Commercial cinema lives rent-free in the hearts and minds of the Indian audience. The hero does everything a common man can’t do in real life. That forms the base of masala films. This week’s big release is Ravi Teja’s Dhamaka: Double Impact directed by Trinadha Rao Nakkina.
Penned by Prasanna Kumar and Trinadha Rao Nakkina, the film revolves around Ravi Teja(Swamy and Anand Chakravarthi) going the extra mile to save a successful business empire from being annihilated by Jayaram(JP). As the film’s tag is ‘Double Impact’, the audience will get to see Mass Maharaja playing two characters. Swamy is a middle-class man and Anand Chakravarthi is the only son of the business tycoon Nanda Gopal(Sachin Khedekar). What happens when the massy and classy energy of doppelgangers is coupled? You are in for a surprise. Leading lady Sreeleela plays the character of Pranavi, who accidentally ends up liking the doppelgangers.
In a recent interview, the director of the film said, “All these years, people missed seeing the old Ravi Teja on screen. This film will certainly fill that void and people would love it to the core.” Did the makers succeed in doing that? Partially, yes. You’ll get to see that old magic in bits and pieces. The makers dilly-dally with the screenplay until the interval block. The narrative cuts back and forth between Ravi Teja trying to save the business, romancing someone half his age, abrupt loud songs, and of course, the high-octane fights.
The background music scored by Bheems Ceciroleo is loud and massy, but not groovy.
Cinematographer Karthik Ghattamaneni excels at presenting the grandeur that a commercial film demands. The scenes look grand and colorful. Producers Abhishek Agarwal and T.G. Vishwa Prasad leave no stone unturned with regard to production quality. The writing, however, falls short. It works in a few scenes and the rest looks lazy. The comedy sequences between Rao Ramesh(Pranavi’s father) and Hyper Adhi(driver) work like magic. The odd chemistry between these two men generates genuine old-school comedy.
Actor Jayaram grabs all the attention with his extraordinary performance as the antagonist. The man looks gentle and stylish, but the moment he’s in the ring, he turns demonic. Ravi Teja, as the protagonist, is high on energy and carries the film on his shoulders, but his energy doesn’t add much to the lackluster story. Character artists Rao Ramesh, Tanikella Bharani, Sachin Khedekar, Tulasi, Pavitra Lokesh, and Hyper Adhi play their roles with sheer conviction.
The decision to cast Sreeleela opposite Ravi Teja was a big mistake. It just doesn’t look believable. Ace filmmaker SS Rajamouli once said, “I don’t care if an actor is old. If I want that actor to play young, it should be believable. Or else, what’s the point?”. Either make it look believable or stop obsessing over casting a young woman for the sake of it. All I’m saying is, “There’s always someone who’s right for the part!”. Ignoring all these factors, Sreeleela puts up a fine show.
Dhamaka: Double Impact is sure to cater to Mass Maharaja’s fans, but on the whole, it just doesn’t have enough material to entice the general audience. I remember asking a fellow sitting beside me at the theatre, “How did you like the film?” In an upbeat tone, he said, “Ravi Teja is back!” In conclusion, if you’re a die-hard fan of the star, you are in for a treat. If you’re someone who’s wanting to watch a special film this weekend, I’m afraid you have other options at your disposal. This year we’ve watched wonderful flicks like Vikram, RRR, Kantara, and Ponniyin Selvan. All these films are commercial, yet they have that oomph factor. Hopefully, Ravi Teja will learn to adapt to the current market and its sensibilities.