RIGHT now, the mindless comedy Oru Kal, Oru Kannadi is packing in the crowds at cineplexes. Since most of the new movies opening in India are by unknown actors, distributors prefer to trust the big names.
They are also intent on bringing in dubbed movies, originally made in Telugu, Kannada or Malayalam, starring well-known names. Some of them have been let-downs, like Action King Arjun’s recent Kaatu Puli.
The latest is Raja Pokkiri Raja, dubbed in Tamil from the original Malayalam movie Pokkiri Raja, which was a massive hit in Kerala in 2010.
It’s obvious why this movie was dubbed. It stars not only two top Malayalee actors, Mammootty and Prithvi Raj, but also the popular and sexy Shriya Saran.
Furthermore, the story includes Madurai city (in Tamil Nadu state) in its plot with the appearance of familiar faces, such as Paravai Muniamma.
The story is about two brothers (Mammootty and Prithvi Raj). When they are young, the elder brother goes to jail for allegedly killing another boy.
He has served his sentence, but he is notwelcomed back home by his father (Nedumudi Venu). He ends up working for a gangster in Madurai.
Years later, when his younger brother (Prithvi Raj) is jailed for an offence he didn’t commit, the father seeks out the elder brother to get justice.
Many of the mannerisms Mammootty uses seem to have been styled after superstar Rajnikanth, including wrapping a cloth around the waist and delivering punch lines like: “Raja will only say what he can do, only do what he says.”
He also tries to inject humour into his dialogue by using broken English. He has great screen presence and proves why he is one of the top-earning stars in Kerala.
Humour is also provided by Suraj Venjarammood and Salim Kumar.
Jassie Gift (who sings Tamil songs) composed the songs for this film. I am shocked that there are no love duets between Prithvi Raj and Shriya.
Shriya also complained that she was not consulted when the producers decided to dub the Malayalam movie in Tamil.
Malayalam movies (unlike Telugu movies) seldom come to our shores. So this movie gives Malayalees a chance to see their favourite stars in action on the big screen.
Catch this if you’re a fan of Mammootty or Prithvi Raj.
RAJA POKKIRI RAJA (Tamil)
Directed by Vysakh
Starring Mammootty, Prithvi Raj, Shriya Saran, Nedumudi Venu, Siddique, Riaz Khan, Salimkumar, Bindu Panikkar, Vijayaraghavan, Suraj Venjaramoodu
Duration 160 minutes