Prince Movie Review: A Sivakarthikeyan fun film whose plot is not meant to be taken seriously

While 'Jathi Ratnalu' looked every bit homegrown, 'Prince' looks half-manufactured. This is not to say that 'Prince' is unfunny. It has its moments. 

Updated on Oct 21, 2022   |  04:45 PM IST  |  392.2K
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Prince Movie Review: A Sivakarthikeyan fun film whose plot is not meant to be taken seriously

Name: Prince

Director: Anudeep Kv

Cast: Sivakarthikeyan

Rating: 3 / 5

Title: Prince
Cast: Sivakarthikeyan and others
Director: Anudeep KV
Run-Time: 131 Minutes
Rating: 3/5

Imagine a middle-aged, small-town Indian father who has a problem with his daughter because she didn't opt for an inter-caste marriage. He believes she is a blot on his social reformer image. He chases publicity and doesn't know that he delivers inane speeches about the country every other Republic Day. His son is a school teacher who bunks classes to watch movies and upload YouTube reviews. Then there is a hilariously incompetent evil-doer who trespasses into others' lands but doesn't know how to be a sincere villain. 

This is the crazy world of 'Prince' where the male lead thinks he has joined the elite section of society now that he is a British woman's buddy. The average Indian's inferiority complex over not knowing English is also taped into to generate fun. The British are mocked sarcastically for 'donating' Independence Day to multiple colonies across the globe. If you are clued into the anti-colonial debate around the moral duty of the British to apologize to their former colonies, you will enjoy the subtext on which 'Prince' builds its comedy. 

For those of you who don't know, 'Prince' is directed by the same guy who made 'Jathi Ratnalu', the 2021 blockbuster comedy. The Naveen Polishetty-starrer was a tricky one on OTT, with a good section of the audience finding it quite banal, unlike those of us who loved it to the core when we watched it in theatres. You could confidently argue that 'Jathi Ratnalu' was a non-universal comedy that can work only if you have met men like Srikanth (Naveen), Ravi (Rahul Ramakrishna), and/or Shekar (Priyadarshi). It was essentially character-driven and its humour was completely local.

While 'Jathi Ratnalu' looked every bit homegrown, 'Prince' looks half-manufactured. This is not to say that 'Prince' is unfunny. It has its moments. 

Anand (Sivakarthikeyan) and his colleague Jessica (debutante Maria Riaboshapka as a Britisher) work in a school in a small town. Anand's father (Sathyaraj as a respected elder who suffers from irrational patriotism) is proud upon knowing that his son is in love with Jessica, whom he believes is a French woman. When he discovers that Jessica belongs to a country that plundered India for 200 years, he disapproves of their marriage.  

Anand and his father are too naive for their own good. From mock melodrama to fake punchlines, from a character wearing his patriotism on his sleeves to ironic lines, from a face-off that results in a deliberately silly clash to a funny harangue on humanism, 'Prince' has got everything in it

The plot slackens heavily after a while. It's not clear why this film was not shot in Telugu separately to at least an extent. The scenes involving comedian Soori and the cop could have been shot with Tollywood actors for the Telugu version. This comedy won't work if you question why the villain flounders at every step. But it works if you can enjoy the oddball situations like this one: Anand gets labelled a traitor by everyone who should have no stake in his personal choices. 

Despite the self-evidently unpretentious characters (the male lead is adorable), many jokes are flat. We don't get a sense that there was an attempt to overcome monotony; this flaw was apparent even in the disastrous 'First Day First Show' (2022), a Telugu film the director of 'Prince' wrote with great interest.

Thaman's sweeping music makes 'Prince' a little more enjoyable. Even though 'Bimbiliki Pilapi' is a song the Tamil audience will enjoy more than the Telugu audience, Sivakarthikeyan's energy is appealing. 'Jessica' is quite remarkable. Manoj Paramahamsa's cinematography is sincere.

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