Saturday, January 22, 2022

Pushpa: The Rise Part I

" Pushpa:  The Rise Part 1" (2021) may not be your cup of tea.  Violence, action- gore-lots of southern Indian music/dance (very aggressive).  It has an interesting story and characters and well presented..

This multi lingual blockbuster film is originally in Telegu but has been dubbed in four other languages (Tamil, Hindi, Kannada and Malayalam) with English subtitles.  Special item numbers in each of the languages.   This is a very action oriented film with a fair amount of gore--guns play a role, but unreal physical fighting is more common and is spectacular.  Follows the basic format of many gangster movies where a disadvantaged person fights against tremendous odds and achieves respect and power.  The cinematography is spectacular.

Part of the tension is provided by smuggling high value sandalwood logs which involves misleading authorities or bribery.  I googled Red sandalwood and learned that is very rare and thus protected.  It is prized for its beauty and in Japan they have discovered using it for musical instruments it has a pleasant acoustical effect.  It is also used in dyes. 

The family and gang dynamics provide more tension.  Pushpa is an illegitimate son while two legitimate sons are wealthy and powerful in the smuggling business and don't want to include him. The brothers admit to knowing their father visited his mother, but claim their father might not have been the only visitor.  A photo in a locket with father and son has been taken away.  He is very supportive of his mother.  After proving himself clever and ruthless, Pushpa takes a fancy to a woman while a friend pays her to smile at him.  He is shy, but you know she will provide the romance. 

This blockbuster was very well done and I look forward to the sequel.  Here are a few of the contributors.

Sukuma is the director and writer.  He wrote" Rangasthalam 1985" (2018).

Music by Devi Sri Prasad who has also been a playback singer.    He has worked with Tamil and Telegu films and had his music used in different languages.  An award winner.

Miroslaw Brozek was the cinematographer got his start in Poland with other action films.  He did a Telegu movie, "Gang Leader" (2019).   It is easy to tell that the picture would look even more amazing on a large screen.

Allu Arjun played the casual and arrogant (but also shy) hero Pushpa.  He has been noted for his unique dance.  He started in the Telegu film trade and has built up a very strong following all over India.

Fahadh Faasil has a relatively small role, but a different look from his many other films.  He ison the other side of the law, but really a ruthless corrupt cop.  We first see him dealing with canabis smuggling, but in fact takes a huge bribe.  He is listed to have bigger role in part 2.  He got his first break because his father big in the Malayalam film trade got him into starring roles at a young age, but when he flopped he ketp away for films for nine years.   Then he began a career as a popular respected actor with such Maylayalam films as "Bangalore Days" (2014),  "Take Off" (2017),  "Thondi Muthalum Driksakshiyum" (2017)and "Nijan Prakashan" (2018).  Check

Rashmika Mandanna plays the leading lady.  She started with a Kannada film and has also done Telegu.  

Part 2 to be released in India just before Christmas 2022 and likely accessible in U.S./Canada January 2023

While gathering material  for "Pushpa" I decided to start watching "Shyam Singha Roy" (2021) but felt compelled to watch the whole film straightaway.  It deserves a separate blog, but because I have already met my quota for the month and it is also a Telegu movie I am just adding a bit here.  It is different and very highly recommended by me.  You do have to accept the concept of reincarnation, but it is very poetically done.   I included a dance sequence that I found really good in a Facebook post just before finishing this post.  The story is very interesting starting with a young rising film director being charged with plagiarism.  The story then diverts to events a few decades before.  

 Produced by Venkat Boyanapalli. Directed by Rahul Sankrityan.  Written by Salyadev Janga.  Music provided by Mickey J. Meyer.  Cinematography by Sanu John Varughese.  Editing by Sanu John Varughese.  The principle actors were:  Nani, Sai Pallavi, Krithi Shetty, Madonna Sebastian, Murali Sharma, Jishu Sengupta, Rahul Ravindran and Leela Samson.

Both films reflect good films come in the Telegu language.

As usual I have bolded films I have seen.

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