Cast: Prabhas, Shraddha Kapoor, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Arun Vijay, Mandira Bedi, Jackie Shroff, Chunky Pandey, Mahesh Manjrekar, Vennela Kishore, Tinnu Anand, Evelyn Sharma, Murli Sharma, Prakash Belawadi
The most impressive thing about Saaho is not Prabhas’ stunts, not the laundry list of who’s who of a supporting cast it wears with pride, speaking of laundry and wearing, the amazing clothes the star cast wears is a huge plus, but I digress… the most impressive thing indeed is Mandira Bedi’s stiff-as-a-policewoman dialogue delivery (hint: she is not a cop). Even more impressive are the gorgeous cotton sarees she wears and how well she accessorises (bring chunky black silver back!) I know it sounds like I am turning into one of those people #Askhermore was started for, but really, you have to see her own the screen and that saree ‘look’ to believe it. She walks in and out of the frame like a boss, using that asthma inhaler, wielding the gun, deadpan, just a hint of menace. One of her lines got whistles from the audience too. There were a few places where she took it a bit far, but that can be overlooked. Give her a Netflix series already, we are ready for Shanti Ek Aurat Ki Ek Aur Kahani or Shanti Ek Aur Aurat Ki Kahani. Shanti Ek Aur Kahani? Basically, we’re ready for more Mandira.
Unfortunately for Saaho that’s all the praise I can muster. There’s more detailing in Mandira’s look than there is in the plot. And by the time the movie is over you’re left wondering ‘I think I got what happened, but did I? Did they?’ Imagine Race 2 and 3 except worse. (I happen to have fond memories of Race blowing my mind with all those twists so I have no complaints against the first installment. Yeah.)
Jackie Shroff plays Roy who lords over an empire (a crime syndicate) in ‘Waaji’ a made-up nation and then right at the beginning, he dies. And then something happens. A long fight scene ensues. Prabhas vanquishes ’em all. We discover that he’s an undercover cop. Shradha Kapoor’s Amritha Nair (cue what Bollywood thinks of as ‘Malayalam’ BGM) falls so swiftly for him that the whole thing feels fishy. Except Amritha is just that naive. In a movie filled with plot twists where nobody is really what they seem like at the beginning, Amritha is the most vanilla character. Speaking of, Vennela Kishore disappears halfway through the film and I was very disappointed. I would have wanted to see more of him. But to be fair, there were also many others who also came and left (died mostly) before I could make out why or what they were doing.
The ‘main villain’ in this movie (where everyone is a villain), is named Devaraj. Hearing the name Devaraj (Chunky Pandey) and watching Tinnu Anand play his father felt like I was in some weird alternate Mani Rathnam universe taken over by an arsonist-vandal. (In the middle of a song, while Prabhas is walking in slow-mo, a military tank just randomly, for no reason, crushes two poor cars to pieces.)
Neil Nithin Mukesh comes and goes, and amounts to nothing as Ashok. No one stands a chance really, as the fight scenes and the chase sequences just bulldoze their way on to the screen and before you know it you are staring at a long – very long – chase sequence (which, surprise, also amounts to nothing). Arun Vijay’s potential is wasted as well.
Usually when actors cross-over and perform in another language there are dubbing-sync issues. I think releasing a movie across languages is actually just a lazy ploy, where you are no longer obligated to have any dubbing sync. I also didn’t get why the extras and stunt artistes in the film look like they’ve come straight from some period cinema’s shoot. The climax fight looks surreal as if people from the past have arrived with weapons of the past (we are talking LOTR Dark Years kind of weapons here). Then some Baahubali-esque statements are made. In the end, though, as we have already discussed, it all amounts to nothing. A very lukewarm, yawn, ‘reveal’ is presented with a lot of smugness. Saaho is a bore.
The Saaho review is a Silverscreen original article. It was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the film. Silverscreen.in and its writers do not have any commercial relationship with movies that are reviewed on the site.