This is the review of the edited version playing in the theaters since the second day of the release.
This is the better foot forward for telugu cinema! A mainstream hero like Mahesh tries to break the stereotypical, brainless commercial, megalomaniacal farce telugu cinema has been engaged in since ages. Unfortunately, the attempt is not getting the appreciation it deserves. For director Sukumar too, this is the first time he has come up with a script that has single minded focus and control, unlike his earlier successful ventures, yet he is being accused of confusing the average audience. He is being accused of going far from the ground realities of telugu cinema, he should actually be commended for believing that telugu audience is ready for some top class stuff.
This is not to say that the film “One” is an entirely misunderstood masterpiece. It has its pitfalls. Especially the major complaint of confusing the audience is largely true. The male protagonist is delusional; the female lead has her own reasons for deluding her man. The structure of the story is deliberately confusing. Towards the pre climax, the confusion comes back and we are asked to un-believe what we saw and asked to put X in the role of Y and viceversa.
All this can be excused, if we are made to feel some deeper connection with the ‘cause – the Golden Rice’ from early on. The uber rich people, life style and environment, the story running around London, Russia, Netherlands, Indonesia, Goa… all for every day staple rice..!? There is not even a single visual of a person starving in the film, yet we are appealed to ‘feel’ for them… the alleged twenty minutes deleted portion could have been put to good use if the filmmaker really wanted us to feel the pain of starving. This is the major reason for the film ending on a dry note, even after the really moving performance by Mahesh watching his childhood memorabilia.
Despite the criticism and the disappointment of lagging behind in the box-office rat race, the film makers should be commended and encouraged whole heartedly for showing us some world class stuff. There is no comedy track or comedian in the film, which is a first time for a film this big. The songs , ‘who are you…’ and ‘Rock star…’ stay back with you well after the film. The choreography is commendable. The fights , especially the one in the parking lot is terrific. The set of the climax where Mahesh confronts Nasser finally is unbelievable for a telugu cinema.
Gautam, Mahesh’s son looks like a cool cat before the camera. Kriti Sanan is refreshingly beautiful in her debut. DSP shines in background music too. Nasser, Pradeep Rawat are adequate in their roles, Kelly Dorjee has nothing new to offer.
Mahesh shows us again why he is superstar material. His absolute belief in the character and the depth of his performance raises the film by many levels. His earlier great performances like ‘Atadu’ and ‘Khaleja’ too did not get much box office appreciation and with this one added, sort of creates a bad sentiment.
Hit or miss, the filmmakers have nothing to be ashamed off. The film is sure to turn into a cult classic for Mahesh and for modern telugu cinema as a whole.
Rating: 3.25 out of 5