'Mirchi' - violent commercial entertainer

Film: "Mirchi"; Actors: Prabhas Raju, Anushka Shetty, Richa Gangopadhyay, Sathyaraj, Nadhiya, Brahmanandam, Sampath Raj, Benarji and Subba Raju; Director: Koratala Siva; Rating: **

After the debacle of his last film "Rebel", Prabhas Raju can now be proud of being part of a successful commercial family entertainer "Mirchi". At the outset, let me clarify that debutant director Koratala Siva presents a story no different from several Telugu films made in the family genre over the years, with some extra dosage of violence to attract audiences from all sections. At different junctures in the film, there are traces of Telugu films such as "Brindavanam", "Shankam" and "Indra".

Jai, played by Prabhas, is an architect by profession. He also likes to play music occasionally on his keytar (read a guitar with keys on the other side). Though, he is never seen playing music in the film, except for the opening song, viewers are forced to believe he is a musician because for nearly 15 minutes into the film, he is seen loitering around with an instrument.

Jai becomes Manasa's Prince Charming when he saves her from a gang of rowdies. She falls in love with him, but is unable to acknowledge his love because of her past, which she has left behind in her village. Apparently, she is the daughter of one of the most dangerous factionist's family that has been fighting its rival for generations.

Having learnt about her past, Jai goes back to India, gets enrolled into the college where her brother, Poorna, is studying and wins his heart with friendship. With the help of Poorna, Jai enters Manasa's family much to the astonishment of her, hoping to change everybody with love. In essence, Jai attempts to civilise a few family members with barbaric attitude.

As the film continues, it is also revealed that Jai too has a past filled with gore. Who is Jai and why does he have a gory past? This forms the rest of the story.

For a change, Prabhas, for about a good 45 minutes into the film, is portrayed in a role sans mass appeal. However, he doesn't stay in that avatar for very long before he is stripped off his class appearance and transformed into a violent and blood-thirsty killing machine.

This is exactly where the film goes off tangent and boils down to a cliched commercial entertainer. It is cliched not because of its presentation, but for a simple reason that the concept is milked dry over the years, and even after all that, our filmmakers don't seem to avoid it.

While the twist in the film comes as no surprise, one should agree that it was very well connected to the narrative. Violence in the film is disturbing and totally unsuitable for viewing under certain age. Especially in the second half, violence has no bounds and we see blood flowing as though it is coming out of a tap.

Director Siva does a decent job of churning out a highly entertaining film. However, he treads the same path as several other directors of the past and therefore is very likely to fumble along the way. Thankfully, Prabhas has shouldered the film well, and since he is an established actor, this formula worked in the favour of the director.

Prabhas does a decent job in his multi-faceted role. Richa and Anushka have very meagre parts to play - the former was merely used for glamour, but the latter showed some promise in her performance. Brahmanadam comes as a sigh of relief with his comedy in the narrative, which is inundated with so many characters.

Sampath, one of the best underrated villains, packs a powerful performance. This is definitely his beginning of a long career in the Telugu film industry provided he is used effectively.

Music by Devi Sri Prasad may appeal to the masses but isn't really worth a mention while cinematography by Madhi, is not extraordinary, but partly satisfying.

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