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Times of India
Synopsis: Ravi becomes the target of Bittu, a criminal, after he helps cops catch the latter committing robbery at a bank. And so begins a game of smarts between the two, and Ravi has to win it so that he and his family can stay alive.
Review: A remake of the 2012 Telugu film Julayi, Saagasam has the ingredients that make a masala potboiler (not surprising given its origin), but the film also exists in a reality that is its very own where logic and realism are hard to find. The plot revolves around Ravi (Prashanth), a young man who wants to get rich quick. He challenges his father (Nasser) that he will earn Rs 1 lakh in two hours if he is given Rs 10,000, but crosses path with Bittu (Sonu Sood), who is planning to rob a bank for Varadarajan (Kota Srinivasa Rao), a minister. Ravi's intelligence helps the cops catch Bittu in the act, but the latter escapes and wants his vengeance.
The film moves at breakneck pace and in fact, belongs in the list of films that want the viewer to start thinking about the next scene even before the current one is over. This helps in a way because we do not have to focus on the absurdities in the scenes and take them at face value for the time they last. The screenplay also makes it less of an action film and more of a battle of wits between two characters, who might be more similar than they think. Think of it as a Hari film with an urbane setting and characters.
There is also comedy in the form of Thambi Ramaiah and MS Bhaskar, who play high-ranking police officials who are cowards and let the hero, who is staying in their house under the witness protection programme, call the shots. There is also comedy of the unintended kind that makes its presence felt every now and then when the film makes leaps of logic that make our jaws drop. Then, there is a romantic track, whose very existence is to provide the hero with something else to do apart from trading quips with the villain. And it also helps in extending the film's running time to over two hours, as we get peppy but forgettable songs (the music is by Thaman) that are shot in a cliched manner.
Prashanth, making a return to the screen after quite a while, gives his best, but we can't help but feel that this required an even younger hero. But what lets the film down the most is that it is directed without any feel for the material, so we are unsure if we need to take the film seriously or as a spoof.