Neither surprising enough to feel it as a thriller film nor funny enough to name it a comedy. So, Express Raja is what we all will kindly call a “thriller-comedy” movie. Merlapaka Gandhi has made just a couple of films, in which Express is the common term, but that term is missed in his direction. I mean, he really failed to express his thoughts over the screen, this time a lot. This Venkatadri “Express” Raja has chosen the plot of Hollywood’s Seven Psychopaths, and dematerialized it in seven silly paths by using artificial drama & bland comedy.
The story is a seed that gives birth to a sapling of seven leaves, but every leaf is affected by few pesticides. The wannabe MLA Keshava Reddy (Harish Uthaman) robs off 75 Cr from Surya, who collects that money for Spandana Charitable Foundation. Binami British (Supreet), who is the money-keeper of Keshava Reddy, wants to abscond the city with that 75 Cr. As it’s difficult to run away with such huge amount, he converts it into a diamond worth 75 Cr. He keeps that diamond in a dog’s collar, but the dog is stolen by Express Raja (Sharwand) to impress his girlfriend Ammu (Surabhi). Hey wait, am I confusing you? May be. So assume that this is the fuddled tale of a dog & a diamond.
Express Raja accredits everything to entertain, but the multi perspective format in its storytelling and the entirely unsteady direction turn the film wearisome. Performances & other technical aspects are also just about okay to not help this 144 mins long stretched film out. Plus, unrealistic characters and enforced bondings put the mood off to kick us back into the seats to rest for a while without seeing the screen. Those misplaced songs, silly slapstick humor and that lousy love track of Sharwa-Surabhi make you go out to the food zone to buy something to eat. You can have your own number of intervals during the whole screening.
The film is a slow burn that burns way too slowly. And when the film does occasionally gather some interconnection twists, it doesn’t follow through in a satisfying manner. Merlapaka Gandhi drove Venkatadri Express a bit decent, but in Express Raja, the puzzling pieces never quite add up to a complete picture.
Express Raja just becomes an overstuffed, low-simmer potboiler with too many improbable detours on the inconvenient paths. I honestly have no clue which kind of audience this film is for. Whoever they are, they probably walk out of the theater wanting a refund for the ticket they buy. Just like me.
My Rating: 1.5/5
Filed Under: Satya Reviews