Romantic Movie Review: An over-confident romantic actioner where gangsterism is a joke
Cast: Akash Puri, Ketika Sharma and others
Director: Anil Paduri
Is 'Romantic' a love story or a lust story? Much screentime is wasted in answering the pointless question. It's pointless because writer Puri Jagannadh is capable of over-simplifying anything and calling it philosophical thinking. It is futile to draw distinctions between love and lust when you can parade the latter as the former by deploying an expletive here, a sensuous song there in a manipulative manner. After a point, 'Romantic' is all about gimmicks. But this film is also a gangster drama where the action scenes take place only because Monica (Ketika Sharma) is not always around. When she is not within his touching distance, Vasco (Akash Puri as a 21-year-old gangster) goes mad and brings down mighty smuggling cartels in an instant. Such are his superpowers.
Vasco has a sad past. He is an orphan, too. That gives him the right to not just game the evil system but also grope the enticing heroine. Like Pandu (Mahesh Babu) in 'Pokiri', he can never be defeated (unless he chooses to bow out). Like Surya Bhai in 'Businessman' (Mahesh Babu, again), he is a do-gooder with a mass following. Puri Jagannadh, who helmed the aforementioned superstar vehicles, is the writer of 'Romantic'. His screenplay, story and dialogues are so affected that the end product feels like an over-confident parade of stale tropes that Akash Puri, a second-time hero, struggles to do justice to.
Puri Jagannadh believes that the audience will never ask from where his heroes derive their daredevilry. This attitude works when your hero is a Pawan Kalyan, a Prabhas, or a Mahesh. It looks bloated when your hero is an Akash Puri, who in this film manages to give the most trigger-happy encounter specialist (Ramya Krishna as ACP Ramya Gowarikar) sleepless nights without putting in much effort. She is reduced to not just screaming and shouting but also swooning over his so-called unblemished love story. When she manages to nab him, she probes his nascent love story. If 'Romantic-2' is ever made, Ramya would most likely get busy authoring a book titled 'Saala Vasco Ka Epic Love Story'.
The crux of the story is supposedly about the purity of feelings that Vasco and Monica share for each other. And the characters have to scream their lungs out to inform the audience that it's a 'pure' love story.
There is no saving a Puri Jagannadh product as long as the writer believes that his scenes may be mindless but his characters are ultra-cute because of their flaws. Flawed characters don't make for riveting stories just because someone calls them a mastermind (Ramya calls Vasco one!) or they think they are bohemian (no, they are unintentionally conceited). Puri should also know that his actors don't always ooze integrity just because they are orphans or wronged gangsters.
Puri's villains have been cardboard characters for years now. In 'Romantic', they are also consummate jokers, with Makrand Desphande's Samsung looking like he is too weak to put up a fight. Neither the antagonist nor the top cop up their game as the hero has all the fun at their expense.
Barring Naresh Rana's decent cinematography and Sunil Kashyap's mildly effective music, literally, nothing works here.
Check out the trailer of the film below: