director: diamond ratnababu
run time: 90 minutes
From the beginning, ‘hijo de la india’ invites us to a high performance sanksritic song in which the protagonist is seen worshiping gods. soon after, he tells the gods themselves that he is defying them. a little later, a character clad in personal protective equipment (frankly, no one would have complained, even if all the other actors shot way too much for the movie wearing personal protective equipment) deifies him and almost calls him lord krishna. All this makes us wonder if the idea is to humanize the protagonist as a son of the Indian or to glorify him as the novice father of the country. Knowing the bombastic tone of the film, you can guess the answer.
After what seems like an over-the-top introduction, the film heads down a clichéd trajectory with a fascinating overconfidence. the shoddy writing and lousy visuals are forgivable as long as the film maintains the façade of a vigilante drama. but once it turns into an audaciously outdated revenge story (where an avalanche of teary-eyed shots causes us to miss lifeless action scenes), the proceedings test your patience (or, should we say, your ability to travel). in time from the 1980s while the movie is on and to the present after the end credits?).
even at less than 90 minutes, ‘son of india’ feels like the longest, much like the constitution of india. Babji (Mohan Babu) is a driver who works for Nia Sleuth Ira (Pragya Jaiswal). that’s what you thought his profession is? definitely not, because you are not a boy from india. He is the driver of India’s future, as we find out at the end of this firmly insane movie. Babji wants to teach the entire criminal justice system what criminal thinking looks like. he has kidnapped a union minister and is just a youtube video away from seducing union india.
this is a movie in which news anchors, detectives nia, megastar chiranjeevi (as the narrator, he describes the main character as someone who is as mysterious as the bermuda triangle) and even gods are created constantly to fulfill a purpose: to be stunned. silent for the recklessness of babji aka virupaksha. his dialogue causes mathematical wonders (‘add focus, deduct less’ and boom!). editors in television studios use words like ‘kulfi’ and ‘ulfa’. Nia detectives behave as if they are subordinate to Babji.
‘son of india’ has been made to feel like an ode to mohan babu’s illustrious career. most of the actors, for almost three quarters of the film, do not see each other face to face or their faces are relentlessly blurred under the pretext of letting the protagonist do a monoaction. given this, why didn’t they call the movie ‘india’s only son’?