Dookudu is story Shankar Narayan (Prakash Raj), a responsible political leader, who wants his son Ajay to follow his footsteps and become a politician in the future. Shankar is hurt in an accident and goes into coma. Ajay (Mahesh Babu) grows up to instead be a police officer, and is put in charge to track down a mafia don Nayak (Sonu Sood). Shankar recovers from his coma after 14 years, and to satisfy his father’s wishes, Ajay dons the role of a MLA. The rest of the story is about how Ajay hunts for Nayak, and takes revenge on the people responsible for his father’s accident.
It’s a tailor made role for Mahesh Babu. He is absolutely brilliant in the movie. He looks dashing all throughout and I loved his styling (I believe he is one of the best dressed actors in the industry). I thought his dialogue delivery was a little awkward in few scenes, especially the use of Telangana dialect. Having said that he was brilliant, I feel that he could have done much better in senti scenes. Probably because of his films being dubbed into Hindi by Salman, he used a number of punch dialogues.
Bramhanandam and M.S. Narayana have better roles and more screen time than Samantha. They are outstanding in their respective characters. Bramhanadam once again proves his mettle. His portrayal in the scenes where Mahesh describes the requirements for the reality show, and where he talks to Nagarjuna over the pen cam is terrific. M. S. Narayan entertains us with his show reel.
Samantha is alright as the female lead. There is no proper characterization to her role, and had less than 30 minutes of screen time on the whole. I believe Samantha suffers from the same problem as Vidya Balan and Kamalini Mukherjee; after essaying a beautiful, deglamorized roles in their first movies, it is quite difficult to accept them flirting and romancing with the hero. It looked quite odd. She also looked very lean.
The rest of the cast was alright. Sonu Soon had a different get up and was good. I felt that Prakash Raj’s character went a little over board. Bharani, Chandra Mohan, Suman, Nazer, Naga Babu, Ajay, Subbu Raju, Bharat, Sayaji Shinde, Kota, Dharmavarapu, Shafi, Vennela Kishore, Sonia, Parvati Melton, and the list goes on – this movie had them all. It was like watching a mini Maya Bazaar.
In the first ten minutes, I thought the screenplay was running really fast. At the end of the three-hour long moving, I realized why Srinu Vytla was rushing through the movie. It’s because he tried to infuse so many stories into one film. Funnily, the stories he tries to infuse are all from his old movies. It was like watching all his movies together, right from Anandam to Namo Venkatesa. Senti scenes, family bonding, comedy bits, marriage song, we’ve seen them all before. But luckily, it works for most of the while. He also inserted a number of unnecessary concepts which made the movie lose its steam in between. Though there is absolutely no freshness in the story line, the strong cast helps him hold the movie together.
I have a lot of qualms regarding the story, but since it’s a Telugu film, won’t complaint much. Most noticeable was the lack of chemistry between Samantha and Mahesh. Except for the first few scenes after they first meet, there is not much happening around them. Also, Sonu Sood, who is shown as a big time scary don, seems to lose his steam towards the end. Him running away from Mahesh in the climax fight made no sense.
The screenplay, as mentioned, though rush in the beginning was fine toward the end. Direction was good in parts. Srinu Vytla’s plus point is his ability to create humor without trying much, and he was able to do that through most of the movie.
Music by Thaman is average. Except for the title song, none of them had any impact. Background score was good in parts. Though the punch dialogues lacked punch, dialogues by Kona Venkat are really good. Editing by Varma could have been better. A number of scenes should have made the cut. Cinematography by Guhan and Prasad Murella is absolutely brilliant. Thanks to them, people dint notice that Mumbai’s police commissioner had his office on top of a multi storied building. The shots in Istanbul, and for one of the songs in US are really good. The graphics could have been much better. Producers Ram Achanta, Gopichand Achanta and Anil Sunkara spent a lot of money and it was visible. They had most of the Telugu industry cast in the movie.
It was a boring, draggy, potpourri of movies which would never end. But still, it had its brilliant moments which makes the movie work. More than being a Mahesh’s film, it had Srinu Vytla written all over it. Mahesh just helped it reach the pinnacle. Bramhanadam and M. S. Naryana’s video clips shall be on almost everyone’s facebook pages in the near future. Actually, its not Mahesh, but them who make the movie reach its pinnacle. Better editing and screenplay could have helped. On the whole, a decent film. Could have been much better, but with the recent dearth of good Telugu films, this movie is something most of us can feast on (count me out!!).