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EntertainmentPeddanna: Larger than life and beyond imagination

Peddanna: Larger than life and beyond imagination

Published: 5th Nov 2021 10:05 am

Hyderabad: Somewhere in the very beginning of the nearly three-hour Rajini indulgence, two guys plead for safety and security on declaring that they have sighted and seen Peddanna. Now imagine the plight of one who sits through 176 minutes of an over-the-top latest Rajini tricks which are neither new nor amusing. The post-Covid scenario has an informed audience who may well shed their hitherto naïve perception of entertainment – filmmakers must quickly adapt.  

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The sibling melodrama was all fine with ‘Rakta Sambandham’ till the duo meet to cold shoulders in the city. Those who walk into the theatre seeking to beat the ‘noisy celebrations’ in the season soon realise the decibel levels in the film are far higher. Dated beyond redemption, one may well be gaping at director Siva and his understanding of what is entertaining, leave alone what is successful. 

Why would a filmmaker invest so much in a script so flimsy, a narrative so clumsy, and a presentation so ridiculous! It is not just the degree of disbelief, nor the exaggeration that already constantly works on your nerves. In fact, there is also reference to Hitler, Mussolini and Idi Amin. Some company for the filmmaker. 

Mamma dies in labour leaving newborn under the care of sobbing sibling. He grows into big brother and dotes on little sister. Even as the duo is getting soppy, minor baddie (Prakash Raj) decides to loiter in for a while. It takes no Kalinga War for change of mind and just as minor baddie is working towards a Sooraj Bharjatiya mood – little sis elopes. Big brother goes in search. Chalo Kolkata. Meet ‘bad bro’ (Abhimanyu Singh) and his half ‘very bad’ brother. Initially, big brother is at war with bad bro and very bad bro in a scream free, blood-spilling, dust-filled sibling drama and recovery. Simply obnoxious.  

This can’t be entertainment even with an exaggerated definition of the term or a liberal understanding of the term. Exaggeration has always been the mainstream of Rajini films. Rajini has larger-than-life and beyond-imagination character that is pampered by a director, nourished by a script and obviously rejected by the collective viewership.  

Actors like Meena and Khushboo in miniscule roles set the trend of a loud and completely classless entertainer. Joining these are Abhimanyu Singh and Jagapathi Babu. Nayanatara, as the romantic lead, is matronly and in the role of a caretaker of sorts. She steps in to protect Kanakamma (Keerthy Suresh), the sister on the run. Keerthy, on the other hand, is neither attractive in lighter moments of the movie, nor convincing in the emotive moments in the movie.  

Rajinikanth has always defied logic. However, when one-liners become three hours, your nerves are tested. Whether an actor has a responsibility in choosing the script is a matter of opinion. Even the law-defying, chaotic, late evening urban fireworks seem less chaotic and noisy than ‘Peddanna’. 

This film, which begins with a vote of thanks to the audience, should have stopped there. 

L. Ravichander

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