Eega - is extraordinary; the thrills and adjectives to describe the film exhausting. When I first watched the trailer a few months back, I discussed it with a friend saying that the entire film is given away in the trailer. My friend sagely said it is SS Rajamouli's style to always give away the film in the trailer. It was of course stupid to complain. It is not the story alone, it's the execution that makes a film and that's a motherhood statement. Eega brings together the background score, the graphics, Sudeep's performance and the screenplay to create a great recipe of entertainment. The special effects of the film are realistic and of very high standards. The film is a must watch for everyone.
The movie takes off right from the moment the hero is bumped off and doesn't let go of the breathless pace till the end. Much is written about Hitchcock bumping off the heroine one-third into 'Psycho' - say something about a Telugu movie where hero dies in the first third and then shifting to top gear. It takes a great deal of self-assurance and generosity for a Superstar like Sudeep to take up the role of a ruthless and unapologetic villain; he delivers a performance to remember. The film steers clear of all the standard tropes of a Telugu film - the extended cameo of Brahamandam, the mandatory presence of the all the 'usual suspects' of Telugu Cinema et. al.
There are periods when the movie assumes an episodic nature. I thought the scene where the villain runs nude around his house chasing the fly (Eega) could have lasted 30 more seconds to provide a brief exchange between the shocked onlookers and the embarrassed villain. For a movie lasting 2 and a half hours, we are hastily taken to the next episode where the villain is sitting among his henchmen nursing his wounds, everyone apparently having forgotten what happened just a little while ago. Of course, these are but minor complaints in an almost perfect film. After a long time we see a movie where the humour is situational and is not driven by punch-lines and musical cues. The boardroom scene was the only section where the film leans towards slapstick but the scene rises above itself for an interesting pay off.
We talk and hear ever so often about how Pixar makes films for kids that have a universal appeal and are equally enjoyed by adults. Indian films for children instead of entertaining the adults who go along often disrespect the needs of children themselves. Here is finally an Indian film for children that adults would enjoy too. And on the surface, it doesn’t even seem like a children's film. Here is a Telugu movie - after K Viswanath's golden age - that can confidently be recommended to everyone in the country, nay, the world. SS Rajamouli has made Telugu Cinema proud with this achievement.
4.5 out of 5 Eegals.
PS: If cinema, as is often cited, is all about being an escapist pass time, Eega is high-escapism - I was so engrossed in the movie, that I forgot where I was; as I stepped out of the movie hall it suddenly struck me that I wont be going home in a familiar route and I actually am in a whole new country still experiencing the Enigma of Arrival. Mentioning it now again puts a lump in my throat.