Where to start? Well, after reading this awesome review by the always interesting Post-Punk Cinema Club we knew we HAD to see this film. Hindi cinema has been disappointing of late for those of us who love full throttle all singing all dancing all biffo masala films, and we both sensed this may just hit the spot. Months of googling, emailing, staring forlornly at shop shelves here (and by Heather when in Chennai) was finally put to rest with the DVD release! Yay! We rejoiced, and we ordered quick smart (shameless plug for the excellent Raj and Bhavani DVD). A select viewing audience was assembled (including two Mumbai born Hindi speakers and hardcore filmi fans) and we settled in. Only to find out Heather had cheated and watched it on her own. This might have destroyed our friendship but it did have the benefit of allowing her to lunge across the couch and announce “This is VERY SIGNIFICANT!” at relevant points of the film. We are still friends.
OMG. What a ride this film was!
From the heart-string-tuggingly beautiful opening scenes to the joyous end credits, we lapped it up. We have a charismatic young hero with hair that loves a wind machine , a despicable but well accessorised villain, a heroine with some common sense but not much to do, dancing, music, explosions, swords, horses, tigers and ye olden days. And an elephant!
The story spans 400 years or so and tells of Kala Bhairava (played by Ram Charan)and his love for Princess Mithravinda (played by Kajal Aggarwal). Through the machinations of the despicable villain, Rana Dev Billa, the young couple die before they ever get their love lives sorted out and so their story is incomplete. Jump forward 400 years, and who could it be exploding off the screen riding his motorcycle through the clouds? Yes. Harsha aka Bhairava is back and that can only mean one thing. Two plus hours of getting the girl and triumphing over the forces of evil!
Mumaith Khan and her powerful chest in an unintentional(?) Baywatch Jiggle Run tribute is perhaps a sign that this is going to be one for the boys.
But the item girls are overshadowed by Ram Charan’s awesome dancing and so the eye candy quotient seems to be there for all.
One of the major disappointments in recent Hindi films is the boring montage instead of a proper multi-costumed spangly dance. Thankfully, Tollywood seems to still have a commitment to the kind of entertainment that we love. We did ponder whether it was the actors who can dance so well that makes this possible or are the actors who can’t dance so well just overlooked and never blight the viewers eye? MAGADHEERA takes full advantage of excellent backing dancers and a hero with a thoroughbred pedigree. We loved seeing Chiru turn up in his special appearance, maybe almost as much as these guys did!
In fact, we both loved MAGADHEERA so much, it has become the first step in our South Indian Cinema Induction programme. Guests are required to watch MAGADHEERA (snacks and chaat provided of course) and later they must discuss the strange allure of the Southern Hero Ishtyle. Phase 2 of the programme will be revealed in coming weeks…
Suitably inspired by David and Margaret “At The Movies”:
Heather says: Lions and tigers and bears, Oh My! Or rather horses, tigers and (an) elephant! This movie really has everything, and manages to tell a rather overused storyline in such an inspired way. There is enough comedy without it being obtrusive and annoying as I’ve found can be the case in Indian cinema. Meanwhile the drama quotient is high, performances excellent with great casting and very good use of CGI. The dancing was awesome and technical enough to appease even those of us channeling Jason Coleman from SYTYCD. Good guys win, bad guys don’t (eventually) and there is plenty of mayhem and blood shed in the process . And the final song over the end credits is the best ever!! Loved it so much I watched it 3 times in as many days, and still feel a week isn’t complete without just a little MAGADHEERA in it somewhere. This is a full five star movie.
Temple says: What I loved about this film is the wide eyed serious commitment to the truth of the story, with no irony or raised eyebrows to undermine the impact. I had a discussion with a good friend about this – she felt it was a bit too testosterone laden and serious to be palatable as a viewer and she wanted some sign of irony. I love the all out all in drama and while there is some unintentional humour, I reckon I was laughing with the film and not at it most of the time. As a viewer I want to get swept up and dragged along by a film, I want to cheer the good guys and hiss at the baddies, I want to try and dance along and have the songs stuck in my head for ages. I can honestly say MAGADHEERA delivers all this and more! If the number of times we paused the DVD to look at each other and just marvel at the stunts, the drama, the sheer fun is any indication, this is a classic! Go watch it if you haven’t already. Seriously – go now! I give this five stars!