- Release date: 12/17/2021
- To throw: Allu Arjun, Rashmika Mandanna, Suneel, Anasuya Bharadwaj, Fahadh Faasil
- Director: Sukumar
Pushpa: The Ascension – Part 1 recounts the journey of Pushpa Raj (Allu Arjun), a man of nothing who rises to the pinnacle of power due to his daredevil nature and perceptive intellect. He started out as an employee and gradually rose through the ranks to reach the top of the food chain where he was seen taking control of the extraction and distribution network for the elusive red sandalwood. Its journey to this position of power is neither easy nor without its share of life-threatening situations. Viewers travel back and forth in time to show us the meteoric rise of a man who came from a place characterized by pain and insult and continued to take control of his own life and that of that countless others.
While the story of Pushpa: The Ascension – Part 1 is one that we’ve seen over and over in different iterations, it’s the kind of story that will never lose its appeal, and when completed, will always appeal to that hidden desire in people that makes them dream of achieving. an incredible success in a short time thanks to their physical power and intelligence. This is what we recognize as the story of the underdog and it never gets old. This is one aspect that the directors of this film are banking on in their story, and it is paying off.
The smuggling of sandalwood into parts of southern India has always been in the news and many like me are interested in learning the exact modus operandi for the same. While there have been a few films that have documented a similar concept, Pushpa: The Ascension – Part 1 is one of the most prominent films to do so. It’s also a film that has the most time to lay out such a broad concept and execute it well. Does he succeed? The answer is yes and no. While the film is capable of establishing a credible universe around the contraband trade and of showing us the issues at stake for each of the parties involved in the trade, it does not dwell on the trade itself and barely touches on it. area.
I wish Sukumar had dwelled more deeply on contraband and gave audiences a much clearer insight into how it is carried out, what is at stake, and how the police-smuggler-politician equation works. More than anything, I would have liked it to be ultra-realistic in rendering these aspects. Unfortunately, it is not the case. Sukumar has fallen prey to the tropes of commercial Telugu cinema and it liquidates the raw impact of what could have been absorbing and intense drama documenting something that is still a conundrum to many. The romantic and comedic pieces often take precedence over the central plot involving the sandalwood smuggling and the syndicate that runs it, not only dragging out the film unnecessarily, but also diluting the impact of the plot itself.
Pushpa: The Ascension – Part 1 boasts of a protagonist as strange as they can get and yet infuses debates with such infectious energy and style that it’s hard to think of anything other than him when he’s on screen. Allu Arjun has always been a style statement in himself, but here he takes Pushpa’s weirdness to a whole new level and excels at everything he does. One thing he does right off the bat is to instill a sense of realism into the character that goes a long way in extracting sentimentality and raging hero worship for the protagonist. He is a far cry from the ultra-sleek, suave heroes Arjun is known to portray. Rather, he’s a bearded, rude, sloppy man here who only cleans up when he’s considering getting closer to the love of his life. His posture is biased due to a difficult situation he experienced as a child. All of this makes Pushpa an obviously odd and interesting protagonist.
Allu Arjun is fantastic at rendering emotional scenes and this aspect of his performance adds a lot of depth to the character. Despite all his antics and heroic exploits, Pushpa is a man who is aware of his social disabilities due to the fact that he is an illegitimate child. Whenever the issue is raised and insulted, Arjun presents a range of expressions that honestly document the hurt and insult the character has lived with since childhood. It adds an extra dimension to the character and makes the audience sympathize with him.
This is necessary because Pushpa is not a good man. What he does for a living cannot be justified and there had to be at least some redemptive factor in the character. This factor is realized through the years of insults and emotional trauma the character has had to endure and, in a way, makes his illegal actions understandable and pays homage to the world that only hurt him through no fault of his own. go. Having said that, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that Allu Arjun is what doesn’t let Pushpa get boring. He’s the heart and soul of the film and he does well enough to justify his presence in almost every shot in the film.
The supporting cast for the film is strong. ‘National crush’ Rashmika Mandanna is in her element here and she’s doing what she’s best known for. She’s an actress who uses her expressions to incite comedy and punch and she puts those two traits to good use in her character here. Unfortunately, the problem lies in the way her character is written and how the love affair between her and Pushpa develops. There comes a point where it seems odd after all the buildup that is shown that the trail is going in a certain direction. No matter how entertaining and sweet this part of the movie can be, it is, in the end, the only part that is not essential and adds nothing more to the story than a single sequence of events. action that could have been inserted for any other. raison.
I really enjoyed Suneel’s performance as Srinu. He feels like the perfect antagonist for the mad protagonist this movie boasts of and I would have loved to see him take on Pushpa. Sadly, the showdown between the two is teased but never realized. I was frustrated with the way a character like Srinu slaps and lets Pushpa take control without even giving him value for his money. Fahadh Faasil fans who would step into this film to see their favorite Fa-Fa breathe fire will be disappointed. He’s there for about 20 minutes and while those 20 minutes are used well in preparing the character for the next episode of the series, it doesn’t do much for this movie. I wasn’t too convinced by her bald makeup. This is something that keeps happening in Indian films. Creators should understand that actors should shave their heads when playing bald characters, as no makeup can possibly replicate a bald head. It is almost impossible to achieve and when not done well it turns out to be a major distraction.
The music and songs of Pushpa: The Ascension – Part 1 of which there are 4 are all as weird as the movie and the protagonist and yet they do wonders. It should be added that the performances of Allu Arjun, Rashmika Mandanna and Samantha Ruth Prabhu in these songs make them special and seductive. That said, the songs themselves have enough merit to be heard more than once, but the situations and the staging of the songs in the movie add a lot more to them than one would get by listening or playing. looking at them without preset. the context. The movie’s action isn’t as extensive as the trailers might have suggested. It should also be added that the action sequences are nothing that we have not seen before and need to be improved in the next installment of the film.
Pushpa: The Ascension – Part 1 is beautiful to watch. He has an incredible performance by Allu Arjun which is ably supported by the cast of the ensemble. The subject is interesting, but the realization could have been better. No matter how much I love Rashmika, I think her track could have been deleted altogether. This is more of a setup than anything else and by the end of the movie the story was finally set up to reach greater heights in the next episode which will be called Pushpa: The Rule – Part 2. While I don’t go crazy waiting for it, I’m surely interested to see how the rivalry between Allu Arjun and Fa-Fa is developed and executed in this film.
Rating: 3/5 (3 stars out of 5)
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