Ashok Reviewby MyMazaa.com
A masala movie is never about story. It is about treatment and delivery. Whether you can sit through the two-odd hours is the touchstone of the director and hero's success. By that reckoning, Ashok, starring Junior NTR and directed by Surender Reddy, passes the test.
You can certainly crib there is hardly anything new in terms of story. It is a simple revenge drama and the fight of good against evil. This basic plot gets somewhat interesting amplification with Surender Reddy showing that the smartness he showed in Atanokkade was no chimera. In Junior NTR, he has found an able ally. Junior NTR, with a lot to prove his critics, manages to carry the film on his (rather bulky) shoulders.
The film's initial shots and then action sequences all keep you engrossed, and overall too the feeling is of good entertainment. But if you are going to use critical standards then Ashok may fall short.
Ashok (Junior NTR), the eponymous hero, is man of moods. He has a short fuse and he lets it fly whenever things go wrong. His father (Prakash Raj) totally gives up on him as his words of advice to Ashok to be not so hot are not heeded. In fact, Ashok gets thrown out of his house. Living alone, Ashok falls for the charm of Anjali (Sameera Reddy). But she has another suitor in the form of KK (Sonu Sood).
Now, KK, a typical baddie, and Ashok are daggers drawn at each other. Ashok had beaten KK's brother while the latter takes out Ashok close chum Rajiv (Rajiv Kanakala).
So it is a fight to finish, and you know who triumphs in the end.
As we said, the story is as old as the hills. But Surender Reddy's plot works as it has got the right ingredients. Surender also shows lot of talent for technical expertise and comes up with novelty in shot creation and narrative structure.
The flash-cut method that we saw in Atanokkade, too, is a good example. It is an interesting ploy to keep going back and forth in time to sustain the narrative tempo. Okay, there will be some who will prefer the linear narrative. But as they say, you can't satisfy all.
On the acting front, Junior NTR, despite his obvious girth, is full of life. His histrionics is power-packed. His dances are mercurial. Sonu Sood oozes menaces and scores highly in his role. Praksh Raj and Rajiv Kanakala also turn out impressive performances. The comedy track is nothing out of ordinary.
But Senthil Kumar's camera work is certainly extraordinary. He gives an extra edge of style and shine to the film. Mani Sharma's music matches the energy levels of Junior NTR.
Surender Reddy has underlined his control and command of masala movie. But two is good enough. For the third, he has to look for more novelty.