After the high-octane trailer of Bruce Lee: The Fighter, I walk into the movie expecting yet another Telugu mass-entertainer. With 5 dance numbers, 10 action scenes, 10-20 punch dialogues garnished with romance and family sentiment, the film delivers exactly what it promised.
Karthik aka Bruce Lee (Ram Charan) is a stunt man. He works hard because he has a dream. Of making his sister (Kriti Kharbanda) an IAS officer. He is mistaken for a police officer by Ria (Rakul Preet Singh). Ram Charan (of course) falls in love with her at first sight. He hides the fact that he’s just a pretender in a costume, a stunt man in a police uniform. And then his lies get him into troublesome situations. How he overcomes these troubles is what the story is about. Well, we’ll make it easy for you. He fights. That’s how he overcomes all the problems in his life.
Ram Charan has a limited range of screen expressions and he knows exactly what he’s good at. He sticks to it. He got the most applause for his signature dance moves. He looks trim and carries the role of a stunt man with ease. But there’s little else to his character. Rakul Preet Singh too, has been given a very specific job. Look pretty, mouth the lines correctly. She’s certainly done her job perfectly. Arun Vijay, on the other hand, looks like he finished working on Yennai Arindhaal and immediately began working on Bruce Lee: The Fighter. With no time to even change his hairstyle or clothes. There was something genuine about Victor, Arun’s character in Yennai Arindhaal. In Bruce Lee, he’s just another stock-villain.
Actors being typecast is nothing new. What is astonishing is Tisca Chopra. Her character surprises everyone and not for artistic reasons. It’s frankly bewildering why Tisca Chopra would accept a role, whose sole function in the film is to get continuously slapped by Brahmanandam. In a ‘comedy’ sequence.
Rao Ramesh is quickly becoming one of the best character artists in Telugu cinema. As the strict father, who isn’t shy of sarcasm, he owns his scenes. Sampath must be one happy man. True, he’s the villain. But, at least, he got an image makeover. He mostly walks around in extremely stylish suits. Amitash Pradhan’s role is limited to being the rich, handsome groom. He has just one dialogue in the entire film. Oh, and there’s Brahmanandam. The staple of Telugu cinema these days.
The high point of the film is Chiranjeevi’s appearance on screen after eight long years. Greeted by loud cheers from the audience, Chiranjeevi’s cameo is the most enjoyable part of Bruce Lee: The Fighter. True, it feels forced in terms of the rest of the film. But, who cares? This 4 minute scene could easily be used as a teaser for his next film, the all-important 150th.
In a normal story, the writer would add some ideas. Ideas for the protagonist to resolve the conflicts set up in the first half of the film, in the second half. But Srinu Vaitla has his work cut-out fo this star (Sorry, Mega-Power-Star) film. There’s no problem. Everything is handed over to the stunts. The hero arrives at the den of goons (who are all dressed in 3 piece suits with Windsor knot ties). Announces his arrival with lines like ‘Magaadu Vachadu‘ (the Man is here) which echo across the hall. Then he beats them until the very essence of evil has been banished. Poof. All the fighting must be very tiring for the hero (and the audiences) and so everybody relaxes with a mass-song. Bright outfits in even brighter sets.
There are songs. One for the hero and four for the lead pair who pop out at ‘timely’ moments. Thaman’s songs sound very like his previous songs, which sounded very like the ones before, which sound just like…you get my drift.
Bruce Lee: The Fighter is one of those star-driven films (though we think it’s Chiranjeevi’s cameo which will drive this one) which has nothing new to offer to the audience. Die-hard Ram Charan fans will have no complaints.
The Bruce Lee: The Fighter Review is a Silverscreen original article. It was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the movie. Silverscreen.in and its writers do not have an advertising relationship with movies that are reviewed on the site.