Vijay shines in tepid political thriller

Vijay shines in tepid political thriller
Highlights

Vijay Devarakonda is the hero whose stars are shining the brightest these days In this frenzied scenario, when the youth are madly in love with his onscreen antics, comes his latest release, interestingly titled NOTA

Vijay Devarakonda is the hero whose stars are shining the brightest these days. In this frenzied scenario, when the youth are madly in love with his onscreen antics, comes his latest release, interestingly titled NOTA. Released at a time when Telangana is about to go to polls, this flick, promoted aggressively as Vijay’s launch in Tamil cinema (apart from giving him a different orientation to his chocolate hero image) takes a close look at the brand of politics in vogue in neighbouring Tamil Nadu, with very close references to real life politicians from both the Dravidian parties.

While Vijay and Priyadarshi make up the Telugu star cast, the multi- industry artistes like Nasser, Satyaraj etc make up for the rest of the main characters of this intense political drama. An actor-turned-CM (Nasser) renounces his post in favour of his London-based son (Vijay Devarakonda), who is a reluctant entrant into the murky world of netagiri. While the party machinery plays a grudging supporter, the opposing camps led by a feisty journalist-duo (Satyaraj and his daughter Mehreen Pirzada) keep a close watch on the new leader who faces political challenges left behind by his father, now an injured victim of an assassination attempt.

In the process, there is a whole re-alignment of political forces when foes become friends and vice versa. Director Anand Shankar, into his third film, brings in incidents fresh in public memory regarding the brazen political games played after Jayalalitha’s death and shows the politicians as nothing short of being spineless opportunists. There is also the undercurrent of financial scandals and deals of the hawala variety sewn into the story line which brings in the need for foreign locales and hi-tech gadgetry.

Despite the strong dubbed flavour, the first half is watchable enough while the second fritters the momentum with a series of sub-plots and screen space to the other characters. There is hardly any romantic moment between the lead pair, while the attractive opposition party leader (Sanchana Natarajan) seems to be having an eye on the hero. Vijay, as usual, is his impressive self but the badly written character, which relies more on the hero’s ability to rise above its limitations, gives him no scope to showcase the intensity demanded of his political avatar. Hence, the flick stays put as yet another politico crime thriller in the end.

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