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FeaturesCinema & TV'Pushpa: The Rise', an adrenaline rush to Allu fans

‘Pushpa: The Rise’, an adrenaline rush to Allu fans

Published: 17th Dec 2021 3:45 pm

Hyderabad: Of guns, machetes and axes, a single one liner wouldn’t suffice to describe the drama of ‘Pushpa: The Rise’. Stories of director Sukumar are always ripe and replete with drama. He chooses his protagonist Pushpa to be a street smart, outright rebellion, who risks his life as a red sanders smuggler at the same time he knows the potential dangers on the way. Pushpa faces social discrimination and his employers treats him as a mere coolie without noticing his strengths in the trade.

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Set in the mid 90s, the story takes audiences back to the era when red sander smuggling was rampant. Forming a syndicate, a chain of players rule the jungles of Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh. The smuggled red sanders make a turnover of crores every year. The mafia calls the shorts. But nothing withstands before the mafia. From politicians to the policemen in the region, everyone gets their share secretly.

But there are a few honest police cops who wish to clamp down the violators and save nature’s treasure. Smugglers and their men struggle clumsily, trailing back and forth from Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu border to reach the smuggled product to the destination of sea port. Here’s where they get to see the heroics of Pushpa. He doesn’t seem to be a hero but has smart-street ideas and knows every inch of the jungles. He has the knack to ferry the smuggled sanders safely right under the nose of police checkposts. He just begins to rise, climbs each ladder from the lower rung of smuggling partner to a mafia king. However, challenges and the situations that he faces from big sharks in the game seem a speck of dust to him. To gain the honour and the respect in the village, he is backed up by every leader and goes on to become an undisputed king of the smuggling syndicate.

Fitting the character of Fahadh Faasil into the film might have been the most challenging one for Sukumar. Without diminishing his stardom as an actor, Sukumar makes him fit perfectly as a newly-appointed officer in Chittoor – named Balwant Singh Shekhawat. A frightening personality with intimidating looks, Balwant Singh is someone who goes against the rule book. And the face-off episode with Pushpa in the climax is just another beginning to unfold.

There’s a way how commercial potboilers are made with a blend of art and drama. Sukumar’s films always defined his intellect and the way he saw the visual narratives. The story of Pushpa has good detailing with reasonable depth in characterisation. It has the tint that Sukumar has obtained from ‘Rangasthalam’, which was praised as a masterpiece in Telugu cinema. Both Ram Charan and now Allu Arjun share a similar space in this genre. But characters like Dakshayini (played by Anasuya Bharadwaj) and Mangalam Seenu (played by Sunil) looked dry without substance and emotion.

Right from the start, the story doesn’t divert from its track. The fight sequences, the romance track between Allu Arjun and Rashmika, the climax sequence with Fahadh Faasil – everything is interlaced with the theme. The dialect of Chittoor is another beauty that shows the diversity of the language in the film. Music might let audiences down a bit, if compared to recent Balayya starrer ‘Akhanda’. But you might even think that it is the story that gives the high in the end.

Director: Sukumar
Cast: Allu Arjun, Rashmika Mandanna, Suni, Anasuya Bharadwaj
Music: Devi Sri Prasad

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