Saaho Review & Rating
Saaho Review: Brilliantly Conceived Action Extravaganza
So, it’s time to say Saaho or Oho? Touted as India’s biggest action extravaganza, Saaho is one of the most expensive films to come out of Indian Cinema that is not directed by Shankar or Rajamouli. And for the first time in a long time, the entire business of the film is done all over India on the name of the hero who is not Rajinikanth. After about two years in making, and slowly built up anticipation, the Baahubali Prabhas starrer hit the screens today and after a special show, here’s Saaho review for you.
As expected, and revealed by Prabhas himself, the movie is thin on story and high on style, and is purely based on screenplay to deliver goods. As needed for such films (think of Fast & Furious films and Mission Impossible), there are highlight points every 15 minutes and the adrenaline pumping action sequences which are inch-perfectly choreographed. Whether the emotions which connect the audience to the protagonist worked out or not make a break a film like this.
The Story or how Ashok Saves the world
The movie starts with the introduction of the who are alleged as the villain gang. The movie then quickly moves on to the main plot point of the robbery where 2000 crore rupees are stolen and its a prestigious issue. Think of the nuclear codes in Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol. The only man who can save the day and restore the pride of the nation is expectedly our hero...
(those with eagle eyes got the name in the trailer itself)
Prabhas gets introduced in a vere level fight sequence which may become the envy of other star heroes ;-) But obviously there are a few twists and turns which help in keeping the audience alert of the narration and one character after another gets introduced or keep coming back (like Chunky Pandey). How or if the protagonist finds the details of mysterious robbery and what has the much talked about Black Box got to do with the unlocking of the treasure (read in Clint Eastwood’s voice as the Man with No Name) - two thousand crores is a lot of money, still. After all these scams like 1 lakh crores ;-)
Writing and direction
With this out of the way, let’s turn our attention to the young filmmaker Sujeeth who conceived of this big budget extravaganza. Is he justified? Yes. For the most part. As noted by master screenplay gurus, high concept or blockbuster films are generally low on stories and depend solely on the thrills they offer. With the plot points falling at the right place and creativity is used in churning out twists and delivering adrenaline rush at least a couple of times. He did the same and expecting otherwise is like cheating ourselves.
The opening few moments later, say like the first 3 or 4 minutes, the movie gives a hint about the potential of the director and his capability in imagination. The action sequence choreographed for Prabhas’s introduction is enough of proof for this. He’s here to stay as a director. For a man who can handle Baahubaliesque film and a similarly big star, rest comes easy. But that’s another matter for another time. The narration takes a flying start but the romantic scenes between the lead pair hampers the pace of the film to an extent.
Yet the action sequences (read: chases or fights) makes you forget complaining. But the pace quickens towards the interval and the twist is executed extremely well. The second half starts on the next level and the momentum towards the pre-climactic thriller of a stunt sequence makes you forget breathing. But the songs though (however good they are: Great in Hindi and no so great sounding in Telugu) comes out as speed-breakers. The climax... well we don’t want to spoil the thrill for you.
And the movie needs a lot more analysis.
Prabhas is the quintessential action star in the lines of Tom Cruise. He’s taller, muscular, and charming than his Hollywood counterpart and is as good looking. But his dialogue delivery is lazy (shall we say, laidback?). But it falls with the design of his character. Ashok is a world weary man rather than a starry eyed kid. A type of hero we’re accustomed to but unfamiliar to the Telugu audience. Now, there’s no need to say he has a great screen presence and is nearly unrivalled in action scenes.
Shraddha Kapoor though she did well lacked the finesse a heroine in such big level films needed. But she punched above her weight. Amrita Nair is introduced in a powerful way but her character loses steam as the film moves forward. She had to be saved time and again from the diehard fans. The rather scorching sense of humour worked well on the screen despite knowing these dialogues beforehand. For her part, Shraddha looked good in the songs.
The villain gang led by several actors from various film industries did well within their limits. But as the film’s concentration is mostly on the hero and his daredevilry, their characterisations appear caricaturish. As expected from films like this. A few more layers to at least one villain would have taken the narration to the next level.
To avoid spoilers we’re not revealing who played what role. But Neil Nitin Mukesh is charming. Arun Vijay oozed confidence. Lal brings his experience. Murli Sharma adds to the proceedings with his typical performance and Jackie Shroff is hmm! Obviously Jackie Shroff (think of Romeo Akbar Walter - it’s no spoiler guys, just about his performance) is Jackie Shroff. Mandira Bedi is just there to fill the screen. But watch out for Chunky Pandey. He surprises you. And there is Evelyn Sharma. Just to add a few lines of dialogues and look... hot.
Musuc and cinematography
The music of the film is to be divided into two parts. The score composed by Ghibran is no lesser than any of the top of the line of works by the Hollywood masters. It both complemented the narration and elevated it when needed. The sounds are rather unique for the most part for an Indian film. The next is songs. Composed by various music directors. Though they are good and are already chartbuster a with some addictive beats, they lacked uniformity and failed to make a proper theme within the theme. Manu Sharma is sorely missed ;-)
Or even Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy would have done better in this respect. How can anyone forget Don?
The cinematography by R. Madhi is first rate. Every frame is a visual wonder and the angles he used for various action sequences are masterly. The action is captured on a never-before-seen scale. Certainly both cinematography and stunt choreography set the benchmark for the films to come. The lighting scheme and colour palettes adds mood to the film. Which is rather grim at places. The editing by A. Sreekar Prasad is sharp. If only the songs are aptly placed.
The production design is top-notch. The locations are both exotic and added to the grandeur. The rugged terrains, the sandy surfaces, and the glossy interiors all are perfectly created by the art department. The production values are obviously grand. But the visual effects should have been handled well (it’s already taken a lot of time and it’s understandable). Great job.
Saaho is not a film we get to see every other day. A visual extravaganza and an action thriller conceived on a larger scale than a typical Asian film sans recent Chinese blockbusters like The Wolf Warrior. With a lead man like Prabhas and the thrills on par with best of the best action films, it’s a film not to be missed on big screens. Just give it a chance.
- The scope and scale
- Grandeur everywhere
- Slick direction
- Never before seen action sequences (even Baahubali 2 climactic action falls short of this)
- Narration could have added depth than layers
- A proper story always does add a lot more to such films. Why worldwide filmmakers doesn't think of this except Koreans?
3.25 out of 5
Reviewed by: GitacharYa
Tailpiece: Either you watch it or skip it. It's not a film to be watched in smaller screens
Saaho Critic Reviews
Saaho User Reviews
Excellent action movie ever in india and one more thing all people are saying no perfect storyline but for an action movies it is difficult to concentrate on story please remember
Good one time watch, must watch for action scenes and visuals
Good action entertainer. It's Prabhas all over !!
All About Saaho
Saaho is India's biggest action-adventure. Right. It is described by its director as a fantastical romantic action thriller. It's made on a grand scale. It's Prabhas' first outing since the phenomenal success called Baahubali.
Is that all about Saaho?
Saaho is a dream. A big dream of a youngster who wanted to make a film with the then young rebel star Prabhas. But in between his first film and now, there was a mountain called Baahubali to surmount. Prabhas' image has skyrocketed since. And he, one of the star heroes in Telugu Cinema has now become a pan-India star. He's not just Young Rebel Star Prabhas.
He's Baahubali Prabhas. As rightly described by S. S. Rajamouli who made the Baahubali out of Prabhas, he's now an all India star. Baahubali was marketed on the brand image of Rajamouli and the promise of an historical fiction made on a large scale. A film of a genre that was not made in recent memory.
But Saaho is entirely marketed on Prabhas' newfound image and the fandom he enjoys all over India. All this may be because of Baahubali. But still, Saaho is all about one man named Prabhas. The film is made with an unprecedented pan-India cast. Almost all major film industries contributed at least one actor to the film.
Noted Hollywood technicians are roped in. Action sequences are composed by a Hollywood action choreographer. Not just any ordinary foreign technician with white skin (happens, no?) marketed as such. It's Kenny Bates. Worked for films like Die Hard and Transformers. A film that set the benchmark in action scenes. And Saaho has about 60% of the film's budget spent on stunt work.
Now, let's get back to Sujeeth. The young director who helmed this film. Right before his eyes, Baahubali rolled out and become a mega success. And Prabhas. Okay. Let's talk about Prabhas. Despite the rise in his status as a pan-India star and the back to back mega-blockbusters in the form of Baahubali, he still stuck with the young man who came up with the idea.
Despite the budget needed and the scope of the project, Prabhas believed and went ahead with Sujeeth when he could have literally any of the top filmmakers queueing up in front of his house. Even Bollywood mogul Karan Johar wants to introduce him to the Bollywood audience in a proper Bollywood fashion. But Saaho is a dream of not just of Sujeeth or the unmitigated support Prabhas has given the youngster.
It's the film that all Telugu people have been waiting to happen for eons. A Telugu film that surpasses the scale and scope of any film in India. A Telugu film which forces the release of Bollywood films to be postponed. A Telugu film that is the ONE which will be watched by every movie buff in every state of the country. A Telugu film that is not Baahubali to make waves at the international level. Think of 2.0. And multiply it with 10.
Why should we watch Saaho
Yes. A valid question. Why should we watch any film, for that matter? Entertainment. Timepass. To forget ourselves in a new world that is not ours but still takes us as a part of it. Saaho promises all this. And more. On an international standard. It has all that makes for high-quality entertainment.
- A high concept story. Or a generic story to move the action forward.
- Breathtaking action sequences.
- A star hero capable of looking the part of such a high-quality product.
- A pan India star cast.
- Foot-tapping music (forget that the Telugu songs look like they are dubbed from Hindi ;-) ).
- And that a Telugu film that's marketed in the name of the hero which has the chance to hit the 1000 Cr. mark in terms of worldwide gross.
What more do we need? Just go there and if you have tickets ready, watch it with your buddies. And celebrate cinema. Indian Cinema at it's best. And Telugu Cinema at that.