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Pakka Commercial

Pakka Commercial Movie Review

by rameshe

Critic’s Rating : 2.5 / 5

Pakka Commercial Movie Review : Gopichand and Raashi shine in this meandering comedy

Story: Son of retired judge Suryanarayana (Sathyaraj), Lucky (Gopichand) is a talented lawyer who will argue for anyone with money. But is he really as ‘pakka commercial’ as he seems?

Review: Maruthi has a particular style of filmmaking that sometimes works, sometimes doesn’t. Pakka Commercial starts out as this very self-aware comedy, toeing the line between taking up something a little serious but always bringing it back it madcap category. The actors also seem to have a ball playing their characters, mouthing ridiculous lines. The problem is, they seem to have more fun than you are.

Suryanarayana (Sathyaraj) is the kind of judge anyone would want; he’s someone who’s empathetic to the plight of the people in his court even if his hands are bound by law. An unfortunate incident forces him into retirement, taking him far from anything related to law. Years later his son Lucky (Gopichand) dons the black coat and heads back to the same place his father swore off from. While his father believes he’s a philanthropic lawyer who will fight for the victims, in reality, Lucky will only fight for those who give him the most amount of money, be it in cash or kind. When a business magnate Vivek (Rao Ramesh) steps into the picture, the retired judge comes back to court to face-off his son.

Yes, yes, this film also has Raashi Khanna playing a TV actress called Jhansi who’s famous for playing the character of a lawyer. She’s so dedicated she even studied law to prep for her role and is understandably upset when she’s laid off due to budget cuts in lieu of Covid-19. This is one of those few films that don’t pretend the coronavirus pandemic doesn’t exist, but it also doesn’t particularly use the pandemic beyond some silly moments or dialogues either. There’s even a joke involving a mask and a baddie that doesn’t really land the way it’s intended to. Every character, including Raashi and Rao Ramesh, are written to be caricatures and while it seems fun at first, Maruthi manages to take it a little too far for your liking.

The film’s opening sequence gives you hope that maybe there’s something of substance but it just muddles on – veering between a song, a dance, a fight, a few jokes, a punch dialogues – repeating the cycle till the very end. There’s no rhyme or rhythm to the way the film progresses, making you wonder if there was a coherent screenplay anywhere in sight. Some of the dialogues are even self-aware of the kind of film this is, almost mirroring the audience’s thoughts, but that only manages to make it fun in bits and pieces. You can also see the ending coming from a mile away, even if the film pretends you don’t know what’s happening.

For example, Rao Ramesh’s rant on how he’ll ensure the critics write only about him in reviews is funny on paper and the actor makes it work, but it doesn’t really translate like it’s intended to. Same goes for a dialogue by Gopichand about his mass fan base. What also doesn’t work is how Lucky’s character track is ‘redeemed’ and how Jhansi just steps in and out of the scenarios, filling space whenever needed. The music by Jakes Bejoy doesn’t really hold your interest, much like the film’s narrative, except for the number Lehenga Lo Lady Donu, but even that is really oddly placed.

Pakka Commercial works only because of the earnest performances by Gopichand, Raashi, Sathyaraj and Rao Ramesh. They seem to give their characters their all, despite inconsistencies. Gopichand shines both in the comedic and action sequences while Raashi breathes life into an egoistic TV actress. Despite the flaws, Maruthi does try to inject some freshness into the proceedings. The way Sathyaraj’s character gets a dream sequence or how Raashi’s character believes some things are best said via a duet stand out, so do a few other things like that. Unfortunately they’re not enough to make the film work as a whole.

Maruthi has delivered better films, characters and stories in the past; Pakka Commercial is really not his best work. But give the film a chance if you’re a fan of his or the lead actors. Just don’t expect too much.

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