Fuller Minds

Minds that are not always empty

Criminal

Criminal movie had created quite a buzz in Tollywood and did just about OK in Bollywood. The ever green song: Telusa manasa, was the trademark romantic song of that era, and still gets you transported to a magical place.

I never got a chance to watch this film until quite recently. It never crossed my mind to watch it, even though I love the song. Because I have learnt my lesson getting carried away with just one song in a particular movie and do not want a repeat of the same. This movie certainly changed that opinion for me.

Watching this movie had me question a couple of things in Indian film industry. To begin with: I did not know Indian women were as advanced back in early 90’s to talk about sharing men. Don’t get me wrong! I absolutely loved Ramyakrishna’s role. It was very powerfully written and she did justice to it and portrayed all the emotions quite well. Be it the police officer role, as a best friend, taking a step back when she realized her friend was also in love with Nagarjuna, a friend to Nag, when he needed someone in his corner. She was also looking much prettier compared to Manisha Koyirala. But that’s just my view.

Now, Manisha’s role was a bit confusing. She is all a mess when Nag is right in front of her but is bold enough to make a video to seduce him. And when he tries to seduce her back she shies away? Not convincing! (She should have owned it!) She looked adorable as Nag’s wife, even if it was for a brief period of time.

Apart from that one song, I did not know other songs existed in the movie, simply because of the fact that one song took over and it plays in the background throughout the movie. That is the only song which is worth a watch, be it locations or otherwise. Other songs are just fillers.

Costumes in the other songs? Disaster!

I believe they have just discovered a technique to change colors of the costumes on screen while the actors are dancing. It was horrifying to watch songs like that. The dancing itself was questionable. While we are on the topic of costumes, the makers made more efforts in Ramya’s costumes than Manisha’s. The bob cut and the wig were just not doing it for her.

The plot as such is good. It is of course a remake of an English film. But more than that, I liked how they have kept the movie engaging with the back and forth with past and present. And to think selling human parts illegally existed at that point in time is simply terrifying! While the idea of Gulshan Glover not having a single dialogue in the movie was working for him as a villain. But I think the makers were simply saving him the efforts of speaking Telugu even for lip-syncing purposes.

Some parts of the movie had me thinking, is it possible to jump off dam gates while they are open, with a day’s old wound, swim across the river and live to see another day? But, it is just a movie right? Anything is possible!

Nagarjuna’s performance in terms of romance was very good. Well, he is called Manmadhudu for a reason! But the emotional scenes, not so much. Maybe because I have seen his better emotional performances in the movies that followed.

Ramya’s timing when it came to daydreaming about Nag when he is in pain recovering from the wound mentioned earlier was incredulous. They could have easily done way with the special song towards the end of the movie which was absolutely not necessary along with the rest of the songs apart from the trademark song from the film.

The action sequences were realistic. Since it was still 90’s, the heroic tactics of 00’s were still not introduced to the film industry, wherein the Hero even after being attacked by multiple goons can still stand and finish them all. Just one Hero! But in this film, Nag took equal amounts of blows from Gulshan, making it believable.

All in all, it was a well written thriller with good plot. It was quite refreshing to watch a 90’s film and enjoy it! I would totally recommend this movie, if you have not already watched it. If I were to rate this film, I would give it a 3.5/5.

Saudhamini Mylaram

HR by profession. Reading has always been one of my favorite things to do apart from gardening, cooking and driving.

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