Disco Raja (Ravi Teja) is a gangster who was buried under ice in Ladakh and when he is resurrected 35 years later – because science, chief! – he hasn’t aged a day. Our local Captain America though is not a coward like the original Avenger because he doesn’t hide behind a vibranium shield. After all, why would you need vibranium when your body can vibrate to disco music and charge itself – the same tune playing over and over on a Walkman, which probably was frozen in ice too for 35 years.
It is like someone created one tune as sample and then angry with the lack of proper payment ditched the project, so we have to make do with that tune that plays every time Disco Raja appears in a frame (which is pretty much every frame). What is hard to understand though is that if Disco Raja is shaking to the tune in the Walkman, why are those around him shaking. Vibrations, bro! (Now you get why the shield is not needed?) And it is that Walkman that helps Disco Raja remember who he is after being resurrected, dead man walking. Quick, get yourself the latest Walkman. Who knows, you might get this cryogenic experience too. If only the thought process behind the script was not frozen in ice too.
So, Disco Raja is under the observation of a doctor who has performed a medical miracle – resurrecting someone from the dead. But the same doctor is hyper-angry when his assistant (a newbie woman actor who disappears after the hero has been suitably introduced, eh, see creative use of human beings other than heroes?) tries to help the resurrected man get his memories back. The doctor is like: ‘He’ll be a lab rat till he doesn’t remember. Once he remembers he’ll go away.’ Mind-blowing logic. Dude, if resurrecting a dead man is a scientific wonder, imagine how wonderful it would be if he gets his memories back. What other research do you want to perform on him – check for kidney stones?
So anyway, after a bunch of murders to introduce a serious looking Bobby Simha as Sethu – a gangster who likes violence and has scores to settle with Disco Raja – the movie starts pretending to be the intelligently thought-out gangster drama that it isn’t. It isn’t smart enough to be called a parody either. Suffice to say, Disco Raja has a bad flashback – wife dead, son lost, friends killed, you know like that very common question which we all know will definitely come in the exam? – and now he has to kill Sethu. But just before Sethu kicks the bucket – surprisingly none of his henchmen are to be seen – he says, ‘Bro, I’ve just about enough breath to give you one last revelation’.
Disco Raja is like a cheap remake of a Korean drama minus the style or the swag. The director Vi Anand (who is also the story and screenplay writer of the movie – see kids, this is why you must ask for help) tries to recreate the retro look of the 80s, but hey, absurdity is absurdity whether it is 1985 or 2020. I mean three actors – Payal Rajput, Nabha Natesh (because there is younger Ravi Teja – the altruist orphan taking care of everyone around him like one big family working multiple jobs – who needs a love life too) and Tanya Hope (the actor who needs to be the scientist who can empathise with the dead man just brought back to life) – and yet, the story and limelight is all grabbed by one man – Vennela Kishore. (Aha plot twist!)
Kishore as the doctor who starts enjoying being the sidekick of the 70-year-old looking like a 35-year-old because he was frozen-in-ice gangster is probably there in every scene of the movie. The makers knew we needed to tolerate a heavy dose of irrationality. So, they put Kishore in there, to help us breathe in and breathe out during emotional stress caused by intellectual distress caused by the 70-year-old looking like a 35-year-old because he was frozen-in-ice gangster.
The movie is being called science fiction by some. That is true, if what they meant was that science is fiction. Thaman gives us one rock solid disco track and then that gets replayed and remixed for the rest of the movie – well, isn’t that what they all do anyway, Thaman seems to ask. And then just when you had enough of the irrationality and your spirit animal, a werewolf, awakened itself from the snow in Ladakh, the writer had one last see-I’m-smart-moment to deliver.
It’s the villain twist – you know that cheap twist in the end that bad writing needs to make it all sound dazzling, but is only a last-minute addition because someone realised the movie had nothing noteworthy, besides the fact that comedians can be shown as gangsters – all they need is one bad wig. Is the movie a gangster drama? Parody? Retro tribute? Go figure.
All in all, there is just one bit that I learnt from the movie. Dextrocardia. It means the heart points to the right instead of the left. That’s what Disco Raja has in the movie. How do they use this fancy term? Disco Raja gets shot from close range by the antagonist but he still manages to fight and kill everyone. Because science, chief. After such a movie plot, that they needed a fancy medical term to keep the hero alive for a few more minutes of fight – that is the punchline. The biggest joke of all!
Disclaimer: This review was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the series/film. TNM Editorial is independent of any business relationship the organisation may have with producers or any other members of its cast or crew.