The film ‘Masala’ is an official remake of Hindi movie Bol Bachchan directed by Rohit Shetty. The Telugu remake, directed by Vijaya Bhaskar, has Venkatesh reprising the role played by Ajay Devgn in the Hindi version. Ram Pothneni steps into the shoes of Abhishek Bachchan.. “Masala” is the third film in Vijaya Bhaskar and Venkatesh combination. Their last two releases “Nuvvu Naku Nachav” and “Malliswari” were big hits. The director-actor duo is hoping to hit a hat-trick with “Masala.” Vijayabhaskar, known for directing classic comedies seems to be drifting from ‘class to mass’, as this movie is aimed at the gallery crowd.
Film’s story: Raheem (Ram) and his sister Sania (Anjali) arrive in Bheemarajapuram for a livelihood. Balaram (Venkatesh) is the village head with a kind heart, but he cannot stand liars. Circumstances force Raheem to pose as Ram and he gets a job offer from Balram. To cover up his lie, Raheem keeps on telling several lies. Eventually, Balram finds out about his lies and what happens next forms the crux of the story.
Ram was okay as Ram, but he was atrocious in the without moustache Rahman’s character. His performance in the interval bang is more like a drunkard than a gay dude. Ram’s mannerisms in Ram character recall his performance in Ready. Like Ram’s emasculate dance act just before the interval seems elongated and Venkatesh’s fustian English transcriptions, despite being frequently phunny, is so exaggerated that you lose the semantic biffs at several occasions.
Venkatesh has done many comedy characters earlier, but most of them have class and middle-class family orientation. For the first time, he has done a mass comedy character and comes up with an outstanding performance. His comedy timing is good, in fact he’s the reason you get some laughs out of the film. The way he says the Telugu lines in English, or the scene where he says ‘My English better than British’ are just funny.
Anjali looks completely out of the character, the part where she plays the lover of Venkatesh in past is just feeless. Anjali & Shazahn Padamsee didn’t have much to do other than provide scope for romantic numbers. Short dresses didn’t suit Shazahn in the Meenakshi Meenakshi track.
The rest of the cast is as expected, loud and pretty much intolerable except for Jaya Prakash Reddy, Ali & M S Narayana who try to bring in some sort of order and balance to the chaos but of course aren’t given enough room.
Masala just copied Rohit Shetty’s action choreography into Telugu, which just failed. Dialogues are promising especially few English translations are hilarious. Production values are grand.
Rohit Shetty is really lucky that his films run well at box office in spite of having terrible madcap scripts. But Vijaya Bhasker is not as lucky as him.
Director just lifted nearly every scene from Bol Bachchan and translated them into Telugu. He failed to understand his mantra “Hard work is keyhole to success”. Working with ever popular formula of lies, lies and more lies creating confusion and more confusion, Vijaya Bhasker failed to elevate Anjali’s flashback in an imp active way, even confusion of lies didn’t work well in Telugu.
Choreography is fine for the other songs. Cinematography is neat, camera work is good in Meenakshi Meenakshi & Ninnu Chuddani songs. Editor could have easily cut short the film by 10-15 min in the film.
Thaman SS music was not upto his standards. Even BGM failed to lift the scenes. Vijaya Bhasker totally failed to grab the music he wanted in this film, “The song shot at Hokkaido, the second largest island in Japan which marks this film as the first Indian movie to shoot in Japan is nicely shot.
Film – Analysis
As said earlier Masala is an official remake of Rohit Shetty’s Hindi film Bol Bachchan which had Ajay, Asin, Abhishek, Prachi & Amtabh in the cast. Despite of having such an impressive cast Hindi version just failed to reach Rohit Shetty’s mark success at box office.
Masala fails from the start as the comedy element didn’t work, the cast is imperfect and they don’t seem serious about their performances (leaving Venkatesh Daggubati). It is so shabbily made that you will instantly feel that director Vijaya Bhasker has lost interest in the initial parts of the film.
First half of the film drags and second half it makes audience tiresome. Masala is a wearisome entertainer, better avoid it in theatres. This is a pointless faithful remake, a kind of xerox copy. If you have watched ‘Bol Bachan,’ you would not have a reason to watch this one. Others can watch it for Venky and Ram.