crucial importance with his indispensable comic timing. Urvashi imitating Vasantha Kokila was overdoing while Harish Uthaman and Supreet got something new to prove. Shakalaka Shankar and team are just about ok. Posani, Nagineedu and Surya added to the overall emotional content. Rest like Duvvasi Mohan, Brahmaji and others got their share.
Express Raja Rating Analysis: After a well appreciated debut in ‘Venkatadri Express,’ the best one can expect from Gandhi is hilarious treatment and well connected characterization designs. Altogether, Gandhi selected an unusually creative path unrelated to his first experience. Instead of delivering a hard hitting and completely enjoyable fun, this film offered inconsequential maneuvers without creating any impact. Despite populated with many lengthy characters, none of them really strike a chord in an unrealistic setup. The express activity needed to speed up the motion in narration also went missed.
Leading takeoff on thrilling note with kidnap plan, that’s really a peasant note at which Sharwanand, Prabhas Seenu seek humor and first half then moved on little of excitement introducing necessary characters at regular intervals. The episode on Oxford Dictionary usage in romantically new sense isn’t totally a nuisance with Surabhi adding to the cream. As Sapthagiri, Supreet join the show, there is a momentum generated towards a cleverly woven interval.
Into second half, Gandhi was superb in fusing all those loose threads to one main rope which is the real USP of film to work in its favor. Moving off with Sapthagiri, Supreet, Harish Uthaman – Urvashi, Shakalaka Shankar and Sharwanand, Prabhas Seenu, Surabhi - Nagineedu, Surya; all of them commonly glued into a newly cultured pre climax, climax is again noteworthy. Overall ‘Express Raja’ is distinctly not a regular kind of film which occasionally sprang up thrilling surprises making it worth to get 2.75 stars rating.
Commercial future of ‘Express Raja’ depends on how B and C order centre audience lap it up because for metro audience, something new is always welcomed.
Express Raja Cinejosh Verdict: Fun Ride On Multiple Tracks!
Express Raja Cinejosh Rating: 2.75/5.0
Reviewed by Srivaas