Raja Vikramarka Movie Review: An inept action-comedy that is shorn of logic
Cast: Kartikeya Gummakonda, Sai Kumar and others
Director: Sri Saripalli
Run-Time: 138 minutes
In the film under review, the premise is colossal. There is a Home Minister whose life is under threat. There is a crest-fallen Maoist who is nursing his wounds and is seething with a vengeance. There is this National Investigation Agency whose supposedly smart officials have figured out that the HM will be blown up if they don't get their act together urgently. For no rhyme or reason, the mission to protect the Minister has to be accomplished without informing even an ant, that too by a wilfully madcap junior (read the hero). If anything, it is the AR Murugadoss cinematic universe and the crime-comedy flavour rolled into one. While tight writing would have made 'Raja Vikramarka' feel like a half-decent version of 'The Family Man 2' at the minimum, the film is a celebration of wacky elements and preposterous ideas.
Kartikeya Gummakonda is Vikram, an NIA agent who wears his reckless attitude on his sleeves. Beneath his carefree persona, there is a Sherlock Holmes and a Puri Jagannadh hero rolled into one. Before you know, he enters the Home Minister's residence, ogles at the Minister's daughter (Tanya Ravichandran makes a Telugu film debut), and deploys mother sentiment to floor her. He is an NIA officer and she is the daughter of the Home Minister, but for all we know, they are on a college campus bunking Engineering classes and having fun outdoors. Nobody in the Minister's team has heard of protocols, probably because Sai Kumar's Minister character is a good-hearted politician with a well-dyed moustache. How can he have enemies?
The pre-interval assassination attempt block looks so staged that it is insufferably basic. Whenever the going gets tough, Vikram springs into action and bombards the screenplay with instant insights. Vikram is not just gutsy and astute but also damn lucky. During an operation involving 100 individuals, he has a joker from the bad guys' side assisting him unwittingly. He has a villain preparing to execute a gory act with a TV set playing news in the same room! One feels anybody can become an NIA agent if these many factors come together.
The comedy track is a rehash, inspired as it is by the element of the male lead scapegoating a comedian (Harsha Vardhan in this case) in trying to woo the daughter of a powerful man.
The one element that doesn't seem far-fetched in the entire film is this: Vikram dangles a carrot to seduce the other side. This is a trick that cops use in real life as well. But the elaboration of the idea is, again, shorn of believability.
Despite seasoned actors like Sai Kumar and Tanikella Bharani, 'Raja Vikramarka' doesn't come across as a well-acted movie. Prashanth R Vihari's BGM lends style to some action scenes. PC Mouli's cinematography is efficient.