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.)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Round-up for May 2010

Monthly Prakash Raj Movie Total (May 2010): 3
Overall Prakash Raj Movie Total (as of 5/31/10): 25

May was a good month-- only three films with Prakash Raj, but two of them were pretty good movies, with some pretty meaty Prakash Raj performances.

Ashok (Telugu, 2006)
Date watched: 5/1/10
Role TypePrakash Dad
The story: Mechanic Ashok (Jr. NTR) has a strained relationship with his father (Prakash Raj) because of his violent ways.  When gangster KK (Sonu Sood) decides to pursue Ashok's girlfriend Anjali (Sameera Reddy), more violence follows.

Movie Rating: 4/5  This was a seriously violent movie (from beginning to end).  While this isn't my absolute favorite Tarak role, he did a good job of showing Ashok's sadness at being separated from his family.  Sonu Sood was delightfully evil (and on a totally shallow note, he has never looked better than in this film, even drenched in blood.Vadivukkarasi was really fantastic as KK's evil mother--I'm going to have to do a post on the best evil ladies of Telugu films.
Prakash Raj Rating: 4/5 Prakash Raj and Tarak have such great chemistry on screen, they are so very believable as father and son. 
 It really was refreshing to see a character in a Telugu film who says "All of this casual violence is unacceptable to me", although he does change his tune at the end.  This character has a nice arc, and Prakash Raj gets some nice interaction with the other characters/actors. 
My favorite scene is one where Ashok's father and girlfriend are watching the recently returned Ashok and his friends being served dinner by his mother and sister. The father tells the girlfriend "if you want what's best for Ashok, you should break up with him."  It's a well-done, dramatic, but not overdone scene.

Jalsa (Telugu, 2008)
Date watched: 5/6/10
Role TypePrakash Dad/ Prakash Cop
The story: Sanjay Sahu (Pawan Kalyan) is a former Naxalite with a drinking problem, who romances Indu (Kamalinee) and Bhagyamathi (Ileana), the daughters of a Police Inspector (Prakash Raj.) 

Movie Rating: 4/5  When I first started watching this, I wasn't quite sure what was going on.  The hero was drunk, I couldn't quite keep track of which girl was supposed to be the heroine, and the time kept skipping around.  By the interval, I was enjoying the off-kilter characters and plot.  Going back to watch it again, I really, really got into the groove of this movie.  I loved that the main character was so much of an anti-hero, and Pawan Kalyan's physical comedy grew on me the second time around.
Prakash Raj Rating: 4/5 As far as I can tell, this character doesn't have a name, but his scenes are central to the movie, and provide a great comedic foil to Pawan Kalyan's character.  In the repeated scene where Sanjay comes to the country club to ask permission to marry each of Prakash's two daughters, a tennis-suited Prakash delivers some nice verbal smackdowns. 
The extended flashback that reveals the past history of Sanjay (a naxalite) and the father (part of the anti-naxalite police task force) has lots of ridiculous physical comedy and doubletakes.  
My favorite scene is near the climax, the big bad guy (Mukesh Rishi) is forcing Ileana to marry his son, and Prakash is forced to seek Sanjay's help to prevent the wedding.  When a messenger arrives at the wedding to call Mukesh and his crew away, I love the way that Prakash cackles and grabs his daughter to delightedly escape from the forced wedding.

Tagore (Telugu, 2003)
Date watched: 5/26/10
Role TypePrakash Cop
The story: Tagore (Chiranjeevi) heads up a secret, vigilante anti-corruption force. Suryam (Prakash Raj) is one of the police officers trying to track down the mysterious Tagore.
Movie Rating: 2/5*  *This is a conditional rating, because the library copy of this film didn't have subtitles.  This was the first Chiranjeevi movie I watched. The corruption plot was pretty earnest, there was a pretty high ratio of dialogues to action, and the romantic storyline with Chiru and Shriya weirded me out a little bit. I ended up fast-forwarding through big chunks of this (the good news is that I did watch other, more exciting Chiru movies later on.) 
Prakash Raj Rating: 2/5 Prakash Raj plays a mid-level police officer who is smart enough to unravel Tagore's secret identity (I think, anyway.) He also has some nice scenes where he's trying to convince his superiors of his conclusions, and as he realizes the impact of the corrupt system he's got up in (again, that's what I'm assuming is happening.)


  1. There is this movie Sankalpam (Jagapti babu and Gautami. Not to get confused by 'Shuba Sankalpam' another Kamal movie )in Telugu where I remember watching him first time on screen. Someone else dubbed for him I think that movie. That was a decent movie. but commercail flop.

  2. I'll have to check that one out (I do like Jagapati Babu). I don't get why they dub his voice, maybe they don't have the budget to have him onscreen and do the dubbing later?

  3. I think at that time they have not yet realised his own dubbing voice potential. In telugu it is very very common to use the dubbing voice for villans as they mostly come from outside. At that time he came from Kannada, so they might have used dubbed voice.


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