Son of India Movie Review: Experiment gone wrong
An outlandish experiment that has gone horribly wrong in every way possible
Son of India, inspired by actual events in the Telugu States, makes an interesting argument of having a private jail for the prisoners, who have been falsely implicated in a crime. However, the tone of the film is so high-pitched, the approach is painfully preachy and you may feel like you are being kidnapped and compelled to listen to a boring monologue for one-and-a-half hours.
Much like his trademark films Collector Garu, Adavilo Anna, and Punya Bhoomi Naa Desam, Mohan Babu's Son of India is essentially one man's fight with a corrupt system. The film was originally made for the OTT space, but the team has revised their decision and released it in theatres!
Cast: Mohan Babu, Pragya Jaiswal, Mangli
Direction: Diamond Ratna Babu
Son of India begins with a long disclaimer through which Mohan Babu emphasizes that there are 24 actors in this 'experimental' film, but only he and a few others will be seen on-screen and the rest of them will make an appearance only during the climax.
Then a voiceover (by Chiranjeevi) introduces Mohan Babu as a unique character, who is beyond our expectations. It is followed by a song packed with embarrassingly amateurish special effects. Next, we see three powerful people -- a central minister, state endowments minister, and a lady doctor -- being kidnapped and the National Investigation Agency (NIA) is entrusted with the job to track the offenders.
The film showcases Mohan Babu as Kadiyam Babji aka Virupaksha, who is faithful in his intolerance for dishonesty, corruption, and injustice. He has a dubious past and believes that taking the law into one’s own hands might be an effective solution to solve a problem. He works as a temporary driver for NIA officer Iravathi (Pragya Jaiswal), who gets into action to nab the culprit behind the abduction of the aforesaid powerhouses.
It’s understandable that we are watching an 'experimental' movie that deals with a serious issue, but the truth is, it is neither intelligent nor entertaining. In fact, it’s a formulaic, tried-and-tested plot that’s inherently manipulative and contrived.
The film can't shake off its short-film-like feel and largely suffers from some embarrassingly hammy acting from supporting players like Prudhvi Raj, Mangli, etc.
On paper, Son of India is just a revenge drama, a story of vengeance between Virupaksha and three public servants, who trouble the people they are meant to serve. The revenge story never rises above its cliches and drowns under its sheer predictability and tediousness.
Director Diamond Ratna Babu takes too long to establish Mohan Babu’s character, going into elaborate scenes to depict what we have understood in the first ten minutes. That’s not all, he also takes too many cinematic liberties to come out of tricky situations and as a result, the film comes off looking way too far-fetched.
I am at a loss for words to explain the hyperbolic scene where three powerful people are kidnapped and the NIA is brought in to handle the situation? The film also switches to an icky, voyeuristic gaze to showcase a lesbian relationship and it's even worse when the camera focuses on women working out in a gym.
Despite its shorter run-time, the film feels long and stretched. With Mohan Babu at the helm, I expected a hard-hitting drama loaded with his signature punches, but the film ended up as a colossal disappointment.
To sum it up, Son of India is an outlandish experiment that has gone horribly wrong in every way possible.