Banking on the mammoth pan India star image built with blockbusters Baahubali and Baahubali 2, Young Rebel Star Prabhas played lead role in yet another costliest film Saaho. Relatively fresh director Sujeeth, who is just one film old wielded megaphone under UV Creations while Bollywood's top actress Shraddha Kapoor sported hero's romantic interest. After a huge round of promotions, let us see how far Saaho can become the fitting film next to Baahubali.
Roy (Jackie Shroff) is an underworld don killed by his rival group of Devraj (Chunkey Pande) with an ill intention to acquire Roy kingdom. Couple of days later, a high profile robbery worth Rs.2 Thousand Crores takes place in Mumbai which results in undercover cop Ashok (Prabhas) assigned the task assisted by crime branch inspector Amritha (Shraddha) to crack the case. Ashok however falls flat for Amritha. Turn-around of events connect this robbery with the gang of mafia leaders in Waaji city viz. Devraj and Iqbal (Arun Vijay). Here comes another twist. A black box secretly placed in a strong locker routing to Roy Kingdom’s Rs.2 Lakh Crores is also connected to the same case. But then, who will grab the black box and own the property? Who is the actual thief in Mumbai robbery? Will Devraj usurp Roy's kingdom? If not, who the Saaho is and how he became Devraj’s threat? All these form crux of the film.
Fast paced screenplay blended with goose bump twists n turns is the prime choice for many Hollywood filmmakers. Trying to sail on same line, Sujeeth adopted a confusing screenplay and lethargic narrative for Saaho. Sadly, incoherent scenes connected with multiple action sequences looked pale. Instead of storytelling and strong characterizations, Sujeeth focused mainly on action scenes which eventually led to a clear lack of emotional connect. Scenes come and go without a purpose and action goes over the top many times distracting from main plot. Both screenplay and direction played spoilsport in weaving a Hollywood standard action drama. Dialogues are nonchalant and unimpressive. Except appealing twists, one at interval and the other one at climax, Sujeeth's novice in handling a big hero worked cynically against the output.
Cinematography by Madhie is top class. Especially, shots from bird's eye view at skyscrapers were captured superbly. Exotic locales in couple of songs were also beautifully presented. VFX, on the contrary stands average which is biggest surprise. Some action sequences, gun fights and chases stood mind blowing though poor VFX shots degraded the quality. Editing by Sreekar Prasad had numeorus hopeless owing to atrocious screenplay. Kenny Bates, as an action choreographer rendered his job adequately. Ghibran’s BGM score sounded like a copycat. And even songs too are not pleasant except the hot Bad Boy song. Yet, couple of melodies catch our attention for inspiring visuals.
Leaving a shocker, Prabhas stood above average t looks. His hair styling and over slim physique became a wet blanket. There's no depth in his characterization and can be forgotten straightaway. He did a fantastic job in action part. Shraddha is ok with her subtle performance while raised heat in revealing costumes in a song. Neil Nithin Mukhesh as a thief and cop, Arun Vijay as Vishwak aka Iqbal, and Murali Sharma as David fitted the bills while Jackie Shroff is ok with crisp role along with Mahesh Manjrekar, Mandira Bedi. Man of the moment who stood best among all is Chunkey Pandey as Devraj. His styling and dialogue accent worked in favor. Rest including Vennela Kishore and others just made their presence felt. Jacquiline Fernandez sparked in a hot song.
Interval, Climax Twists
Firstly, thanks to producers Pramod and Vamsi who abided themselves with Prabhas by giving a free hand at production in giving audience a high end action flick. They showcased true friendship, love and affection on their darling by spending big bucks. But then director Sujeeth with inexperienced direction and sluggish screenplay did all the damage.
Takeoff is pretty ordinary with introduction of underworld mafia followed by the task assigned to Prabhas. But then, Prabhas' intro and the action scene looked flat and bore. Thereafter, one after the other scenes become toneless offered nauseating experience. Story runs flat until the interval twist that evokes our senses a little. Reason behind Prabhas taking the Police task in the disguise of thief is clueless.
Second half is more meaningful consisting of flashback and the much talked about Dubai action sequence gave a little relief in grandeur. Climax twist is the life for entire film. Though one would remind Largo Winch as the major inspiration for Sujeeth in drawing these episodes, his execution scored brownies in last 20 minutes or so.
Dreaming to continue his pan Indian image, Prabhas attempted a complete action entertainer Saaho. Poor direction, screenplay and below par VFX, the film turned out a substandard confusing product and failed to meet the expectations. Inevitably, CJ goes with 2.5 stars just for grandeur, Prabhas and action part owing to a solid Vinayaka Chavithi season that might fetch decent bucks for buyers.