'Saaho' movie review: Action-thriller is strictly only for die-hard Prabhas fans
The movie starring Telugu superstar alongside Shraddha Kapoor is all style and no substance.
The much awaited, multilingual, heavy budget Saaho is here and hours after watching one of the very first screenings of the action thriller in Dubai on Thursday night, we are still reeling. Not so much from the awe inducing action sequences, the uber cool car chases or the sheer swagger of lead star Prabhas. Let's break down the Prabhas-Shraddha magnum opus for you because a regular review just won't do justice to this extravaganza, believe us. After all if the makers spent Rs350 crores on it, we owe it a more detailed analysis.
The plot: The story is too convoluted for us to even attempt to decipher it. Without giving too many plot points away, suffice to say when an undercover cop and an undercover criminal crosses path mayhem ensues. Cars get crushed, people get shot, glasses get broken and our hero takes flight. Prabhas plays Sidhant Nandan Saaho, an 'undercover cop/criminal' with a murkey past who falls for his colleague Amritha Nair from the Mumbai Crime Branch. Their case takes them to a den of villains each out to outdo the other in the fictional city of Waaji (a glitzy, futuristic looking Abu Dhabi) Just for starters there is Jackie Shroff, Mahesh Manjrekar, Tinnu Anand, Malayalam actor/filmmaker Lal, Arun Vijay and Chunky Pandey in a menacing role, though credit goes to the Telugu dubbing artist as well for making him sound so ominous. Be it Neil Nitin Mukesh, Murli Sharma or Prakash Belawadi, each side character is given enough screen time to shine. Mandira Bedi as the steely Kalki, clad in impeccable Khadi silk saris, is a delight to watch. Ditto with Shraddha who could have easily been relegated to mere eye candy, but is provided ample screen time to show off her doe-eyed, blowdried charm.
The action: Is that a bird? Is that a plane? No, it's Saaho literally flying off a cliff after first throwing off his parachute and then catching up with it midway, putting it on, activating it and WAIT FOR THIS, shrugging it off at the last minute so he can land on his own two feet to cheers from his swooning fans. Almost makes you wonder if the scripts of Baahubali and Saaho got mixed up at some stage. Ditto with the scene where Saaho dons a flying suit to rescue Amritha who is hanging out of a helicopter, only to ditch his armour and land safely on the ground with not a scratch on either of them.
The songs: You have to hand it to director Sujeeth for scouting for the best locations to shoot the song sequences. Shraddha is a dream to watch and Prabhas is extremely nimble footed - he literally saunters into our hearts with his sleek moves. Jacqueline Fernandez sizzles in the Bad Boy number.
The costumes: Saaho is undoubtedly one of the most stylish movies to come out in recent times. While the villains are all type cast with gold chains and smart suits, Prabhas literally sashays down the screen in his ankle grazers and at one point carries off a fire engine red suit with such elan you nearly swoon.
Verdict: Prabhas no doubt has the charisma and the swagger to make Saaho likeable. He plays it with enough gravitas to make us want to believe in him, but the script and action sequences are tailored to elicit jeers (or looks of horror/disbelief). At this point we need to acknowledge that certain sections of the audience were having a ball, cheering on their superstar and whistling and applauding his every move. Such fandom indeed is the only redeeming factor that can salvage this movie. Prabhas owes his fans big time if Saaho ends up creating any sort of record at the box office.
Hold your breath & fasten your seatbelts, the #SaahoStorm is set to take over every theatre near you! #SaahoInCinemas worldwide from August 30! #30AugWithSaaho #3DaysForSaaho pic.twitter.com/XztYHogtcl- Saaho (@SaahoOfficial) August 27, 2019
There is a scene towards the end of the movie when Saaho and Amritha are cowering under intense gunfire and the latter turns to the former to ask, 'Who are they? He replies nonchalantly: "Fans." Upon hearing more gunshots, she turns back to him and asks: "Why are they so violent then?". His reply? "Die hard fans." If you count yourself among that lot, then Saaho is definitely a must watch for you. Otherwise steer clear of this mess.
Disclaimer: Due to technical reasons, the Hindi screening we went in for, turned out to be the Telugu version. While we were busy speed reading the subtitles and watching the action scenes unfold open-mouthed (due to the sheer absurdness of the scenes, may we add), there might have been nuances in the script that we missed. Though we strongly believe even if a quarter of the money, time and energy that went into coordinating Shraddha's lipstick to her costume had gone on to the script we would have been lucky.
Cast: Prabhas, Shraddha Kapoor, Jackie Shroff, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Chunky Pandey, Mahesh Manjrekar, Arun Vijay, Murli Sharma
Rating: 2 out of 5