My Year of Prakash Raj

Some people spend a year
cooking Julia Child's recipes, or following all of the rules in the Bible, or reading books by people who spent a year doing something. My quest is to watch the 200-some films of South Indian character-actor-extraordinaire, Prakash Raj. (It'll probably take more than a year... and I'll post about some Prakash-less films here as well.)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Deol Dhamaka: Two Degrees of Prakash Raj

I've been very inspired by all of the Deol Dhamaka in Bolly-blog-land this month, and decided I should try and contribute in some small way. I knew that it needed to be something that allowed me to talk about at least one Deol AND Prakash Raj. I dug around the filmographies of everyone involved, but didn't find inspiration until Ness of "Shahrukh Is Love" and Katherine of "Totally Filmi" suggested Ek: The Power of One.

Ek: The Power of One is a remake of the Telugu Athadu, with Bobby Deol taking over the role originated by Mahesh Babu. I've watched a few Hindi and Tamil remakes of Mahesh movies, and as I've noted here, I do like me my Mahesh Babu. Surprisingly, I liked Bobby in the mumbly, sarcastic, and stoic Mahesh role. He did get sucked back into the family drama a bit quicker than in the original.  Although I generally like Shriya, she wasn't as bubbly as Trisha, the romantic scenes in the Hindi version seemed much more truncated, and the romance suffered for it. The transition from a South Indian village to the Punjab and Kulbhushan Kharbanda as the grandfather worked well.
Bobby Deol channels his inner Justin Beiber.

But my focus here (as always) is on the supporting characters. For at least the second time (the first is the crazy factionalist father in Antahpuram>Shakti: The Power) Nana Patekar takes over role played by Prakash Raj. The role is of the police inspector pursuing the hitman-on-the-run hero. Prakash Raj's inspector is presented as a bit bumbling (dropping files, giving up a crucial piece of evidence), but surprisingly wily. Nana Patekar's version is corrupt, obsessed with the ladies, and doesn't seem to make as many mistakes.
A few visual comparisons:

Chess-Observing Attire
Prakash Cop is nerdy chic with the glasses
and wide collars.
Nana's goatee, toque, and shades are sexy,
but put together=trying too hard.

After Hours Activities
Prakash hangs out with the team,
reviewing digital files.
Nana hangs out with prostitutes,
and wears another hat.

Firearms Safety
Prakash's grip seems a little loose.
Again with the hats?

Verdict: Nana Patekar had the larger, more humorous, scene-stealing role, but Prakash Raj's cop was better integrated into the story, especially at the end.

"Oh, thank goodness!"


  1. LOVE IT! I still haven't seen Athadu but based on your crucial COP comparison, for ME, Prakash comes out on top. I was not a fan of Nana in Ek.... If the powers that be would cater SPECIFICALLY to MY TASTES (and man, they SO SHOULD, it would be awesome) then a Prakash/Bobby hybrid Ek would be born, and it would be good....

  2. Oh damn it! I would almost see this Ek movie just for Nana... Prakash Raj has the badassness, I'll give you that, but Nana has the smile! *swoon* The way I see them: I'd want PR to be my pal, but I'd want Nana to be my dad (or my very young grandpa).

    But... not even Nana is worth seeing Bobby do the role that Mahesh was so perfect in (really, what were they thinking??). So I will settle for this review of yours and the screencaps in it :D

    Nice write-up, as always!

  3. @Ness--given how much they both work, it surprised me that I couldn't find a film with Bobby and Prakash. I think it's inevitable, since a) there seems to be a rise in Southie remakes in Hindi, b)Prakash seems to be more successful and getting cast in the same roles in the remakes.

    @Dolce and Namak--I have to say, Nana was kind of skeevy-sexy in this role, so I'm not sure I'd think of him as a dad/grandpa after watching the film. Honestly, I was a bit fearful after seeing Salman in the Mahesh role, but Bobby did an ok job. (Really!)