Out Of Theatre

Pokkiri Raja

Out Of Theatre
12 Nov, 2016 2 hrs 20 mins U
Jiiva, Hansika Motwani, Yogi Babu, Ramdoss

Constant stream of laughs in the second half make up for a first half full of yawns.


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  • Critic's Review
  • Times of India
Synopsis: A young man whose constant yawning leaves him out of work gets a gangster arrested by accident. Now, the latter is out to get his revenge, but what he doesn't know is how powerful a yawn can be.

Review: If he gave a race-against-time thriller with his debut film, Tamizhukku En 1-Ai Azhuthavum, with Pokkiri Raja, Ramprakash Rayappa gives us a masala movie that blends together comedy, history, and Stephen Chow-ish fantasy.

The plot revolves around Sanjeevi (a somewhat jaded Jiiva) and his yawns, which are super contagious (they make an entire office sleepy). This often results in him being removed from his job. When he lends a helping hand to his colleague and girlfriend Sunita (Hansika, who gets close-up shots despite her bad lip-sync) in stopping men from urinating in public, he shames Cooling Glass Guna (Sibiraj, commendable as the comic villain), a gangster, and later, his yawn, which has become so forceful that it can shatter glass and throw people off the ground, also leads to Guna losing his eyesight. Sanjeevi comes to know of the history behind the power of his yawn, but Guna, who has regained sight, wants revenge.

Pokkiri Raja is frustrating in quite a few stretches as instead of focussing on his main plot, Rayappa wastes time with unnecessary songs, a comedy track that is as cliched as casting Mano Bala as an office boss, and a romantic track that is lazily written. The hero set his eyes on the white-skinned heroine and starts to take an interest in her; and when he sees her doing social work (something that most Tamil film heroines seem to do), he instantly falls in love with her.

But the film starts to find its feet. Sanjeevi's yawning problem gets an explanation (though it is also contradictory to what we are initially led to believe — that it could be fatal), and Rayappa uses this problem entirely for comic effect even into the climax, so the tone of the film remains light-hearted. And some of the set-ups of the previous scenes also have their payoff here — like Guna's henchmen believing that it is the ghost of the possessed woman he had murdered earlier being responsible for his loss of eyesight. Even the extended scene which involves Guna, who has got back his eyesight, discovering his sidekicks' attitude towards him is funny and Ramdas aces this scene. Ultimately, it is such constant stream of laughs in the second half make up for a first half full of yawns.
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