Rajasimha Review: A failed attempt to bring back the magic of Vishnuvardhan
Time and again, attempts have been made to bring back legends on screen with little success, and Rajasimha is just another film to join this failed bandwagon
Some Kannada filmmakers seem to be stuck in the past. When making their films, these directors stitch the script with a signature of past times, be it a song, a dialogue, or a hero. Recently we had Kanaka taking inspiration from Dr Rajkumar and now, in Rajasimha, we have a script woven tightly around Vishnuvardhan.
Director Raviram tirelessly tries to take the audience back to the days of Vishnuvardhan’s hit, Simhadriya Simha. It took him whole three years to make this film, and the end result is anything but a good sequel.
Starring 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's right from his personality, attire, and accessories down to the auburn beard. He looks after an NGO run by his mother (Bharathi Vishnuvardhan).
It is love at first sight for Yuvaraj when he accidentally meets Pallavi (Nikitha Thukral) 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 getting 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 improves 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 that are plugged in, especially the character of Bullet Prakash, to create some laughs eventually become 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 she gives a natural performance. The only other highlight of Rajasimha is a cameo appearance by Ambareesh, who talks from his heart about his friendship with Vishnuvardhan.
Nikhita, it appears has shot for the film over a long period with lots of gaps, which is evident on-screen. Sanjjannaa is wasted and is merely present for one raunchy song. The rest of the supporting characters, including comedians, Vijay Chendoor, Pavan, do not lend any support.
The songs from Jessie Gift and Sadhu Kokila’s background score both fail 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 this failed bandwagon.