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.)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Round-up for April 2012

 Monthly Prakash Raj Movie Total (April, 2012): 9
Overall Prakash Raj Movie Total (as of April 30, 2012): 183


Veedu Samanyudu Khadu, Anjanayelu, I Love You Da, Album, Thank You Subbarao, Lakshmi Narasimha, Naanu Naanu Kanusu, Lockup Death, Ali Baba


April showers (baths) bring May Prakash Raj movies.
vlcsnap-2012-04-15-21h47m41s248 shp 2012-04-11 21.26



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Veedu Samanyudu Khadu (Telugu, 1999)shp 2012-04-06 18.33

Date Watched: 4/6/2012
Role type: Prakash Bad (?)
The story: From the TeluguOne youtube channel “Mahendra (Prakash Raj) loves mythili in his previous life. After re birth he is in search of his lover mythili. He found a court judge daughter as his mythili. but she didn't recognize him as her lover.He harassed her and made her as his love finally. she left her parents and went with prakash raj. But he cheated her and made her as prostitute in public. This reveals the flashback behind him. Rest of the story you can see in the movie.”
Thoughts on the film: (watched without subtitles) This is the Telugu remake of Guruparvai. It didn’t have the same subplots with Khushboo and Manivannan, with I didn’t expect to miss, but I did. I think the reveal of how the girls harmed him was a bit more clear in this version.
Thoughts on Prakash Raj in the film: As in the Tamil version, he did a good job of portraying a hopeful youth, then vengeful adult, and the different “characters” who would bring the downfall of the girls. And lots of eye closeups, including a girl using her tongue to get a speck of dust out of his eye.
shp 2012-04-06 18.29     shp 2012-04-06 19.36
Favorite Prakash Raj Scenes: Dancing!



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Anjaneyulu (Telugu, 2009)shp 2012-04-07 14.12

Date Watched: 4/7/2012
Role type: Prakash Guy
The story: (From wikipedia.)  “Anjaneyulu is a story involving mafia and gang wars. Anjaneyulu (Ravi Teja) works as a reporter for a news channel. Subash is another honest reporter belonging to the same channel who unravels a murder conspiracy relating to the mafia leader, Bada (Sonu Sood), in which Anjaneyulu's parents get killed. Anjali (Nayantara) is a beauty who works for a mobile servicing company, Airtel. Anjaneyulu comes across this lady and wants her to be his love. Anjaneyulu joins Bada's gang in the name of Pavan to extract all the information behind the conspiracy. In the end, Anjaneyulu kills the bad guys including Bada and turns over the CD containing all the information relating to the conspiracy to the police. Anjali and Anjaneyulu get married. Anjali gives birth to a boy, who is named after Anjaneyulu's father, Krishna Murhty or Murthygaru.”
Thoughts on the film: I watched this the same week that I watched Neninthe, and I thought Ravi Teja did a good job in the struggling artist/journalist role in both films. Nayantara was pretty fun as well. This is the second Ravi Teja film I’ve seen where Brahmaji had a really fleshed out role.
Thoughts on Prakash Raj in the film: He has a tiny bit part as a politician who is interviewed in the middle of the film.
Favorite Prakash Raj Scenes: The one scene, where he is interviewed by Brahmaji.shp 2012-04-07 14.11



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I Love You Da (Tamil, 2002)shp 2012-04-08 14.15

Date Watched: 4/8/2012
Role type: Prakash Pal
The story: (From wikipedia) “Raghuvaran pays Indian cricketers to lose the match so he can bet on the Pakistan team to make a lot of money. One day Raghuvaran's daughter Simran was sad that India never wins any matches so Raghuvaran just for one match lets India win. One time India loses and a small boy commits suicide seeing this Raju Sundaram works hard to become a cricket player and make India win for once. He is stopped by Raghuvaran but wins and becomes a cricket player. Raju Sundaram goes to Pakistan to win but is stopped by Raghuvaran but he is killed by his own daughter Simran. Eventually India wins but Simran goes to jail. She comes out and is reunited with Raju Sundaram.”
Thoughts on the film: I thought this was an effective combination of crime and cricket. My twitter timeline has been busy with the IPL season, and this film got me thinking about some of the behind the scenes machinations. Plus there was a silly/fun song about cricket.
Thoughts on Prakash Raj in the film: After his big dramatic moment in the first 10 minutes, I thought that was the last I’d see of him, but then he was back in the second half. shp 2012-04-08 14.14
Favorite Prakash Raj Scenes: In the second half he gets to deliver several righteous speeches to the bad guys who want to corrupt cricket.
 shp 2012-04-08 18.005 shp 2012-04-08 18.20 
 


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Album (Tamil, 2002)shp 2012-04-08 23.22

Date Watched: 4/9/2012
Role type: Prakash Pal
The story: The film is the romantic story of Jeevan (Aryan Rajesh) and Viji (Shrutika), and the obstacles thrown in the path of their love.
Thoughts on the film: (watched without subtitles) I really wasn’t watching it very closely, but it seemed fairly standard Tamil drama-romance. Shrutika is crazy gorgeous.
Thoughts on Prakash Raj in the film: Prakash Raaj had a tiny, tiny cameo. When I got almost halfway through, and hadn’t seen him, I began to fear that he wasn’t going to show up. But hooray, he finally appeared in this scene…
Favorite Prakash Raj Scenes: …as a fruit seller who gave the hero advice on love and family.
shp 2012-04-08 23.23 
 


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Thank You Subba Rao (Telugu, 2001)shp 2012-04-11 21.50

Date Watched: 4/11/2012
Role type: Prakash Bad-ish
The story: (From the Shemaroo youtube channel.) “GK (Prakash Raj) is a millionaire industrialist who hires a private detective, Subbarao (Sri Hari) to spy on Susheela (Abhiraami) his fiancée. As Subbarao spends a lot of time spying on GK's fiancée, he starts to develop feelings for her. Subbarao feels that GK doesn't deserve to be with Susheela so, he tries to create misunderstandings between them in hopes that someday Susheela would end up with him. The story revolves around how Subbarao eventually mends GK and Susheela's broken relationship.”
Thoughts on the film: (watched without subtitles) There were lots of twists and turns, and the plot was hard to follow without understanding the dialogue. Srihari was really great as the goofy-but-sly Subbarao, and Abhiraami was interesting. By far the best thing about the film was Subbarao’s sidekick, a golden retriever.
shp 2012-05-20 23.10
(You can see the dog in action, and hear the crazy voice on youtube.)

Thoughts on Prakash Raj in the film: It seemed like there were a lot of facets to the character: gentleness, love, anger, deviousness, cleanliness.
shp04 2012-04-10 22.43 shp 2012-04-11 21.26shp 2012-04-11 19.28   shp 2012-04-12 22.40
Favorite Prakash Raj Scenes: This scene when he’s waiting for Abhiraami to come home from work. They fight, and in the morning he’s apologetic:
 


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Lakshmi Narasimha (Telugu, 2004)vlcsnap-2012-04-15-23h10m57s36

Date Watched: 4/15/2012
Role type: Prakash Bad
The story: (From wikipedia.) “Lakshmi Narasimha (Balakrishna) is a strict police officer who does not mind making his own rules to bring justice to the public. Once, he was indirectly affected by the goon Dharma Bhiksham (Prakash Rai) which costs him his sister and lots of properties of his native village. But Dharma Bhiksham does not know that it was Lakshmi Narasimha who got affected by him. After a few months, Lakshmi Narasimha is transferred to Vijayawada. Dharma Bhiksham rules the mafia world from Vijayawada. Though, a strict police officer - he compromises with Dharma Bhiksham and takes bribes to the tune of one and half crores. He takes the bribes and then invests all the money into rehabilitating his native village affected by Dharma Bhiksham. Dharma Bhiksham comes to know about it and rebels against Lakshmi Narasimha. The rest of the story is all about how Lakshmi Narasimha puts an end to the life of Dharma Bhiksham using illegal methods.”
Thoughts on the film: (watched without subtitles) This is the Telugu remake of Saamy, and although I thought Vikram had much more swagger, I enjoyed Balakrishna in the role.
Thoughts on Prakash Raj in the film: This meaty role with lots of screentime more than made up for the cameo appearances earlier in April. Dharma Bhiksham had lots of scenes where he demonstrates his evilness and his frustration with Lakshmi Narasimha in grandiose and funny ways.vlcsnap-2012-04-15-21h27m01s144 vlcsnap-2012-04-15-21h32m21s13shp 2012-04-14 23.38
Favorite Prakash Raj Scenes: A mid-film showdown with Balakrishna, and the final fight in the river, which had lots of underwater shots.
  vlcsnap-2012-04-15-22h36m20s1  vlcsnap-2012-04-15-22h36m23s36 vlcsnap-2012-04-15-23h09m19s84 vlcsnap-2012-04-15-23h10m04s19
 


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Naanu Nanna Kanasu (Kannada, 2010)shp03 2012-04-16 20.12

Date Watched: 4/16/2012
Role type: Prakash Dad
The story: (From wikipedia.) The Kannada remake of Abhiyum Naanum:Naanu Nanna Kanasu is all about the relationship between a father and his daughter. The film is made on family values. The film starts with Uthappa (Prakash Rai) meeting with a young father Jayanth (Ramesh Arvind) in a park. As they are introduced to each other, Uthappa begins to narrate the story of his life to Jayanth.”
Thoughts on the film: (watched without subtitles) Pretty much a shot for shot remake of Abhiyum Naanum. As with the Tamil version, the supporting cast was very strong, and I probably would have enjoyed them even more if I was more familiar with Kannada film actors.
Thoughts on Prakash Raj in the film: Remakes don’t get a lot of positive notice, but I think there is a challenge to making sure that the role has the same emotion, humor, and grounding in reality. I would think that Prakash Raj’s background in theater serves him well, because this performance hit all of the high notes of the Tamil version.
shp 2012-04-16 21.00shp 2012-04-16 20.34
Favorite Prakash Raj Scenes: There were some interesting scenes which I think may have portrayed some Kannada-specific rituals that were interesting:
shp07 2012-04-16 20.17
Washing the baby, this may have just been generic baby-washing.
shp 2012-04-16 22.04
Before the wedding, Uthappa and his buddy are out blessing trees or crops
 in specific traditional outfits
.



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Lockup Death (Kannada, 1994)shp 2012-04-22 00.20

Date Watched: 4/22/2012
Role type: Prakash Pal
The story: When the hero (Devaraj) crosses bad guys, they frame him for a crime and put him in prison. His friends break him out of jail (at great sacrifice), and help him pursue justice.
Thoughts on the film: (watched without subtitles) This was a surprise find, that popped up in my google alerts for Prakash Raj. I was a bit confused with the reasons why the hero was being framed, but the parts where the friends conspire to break him out of the hospital had an engaging “Oceans Eleven” feel to them.)shp 2012-04-22 12.23
Thoughts on Prakash Raj in the film: He plays one of the hero’s group of buddies. He a couple of scenes of playfully joking around with the gang, lots of scenes of listening intently to the hero, and then plays a pivotal role in the hospital breakout.
Favorite Prakash Raj Scenes: The hospital breakout, where he poses as a doctor, delays the cops, and suffers a fatal injury.shp08 2012-04-22 12.24  shp 2012-04-22 12.30shp 2012-04-22 12.29
 


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Ali Baba (Tamil, 2008)shp06 2012-04-23 20.48

Date Watched: 4/28/2012
Role type: Prakash Dad
The story: (From Indiaglitz) “Velu (Krishna) helps his father Subramaniam (Prakashraj) in stealing. Being seasoned thieves, they rob everything right from pins to cars. A spate of young women are murdered and these developments rock the city. A tough cop (Azhagarperumal) investigates the case. However differences of opinions crop between the Police Commissioner (Biju menon) and the policeman over the enquiry. One day Velu saves the Commissioner from meeting his end and gets acquainted with him. Velu then begins to fall for a girl named Janani (Janani), who works in a bank. One day when Velu withdraws money he is shocked to find the balance amount to be Rs. Five Lakhs. It suddenly swells to Rs 30 lakh and reaches Rs 70 lakh. Velu's father comes to his rescue and manages to find the reason behind it. When the family begins to find out the reason behind this act, it results in bloodshed and gore eventually ending up in Velu coming across the killers of young women in the city.”
Thoughts on the film: (watched without subtitles) It was an interesting premise, but it felt that it took too long to weave together the murder storyline and the Velu’s storyline. The sets and costumes were really well done, and gave a good feel for the setting.
Thoughts on Prakash Raj in the film: He plays the father figure to the hero, and there are some interesting scenes of his character involved in the “business” side of their criminal activities. In most of his scenes he’s wearing just a vest/undershirt.
shp 2012-04-23 22.19 shp03 2012-04-23 20.09 
Favorite Prakash Raj Scenes: After a car accident, he’s in the hospital, where he encourages Velu to seek the truth/justice.
shp11 2012-04-23 22.27

1 comment:

  1. Prakash Raj is a brilliant actor with tight schedule. He has huge number of fans.

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    ReplyDelete