Mar 14 2017
The success of the last 2 Kanchana movies made Raghava Lawrence a star with box-office clout. While they were commercial successes, our heroes have always treated successful mass masala movies as the holy grail of stardom. Lawrence’s attempt at that stardom gives us Motta Shiva Ketta Shiva, a hardcore, B-grade mass masala movie. Lawrence is more acceptable as a mass hero than some other heroes but the vehicle he has chosen is pretty bad.
We actually see ketta Shiva first as ACP Shiva(Raghava Lawrence) takes charge after haggling a transfer from a minister he rescues from kidnappers. He is crooked and corrupt, making deals with criminals and taking bribes. Its usually fun to see our heroes play the bad guy for a change but Shiva here isn’t bad in an interesting way. He simply overlooks petty crimes and beats up small-time criminals. To make matters worse, he isn’t completely rotten either. So we have scenes like the one where he befriends a deaf-mute girl Nandhini and later saves her and her group from a goon.
Seeing Kovai Sarala, Sathish(who in recent movies seemed to be on the road to becoming the lead comedian but hardly has any screen time or lines here) and Chaams as Shiva’s constables tells us that we are not supposed to take anything seriously but the comedy, revolving around them worshiping the ACP for his corrupt ways, is terrible(aside from making a mockery of the rules of the police). The same goes for Shiva’s romance with a journalist(Nikki Galrani). The usual idea of the hero making the girl jealous by cozying up to another woman is used as a ploy for the director to introduce an item number and Devadharshini adds to the annoying comedy as the journalist’s sister who adores cops.
Shiva’s corrupt behavior is not to just line his own pockets. He is actually out to irritate the Commissioner(Sathyaraj, in one of his most ineffectual roles) with whom he has a past. The reason behind this is a key twist but the revelation is handled in such a throwaway manner that we wonder why the director made an attempt to hide it. Another minor twist with respect to the victim of a crime is actually handled better and gives us a momentary surprise.
In keeping with the film’s trend, a single conversation is all it takes for Shiva to have a change of heart. So he turns into motta Shiva and goes up against GK(Ashutosh Rana) and his younger brother Sanjay(Vamsi Krishna). In keeping with the movie’s tone, they are both incredibly evil and incredibly stupid. GK’s plans to beat Shiva are silly and Shiva’s responses are sillier. A scene where some ladies imitate fight sequence moments from Tamil films(the Singam bit is the funniest) is the film’s sole clever moment. Lawrence thinks that shouting out a dialog automatically makes it a punch dialog and so keeps screaming threats and challenges until the movie finally draws to an end.
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