Some Sandalwood filmmakers seem to be stuck on the illusion that the times that were better than that is now. So when making their films, these directors stitch the script with a signature of those times, be it a song, a dialogue, or a hero. Recently we had Kanaka taking inspiration from Dr Rajkumar and with Rajasimha, we have a script woven tightly around Vishnuvardhan. It is time for these filmmakers to realise that an illusion remains misapprehension until and unless there is creativity that can match realistic expectations.
With Rajasimha, director Raviram seems to keep the illusion intact in his script, tirelessly trying to take the audience back to the days of Vishnuvardhan’s hit, Simhadriya Simha. Well, he had tried for a whole three years, and the end result is a total misconstruction of a classy film’s sequel.
Casting Aniruddha, the legend’s son-in-law and his wife Bharathi Vishnuvardhan, Rajasimha takes off with Yuvaraj (Aniruddha) trying to enact every style of Vishnuvardhan right from his personality, the attire, the accessories till the auburn beard. He looks after an NGO run by his mother (Bharathi Vishnuvardhan).
It is love at first sight for Yuvaraj with Pallavi (Nikitha Thukral) whom he accidentally meets in a bus. Initially, Pallavi does not reciprocate because of her background, which leads Yuvaraj to travel to her hometown, Simhadri. In the process of winning over Pallavi and take her family’s consent, he gets to trace his own family background. What is Yuvaraj’s background, and how he becomes the heir of Simhadri after Narasimha Gowda (Vishnuvardhan, who played the character in Simhadri Simha) forms the crux of Rajasimha.
The film also tells the story of how Yuvaraj gets down to improvise the infrastructure of the village and the people’s standard of living, which is partly a story inspired by the Telugu hit Srimanthudu starring Mahesh Babu.
With Aniruddha as the protagonist, there is some solace for the audience, and his makeover is impressive. But the script loses track every now and then. Extra elements plugged in, especially the character of Bullet Prakash to create some laughs eventually becomes an irritation. Except for the statue of Vishnuvardhan, bringing the legend alive on screen through computer graphics has no impact.
Bharathi Vishnuvardhan has a prominent role, and comes out natural. The other and the only highlight of Rajasimha is a cameo appearance by Ambareesh. He talks from his heart about his friendship with Vishnuvardhan.
Nikhita seems like she has shot the film in gaps, which is evident on screen. Sanjjannaa is wasted and merely considered for a raunchy song. The rest of the supporting characters, including comedians, Vijay Chendoor, Pavan, do not lend any support.Not a good outcome from Jessie Gift, and Sadhu Kokila’s background score also fails to impress. Neither has the cinematographer put in any extra effort.
Time and again, attempts have been made to bring back legends on screen with little success, and Rajasimha is just another film to join the bandwagon.