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Times of India
Airaavatha is a fearless cop, who enters the Bengaluru scene and begins to make changes overnight. Hailed as a messiah of the citizens, he takes on the system and the villains. But what happens when everyone discovers that he's a fake IPS officer?
On paper, the idea may seem great — making a film on how a man with a motive pretends to be an IPS officer but manages to reform the system. However, the thought is far from reality. While films do offer creative liberty to storytellers, stretching it too far can backfire. Similar is the case with AP Arjun's latest venture. The film could have been what Shankar's Mudhalvan or AR Murugadoss's Ramanaa offered the audience — an outlet to see their pent up angst released. But this film ends up being an overdose of testosterone, with the glorifying of the superstar.
If one were to nitpick, there are many lapses in terms of representation of facts. Right from the day Airaavatha takes over as the ACP, he brings about sudden changes that ministers and corporators need many layers of permissions for. When his fraud comes to light, he has a special janta ki adalat, where the judges seem to be moved by emotions. He then is allowed to write the IPS exams by none other than the President, which is (hold your breath) telecast live across channels. Never mind that he studied for the tough exams overnight, he has ministers visiting his house to beg him to join the force and he gets back all his power. Also, considering there is just one do-gooder, there's only one rogue. Prakash Rai's character seems to be responsible for all evil, making it easy for Airaavatha to nab the bad guy.
Bits and pieces from the narrative remind one of previous Darshan films as well as some Telugu blockbusters. The item song seems to be a direct cut-copy-paste effort from Pokiri. The flashback episode featuring Sindhu Loknath seems rather distasteful, even though the sister sentiment is supposed to evoke viewers' sympathy. The haggard plot seems like a poor catalyst.
Should you watch the film? You could for a few reasons. Darshan is at his stylish best — running with horses, flexing his abs and showing off his muscles. His punchy dialogues can evoke whistles from frontbenchers. Urvashi is expressive and leaves her mark in the few scenes and songs she appears in, especially with her dancing. Prakash Rai is the perfect nemesis for Darshan and sizzles on screen with his dialogues and body language.
Had the filmmaker woven these ingredients with even a run-of-the-mill commercial tale, the film could have scored better. Watch it if you are a die-hard Darshan fan, for he shines amid the indigestible masala.