Cast : Mahesh Babu, Kajal Agarwal, Prakash Raj, Raza Murad, Shayaji Shinde, Nazar, Dharmavarapu Subrahmaniam,
Bandla Ganesh, Brahmaji, Jahangir Khan, Bharat Reddy, Mahesh Balraj, Jyoti Rana, Ayesha, Shweta Bhardwaj, etc.
Editor: S R Shekhar
Costumes: Lepakshi Naahid
Lyrics: Bhaskarbhatla Ravi Kumar
Singers: Rahul Nambiar, Ranjith, Naveen, Aalap Raju, Suchitra, S S Thaman, Haricharan, Priya Hemesh, Geetha Madhuri, Puri Jagannadh and Mahesh Babu
Camera: Shyam K. Naidu
Story: Puri Jagannadh
Dialogues: Puri Jagannadh
Music: S. Sai Thaman
Producer: Dr. Venkat
Screenplay - Direction: Puri Jagannadh
- Official Partners : Brandly Wood, Katriya, Kwan, Padmavathi, T Wills, Aditya Music, Radio Mirchi,
South India Shopping Mall
Puri - Mahesh. Pokiri. In the current generation, no second outing of a blockbuster combination
has proven worthy of their first attempt. Puri has now broken that rule, along with a lot of other rules that he did not dare break even in his Bollywood outing. He has taken audacity
to new levels of celebration in this fast paced tour de force; audacity that would never have worked if he hadn't had an actor the caliber of Mahesh and hadn't had a mentor as audacious as Ram Gopal Varma. Ram Gopal Varma looms large in the shadows of this film as the protagonist's philosophy
on life is a condensation of RGV's own that we have seen and read umpteen times in his tweets and interviews. Fittingly enough, the starting credits pay obeisance to RGV.
Vijaysurya (Surya for short)
lands on a Mumbai platform with a clear aim in life - because if you don't have an aim you'd better be dead as you're of no use to humanity. His aim is to be an entrepreneur of personal power
- everything else is incidental to that effort, be it money, upliftment of poor, or falling in love. Everything is a business proposition. With a wafer thin story line, Puri weaves a polished screenplay
that leaves no scope for unnecessary garnishments. Even though there is ample scope for exploiting sentimentality, familial bonding, teary eyed melodrama, leave that to Sreenu Vytla and his Dookudu; Puri is audaciously uninterested,
like his protagonist, in delving on the incidentals. He simply goes for the jugular and never loosens his grip on the portrayal of Surya Bhai's rise to power. Every other character that flits in and out is only incidental to Surya's rise and there is no need to dwell on their background stories or their personalities. It is up to Surya to fathom that and offer a quick denouement that leaves them gasping about their own liabilities. The only characters who are not incidental are the heroine, Chitra,
and her father the Police Commissioner;
after all, Chitra, is Surya's liability and the Police Commissioner, as the only uncorrupted human being, is Surya's alter ego. The screenplay is ably tied together by Puri's dialogues, the oxygen of the film
. Never a profligate moment goes by as words are carefully uttered, with meaning and measure, to carry the characterization and story forward. There are times when there is deep philosophy in these words, and times when there is chuckle inducing humor; times when anecdotes explore human character flaws and times when these flaws utter gross obscenities. Such is the audacity of Puri's power to string together words. Businessman is a celebration of that audacity of Puri's stringent scripting and word weaving.
If Puri provides the oxygen, it is Mahesh
who provides the heart
that pumps the oxygen all over the film. Without the heartbeat, Puri's work is but a glorified body of clay. It is Mahesh who moulds the character, breathes life into it, sustains it and celebrates it with a display of acting prowess that is well nigh impossible for any other actor in Tollywood to even dream of attempting. The audacity of disregarding public perception of his image and letting go while uttering absolute obscenities on screen as never seen before in Indian film history (one can't hear them courtesy the beeps or strategic lack of dubbing), the audacity of the intensity in his eyes
throughout most of the film amplifying the gravitas in his dialogue delivery,
and the audacity of single handedly carrying the film on his shoulders when veterans and able stars like Prakash Raj,
Subba Raju, Raza Murad, Dharmavarapu Subrahmanyam, Sayaji Shinde have more or less walk on roles speaks volumes of the relationship Puri and Mahesh
share and of the growth in Mahesh as an actor who is unflinching at attempting what is required for the unabashed portrayal of his character. Topping it all off is Mahesh's inherent charm
. And what a charm! Absolutely filthy obscenities (undubbed and sound proofed, but lip readable) uttered by him charm your socks off due to the sheer audacity of his guts to even say those words. This is an actor who fears nothing but his craft. This is ultimately what makes Businessman a Superstar Mahesh film all the way,
despite Puri's heartfelt input - a grand exposition of acting prowess that melds histrionics, dialogue delivery, humor, body language, dance, fights, dynamism,
and above all an unparalleled screen presence,
all displayed in typical Mahesh subtlety without in any way detracting from the larger than life proceedings.
Among other actors, Nasser
is notable. The veteran puts on a sincere show as the Mumbai Police Commissioner
and the interaction scenes between Nasser & Mahesh are ones that ought to be cherished by filmgoers. The whole crux of the protagonist's personal philosophy comes through in these interactions and makes for an eye-opening viewing. It wouldn't have had the same gravitas with any other actor in his place. Kajal
is sensuous and a treat to watch in a couple of the songs, but her facial expressions are often stuck in a painfully contorted expression. Her friend, Ayesha Shiva,
in an American accentuated Telugu & Hindi dialog delivery provided some humor and was apt for the role. The rest of the star cast had nothing much to do. Akash
(Puri) Jagannadh as the young Surya did a decent job, while Puri Jagannadh
himself put in a blink and miss cameo. Shweta Bhardwaj
rocked the screen in her item number.
translated well on screen but it is his background score
in the second half of the film that elevates the proceedings to a frenzy. It appears that, like his guru, he reserves the best for Mahesh
. Cinematography by Shyam K. Naidu
is strictly okay, except when capturing the marvelous locales in Goa during the songs. Very crisp editing by S R Shekar
is a feather in his cap. Vijay's stunts
were adequate. Dinesh
excelled in parts where Mahesh sprung some nice surprises for his fans in the songs in the second half, but why he chose to not fully display that angle of Mahesh and limit it to leaving us gasping for more is a question only Dinesh can answer. He could easily have bested himself but for some strange reason chose to hold back.
- Highlights : 1. Mahesh's histrionics - acting, modulation, comedy. 2. Puri's characterization and dialogues.3. Editing.4. Songs picturization (2nd half). Someone please remove dishti for Kajal. Her hot act in Chandama song where she was the recipient of umpteen kisses from Mahesh and her final liplock will have 100s of thousands of female fans of Mahesh cursing her incessantly. Never before has such a sensuous chemistry been seen between a lead pair.5. Mahesh's steps in a couple of songs, though fleeeting, will leave you hungering for more, especially in the Bad Boys song. Shweta Bhardwaj is hot, Hot, HOT in probably the massiest song in Mahesh's career.6. Kajal's sensuousness in a couple of songs.7. The final dialogues of Mahesh to the youth of the nation.
- Lowlights : 1. The audacity of the Censor Board to mask or filter some visuals and words. Excuse me, but we've seen much more exposure in Hindi and on TV and we've heard Mahesh himself utter some of those filtered words incessantly in the recent Mahesh Khaaleja. REALLY, what the *beep* were you thinking?2. Kajal's monotonous expressions3. Walk on roles for seasoned actors