Taxiwala’s result is crucial for hero Vijay Devarakonda whose last film NOTA was a debacle. Director Rahul Sankrityan whose directorial debut The End won acclaims is here with second.
The film got postponed numerous times and its pirated version leaked online long ago is into theaters today. Let us see, what’s Taxiwala concept is all about?
A happy go lucky guy Shiva (Vijay Devarakonda) from poor family buys a vintage second hand car to test his luck as cab driver. He falls in love for very first customer Anu (Priyanka Jawalkar) who too likes him. Meanwhile, Shiva experiences few awful confrontations in car concludes that there is a soul hidden in car. He takes the subject seriously only after a doctor (Uttej) is brutally killed by soul in the car. Whose is this soul? What’s its connection with doctor and the car owner? What’s the Astral Projection concept all about?
One cannot forget Maruthi’s path-breaking film Prema Katha Chitra after which Telugu industry witnessed uncountable horror-comedy entertainers though fact is that very few films survived at box office. Director Rahul Sankrityan opted a safe bet, penned the story in via media horror-comedy and thriller-comedy genre with super natural elements. His intentions to cater fun in first half and open the actual spooky-thriller revenge story in second half isn’t backed by a solid script. Things go boring in second half due to lethargic narration. Romantic track is vague and back-story is acceptable.
Cinematography by Sujith Sarang and BGM by Jakes Bejoy stand out best technically. Editing by Sreejith Sarang slowed down the impact. Production values of GA 2 and UV Creations are high for a concept in this genre.
Onto performances, Vijay Devarakonda’s character missed in his trademark energy levels looks sympathetic in first half. He got very less space in second half. Malavika Nair is the biggest asset. We could bear all the boredom in second half, thanks to this girl’s exceptional show and screen presence. Priyanka Jawalkar is restricted for limited portions. Madhu Nandan and Shiva, the Hollywood guy brought few laughs. Chammak Chandra is intolerable. Siddhu and Uttej are bad choice. Yamuna is forgettable.
Astral Projection Concept
Although Taxiwala title sounds to be hero Vijay centric, it’s a misnomer because central story belongs to Malavika Nair and her soul separated from physical body is contained in a car. Well, Vijay’s current stardom should have made producers to adopt this title.
Coming to concept, Rahul Sankrityan’s idea of Astral Projection is exciting on paper but the raw material needed to present the same on screen went missing. Hypnotizing a girl and pushing her into deep sleep Astral World is unconvincing. With no real spooky and goose bump moments, Taxiwala neither fell into horror-comedy nor thriller-comedy genre. A concept which speaks on scientific rationale in Para Psychiatry lacked in technical detailing. At the same time, Vijay Deverekonda should be appreciated for accepting a role and script that gives no due significance for his newly blessed stardom.
Taxiwala begins decently introducing us to mysterious car. Post titles, Vijay’s arrival in Hyderabad and becoming a cab driver are time pass. Madhu Nandan and the Hollywood guy generated few laughs. Love track with Priyanka Jawalkar is no way relatable to main story. Maate Vinaduga song is good. Siddhu’s suspicious look and the doctor’s (Uttej) killing by car on railway track with Vijay in it is interval.
Second half is all about, Vijay and his gang finding a way out of this car trouble. Here comes Ravi Varma, he Psychiatry Professor opening the flashback of Malavika Nair, Yamuna, Siddhu and Uttej. Once the main lock of Astral Projection is wide opened, Rahul could not sustain the momentum. All the episodes including lifting the body from mortuary or reverse astral mapping or as expected Siddhu’s entry appeared childish.
All in all, Taxiwala is an attempt on novel concept of Astral Projection but mal-treated on old Maruthi lines. There is no quality comedy or admissible frills or justifiable concept elevation in the end, definitely an easy to forget film for Vijay Deverakonda. Given the shoe string budget and limited canvass, Taxiwala can be a safe venture in commercial terms. CJ goes with 2.5 stars just for the term Astral Projection.