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Times of India
Selfie Raja (Allari Naresh) is a man who lands in troubles due to his "loose tongue" and selfie obsession. He meets the girl of his dreams, gets married but a misunderstanding separates them. She does come back having understood him but the damage has been done. Because Raja has given a contract killer money to kill him! What'll happen now?
Allari Naresh was given the title 'Minimum Guarantee Hero' several years ago. Right so. However, it wasn't only because every film of his was a sure shot profitable venture for producers, but also because the viewers were guaranteed a paisa vasool experience each time. Agreed that the comedy was crass several times, but at least the entertainment was at its zenith.
Cut to 2016, four years after the release of one of his best films, Sudigadu (2012). Naresh is still making films. But sadly, he hasn't been able to deliver anything with punch and yet again, Selfie Raja just adds to that dull streak of his career.
Here's a film that might sound interesting at the outset. Because the director cashes in on the selfie craze the world has been engulfed with and weaves a story around it. And executes it in such a shoddy way that you want to stop and wonder why Naresh is hurrying and doing films like these. Amongst his last few films, nothing was noteworthy except James Bond which was a wee bit interesting. But frankly speaking it was Sakshi Chowdary who stole the show.
It's probably one reason why they compensated by giving her absolutely nothing to do in this film except look good and dance. What a waste of talent. Debutante Kamna at least has a few scenes to boast of, but still doesn't quite make a mark because of very less screen space.
Selfie Raja is about Naresh, multiplied by two (you see him in a double role), and it's not very amusing despite the addition of the entire 'Jabardasth' gang, and the mandatory comic appearances of Saptagiri, Prudhvi, Thagubothu Ramesh and Shakalaka Shankar. It's like the director decided to make something funny around the selfie concept and wrote a 100 different comedy tracks. He then seems to have stringed it all into a story and gave every comedian a track which would suit him.
To be fair, several tracks to make you laugh. Prudhvi's "Cheppanu Brother" will stay with you even after you leave the cinema hall. Shakalaka Shankar as the snake charmer who works with the star snake "Seshu Babu" is hilarious but a bit too much for the U/A audience (censorship anyone?). Thagubothu Ramesh's drunken Katappa act evokes a few laughs too. Ravi Babu's act as the poor don who thinks twice before spending even Rs 10 on a recharge will make you guffaw. The deaf couple is probably the silliest yet rib-tickling part of the film. But then, the biggest trouble here is that all of them are fun as individual entities and when the director brings them all together, it's just chaos.
It's probably time for Naresh to stop, think, wait and choose. We all know he's capable of doing a lot more than this.