Bluff Master Review: An old-fashioned heist thriller that fails to live up to its potential
The film works only in parts as it is weighed down by its choppy editing, cardboard characters, and inconsistent screenplay
Uttam Kumar (Satyadev Kancharana) is a remorseless black hat, who always cons innocent people and thinks ‘money is the ultimate’. Luck runs out when he meets his match, Avani (Nandita Swetha), an embodiment of humanity and values. Soon enough, he is apprehended by cops and interrogated for hundreds of cases against him. He walks free but gets kidnapped by a gangster, who has been hired by a villager he had duped earlier. Uttam agrees to return the money and realises that he was swindled of his wealth by his own cohorts. The kidnappers, led by Pasupathi (Aditya Menon), are hot on his heels and their plan is to pull off a heist through Uttam to change their fortunes overnight.
Cast: Satyadev Kancharana, Nandita Swetha, Aditya Menon
Director: Gopi Ganesh Pattabhi
Bluff Master works only in parts as it is weighed down by its choppy editing, cardboard characters, and inconsistent screenplay. The film does have a bunch of interesting ideas, but they’re lost in a muddled drama. The narrative looks embarrassingly amateurish without any believability and some of the crucial sequences don’t work for the most part. The film doesn’t command your attention and there are places where the story isn’t entirely convincing. In particular, a scene showing Uttam trying to shed his conman image and find the purpose of his life with his lady love seems rushed and lacks imagination. Also, the bits involving a pregnant Avani appear mediocre and don’t deliver an emotional wallop. The leisurely storytelling that drags its feet in the second hour makes one feel annoyed.
Satyadev shows flashes of brilliance and holds the film together with his subtle act. The con sequences, in particular, liven up the story and his performance is very believable. In one of the scenes, he tells a police officer that money is the sixth element which drives the world. He defends his crimes and explains that people come to him to get conned and he cashes in on their weakness. In another instance, he emphasises that to dupe people, one ought to lie with some part of the truth in it and vice-versa. This is where you feel that Uttam is no different from Pasupathi and others with similar thoughts in life.
Director Gopi Ganesh Pattabhi’s intention seems to be to edify people by depicting some incidents where high profile people go all out to fool masses at different levels. But the script never quite gets around to achieving that. Nandita Swetha fits her role and has a pleasant screen presence. However, Prudhvi lacks poise, although the script has little for him to do. The supporting cast, including Adithya Menon, Vamsi and Shiju, play their parts well.
All said and done, Bluff Master is an ambitious story with immense potential that needs a more sure-footed approach from the director. It is painfully old-fashioned, predictable, and the sequences are told repeatedly in long-drawn detail as the director fails to bring all the elements together.