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Upperstall Review




Telugu, Action, Drama, 2009, Color

Cast And Crew

One hot afternoon, the Commissioner of Police, Hyderabad, Eeshwar Prasad (Venkatesh), receives an anonymous phone call from a man (Kamal Haasan) who claims to have planted various powerful bombs across Hyderabad. The entire sequence of events unfold between 2 pm, when the Commissioner gets the call, and 6 pm. The Commissioner acts as negotiator with this 'terrorist' and learns that he wants the release of 4 dangerous terrorists, which include those involved in setting off bombs and an arms dealer. He asks them to be brought to an aerodrome and gets them killed there. He reveals that he is no terrorist but a common man frustrated with the inefficiency and delay in the system in dealing with known terrorists.

This re-make of A Wednesday is definitely not the regular Friday fare, at least not what the Venkatesh fan club expects from him. Venky is known to be the re-make star, so the movie itself comes as no surprise. However, the play-safe actor has finally stepped out of his safety zone to venture into new territory. His regular movies have lots of love and family sentiments. So, Eenadu (Today) comes as a surprise and maybe not such a pleasant one for his fans. Simply, because Venky doesn’t do what he is normally expected to do. But it has to be said here, what he does, he does really well.

Eenadu is a commentary on the current law & order situation, the anger of a common man and the dynamics of the police force. Hyderabad, especially, can relate to the bomb episodes because it has been two years since the city had seen the bombs blast through Lumbini park and Gokul Chaat. To release the movie close to the anniversary is a thoughtful gesture. We get a peek of the action that takes place when the control room receives news about a bomb. Can the police take it seriously? What if it is true and they ignore? How do they confirm it is true? Police Commissioner Eeshwar Prasad takes the call that informs him of the threat to the city. Prasad takes a while to sum up his resources to confirm the veracity of his claims. Once it is proven it is true, he now has to line up the terrorists the anonymous caller asked him for, in lieu of the explosions. Prasad now has to convince the Chief Minister to give him powers to tackle this strange situation.

The movie starts off on a stern note right at the outset and the audiences know they can expect a taut screenplay without any diversions. It moves at a brisk pace and you get involved in the bomb drama and explosion hungama. What's more, there are enough twists, turns, crests and troughs to keep you glued to the seat. In the end, when the caller asks the cops to kill the terrorists, one understands how the common man can make an impact and move things forward if he wants to but whether him taking the law into his own hands is the right solution is highly, highly debatable.

Eenadu enjoys one advantage that A Wednesday did not. The Telugu version was released after the Mumbai carnage in November and one can easily relate to the rescue operations, the way the cops deal with such situations etc. Thanks to live national television coverage of the Taj burning, Eenadu’s goings-on make a better impact. It is nice to note that there are no songs and funny stunts to take you away from the movie. The run time of two hours is also a welcome change.

Kamal Haasan, as always, is brilliant in his portrayal of the caller who pulls a fast one on the police when they try to trace him. He has done his own dubbing in Telugu and he portrays the necessary angst and indifference in various scenes. The beard and the glasses impart the necessary ‘life-is-a-drudgery’ look. Venkatesh has already played a cop in Gharshana (2004) and he fits well into the role of a fast-thinking officer. We are glad he plays his age without slipping into his usual young lover or a collegian type of role. Thank God, no unnecessary romances or fights for him either. While having the physique of a hardened cop, Venky’s best comes in the first few scenes when he handles the crank caller with composure and maturity. His decision to go on the road not taken in Eenaadu pays off handsomely in retrospect.

The supporting cast and do not add or take away anything much from the movie. There is no music to speak of, barring a background number to sum up the sombre mood of the movie. Shruthi Haasan shows promise for a debutant music director. Dialogues are balanced without being overly jingoistic. If terrorism is instant, so should be justice… A few such slick one-liners are good and timely. The camerawork is apt for a movie like this.

Director Chakri has both an easy and a tough job. Easy, because he has a precedence and on one level, he just has to replicate it. Tough, because he has to replicate it without making it appear so. If you haven’t seen the Hindi version, you will like Eenadu as an offbeat movie for a weekend afternoon. If you’ve already seen it, you will probably sit and compare scene to scene with the original to see what works better and what doesn't.

So, if you haven’t seen A Wednesday, watch Eenadu this Thursday, before another movie hits the screen. Overall, it is an off-beat product that won’t really mess up your day.

Upperstall review by: manjukalanidhi

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