'Rogue', Puri Jagannadh's first-ever bilingual, has hit the screens. Here is our review of the film:
Chanti (debutante Ishan) is a sincere lover boy for whom Anjali (debutante Angela) is the world. But when she gets married by her Police Commissioner-brother to an IPS officer (played by Subbu Raj), Chanti loses his balance and commits the sin of unintentionally paralyzing a constable (Sathyadev of 'Jyothi Lakshmi' fame) in the process.
Two years later after getting released from jail, Chanti is a hardened woman-hater when he comes to know that Anjali had no sincerity in her. As destiny would have it, he ends up with another Anjali (Mannara Chopra), a bar singer whose brother is the paralyzed constable.
Giving a late entry is one Psycho (Thakur Anoop Singh of 'S3' and 'Winner' fame), a criminal on the run who rubs Chanti on the wrong side.
The rest of the film is about why Psycho has a certain plan, how Chanti atones for his sin, and wins his new lover.
Puri Jagannadh once again banks on his style of characterizations to save the proceedings. He well knows that the story line is milk-and-water and thus, introduces the thread of Ishan-Angela love affair to begin with. This element affords him the luxury of introducing Psycho's character quite late into the film. However, after a point, the characters and incidents that triggered woman-hating in him slide into irrelevance.
The one big reason why 'Rogue' seems it is meandering in the second half is that the emotions established in the opening sequences have no bearing on what happens in the latter half. Furthermore, the late entrant Psycho gets the pride of place in the second half, while Subbu Raj (the first lover's hubby) is there adding nothing to the screenplay.
While the director in Puri is still prolific, the writer in him has long got repetitive. The director has to understand that he is the sole reason behind taking the zing out of his heroes, whose archetypes had provided a template for others to follow in the last decade. The lack of imagination comes to the fore in the scene where Chanti follows the bar girl heroine to give her money as if he is about to abduct her. No rationale is shown for such behaviour at the end of the day.
Earlier, the first lover comes to the jail and reveals her mindset to the hero even though she would get nothing from doing so. Why show her as if she is a vamp? Can't her mindset be revealed subtly and later?
One more time, when our hero needs money, his guts get them by lakhs. He may be feeling sorry that a family was pushed into poverty because of his ruthless action, but he shows no sensitivity as a recovery agent! Whie conceding the possibility that this is supposed to be seen as a case of cinematic liberty, was there no other go?
Puri's dialogues have also started seeming way too indulgent, of late. Referring to the hero as a 'vedhava' gives a sense of deja vu. It's funny that girls in this film remember World Promise Day (whatever it is) as if it were Valentine's Day, so on and so forth.
The idea of the police pissing in their pants even as all girls by name Anjali go missing in Kolkata is way too mind-boggling. Ali graduates into a suave Western-style beggar from his 'Pokiri' avatar. No thanks for this.
Sunil Kashyap does a note-worthy job with almost all the songs. 'Neela neela evaru' is among the best. The RR is another plus, so also the neat cinematography and locations.
For a debutante, Ishan is confident and seems to have a rosy future ahead. He is handsome and can be expected to steal a lot of girls' hearts. Mannara Chopra looks good and does her part well. Angela doesn't get an adequate role. Thakur Anoop Singh, unlike in his first two outings, gets to show his talent well.
If the story of 'Rogue' is formulaic, the treatment is Puri-esque (you decide if it's a compliment or complaint).