'Raja Raja Chora' is playing in the theatres from today (August 19). Here is our review of the comedy-drama
Bhaskar (Sree Vishnu) is a petty thief who is in love with Sanjana (Megha Akash). Posing as a software engineer before Sanjana, Bhaskar has an explosive secret in life.
In another track, a cop named Williams (Ravi Babu) has a secret life too. He is Sanjana's uncle. How the two tracks collide and what consequences they have for each of the main characters is the crux of the story.
Sree Vishnu has played the role of a confident thief with honesty. He is sincere in the comedy scenes while also looking endearing in the more substantial portions, especially in the second half. His chemistry with Megha Akash is again worth a mention.
Sunaina, who is a relative newcomer in Telugu, plays her part well. She is here for the long haul in Telugu cinema for sure. She looks serious without making a song and dance about it. Ravi Babu, who always brings a touch of humour to his negative roles, is excellent. Srikanth Iyengar's chemistry with Vishnu is a plus. Gangavva's scenes could have been better. Kadambari Kiran, Ajay Ghosh, Vasu Inturi and Tanikella Bharani are apt.
The songs seem to have been tailor-made for Vivek Sagar's style. There is the 'Sammohanam' and 'Pelli Choopulu' Sagar and then there is the 'Brochevarevarura' Sagar. The song 'Raja Raju Vacche' and the BGM tap into the latter. Vedaraman Sankaran camera work is delightful. A film like this needed the right sort of production design and Kiran Kumar Manne's artwork ensures just that. Viplav Nyshadam's editing is a plus.
In his pre-release interview, writer-director Hasith Goli (a debutant) said that more than comedy, he loves to tell drama. His love for drama shows in the second half, where the humour quotient takes a backseat. And rightly so.
A welcome thing about 'Raja Raja Chora' is that it doesn't worry about becoming a sob story. At the same time, it doesn't dilute some of its eccentric features. The first act is slow, and the film takes its sweet time to come into its own.
The roster of characters populating the story has their own peculiar persuasions. Ravi Babu's secret life holds the key to the unraveling of the plot. Sunaina as a Law student has got a well-rounded character arc. Srikanth Iyengar as a doctor whose interest lies in real estate does feel off. The characters may not hold excellent depth but they are relatable in dribs and drabs at least.
The first half is high on humour. Megha Akash plays a character that most heroines of her day haven't played. Sree Vishnu enjoys playing a cheat whose emotional core grows as the film progresses.
The second half is shorter than the first half in terms of the run time (the total length is 149 minutes). The last 15 minutes have so much in terms of content. Sid Sriram's montage song is appealing.
The second half is somewhat dull but the climax, emotional quotient make up for the loss. Human relations get a pride of place in the story. The ways of the characters are described well through Tanikella Bharani's religious sermons at a temple.
'Raja Raja Chora' is worth a watch. It has humour and sentiment as well. From the husband-wife equations to the police-criminal element, it has them all.