Cast: Prabhas, Shraddha Kapoor, Lal, Arun Vijay, Chunkey Pandey
1) For all the talk of the film being a bi-lingual, tri-lingual or multi-lingual, the very first scene itself reveals that what we’re getting in Tamil is a ‘dubbed’ version. No two ways about it. Of course, Lal (even though he seems to be mouthing Telugu lines) and Arun Vijay seems to have dubbed it in their original voice but it doesn’t look like Prabhas has dubbed for himself.
2) Prabhas gets a very watered down hero intro scene. Instead of whistles from the audience, the scene gets five whistles…literally but not the fans, but from a biriyani cooking in a cooker. The idea is to have a humorous fight that looks a lot like a video game, but it’s both confusingly long and pretty pointless in the larger scheme of things.
3) Shraddha Kapoor plays a Malayali in the film named Amritha Nair. But it’s both super amusing and mildly offensive when they play ‘Thithithara Thithithai’ as her background score, especially because it’s not Onam. She’s supposed to be this hardened police officer with a sad past but she remains, well, Prabhas’s love interest and not much more.
4) The excesses of this film is just baffling. So we get a shot of a huge military tank destroying two cars parked innocently on the side. But the point is that it’s not even an action scene. This is what’s happening in the background when the ‘Bad Boy’ song plays. In other words, blowing up cars is being used as an alternative for background dancers.
5) The film seems to be borrowing its aesthetics from several major action franchises. The portions set in the fictional Waaji city reminds one of films like Mission Impossible, Mr. & Mrs.Smith and Sword Fish. But when the action shifts to other places, we find a serious Mad Max hangover.
6) For a film with such a massive budget, you’d expect the songs to be great right? The only things that’s an unimaginative as Saaho’s songs are the way they are picturised. Even the really catchy background score of the film is used too plainly.
7) Yet what’s most surprising is how embarrassingly ordinary the action set pieces are. We get a super boring action scene set in a hotel room. Even the much-hyped mega action scene which involves ‘Jet Men’ is not inventive at all. Even the OTTness of it all it unsurprising.
8) You can see what the makers were trying with the screenplay. There’s an effort to make us question our loyalties with a twist every half hour or so but even interesting ideas get drowned in the film’s desperate need to “show off” its scale and size.
9) The film is also interminably long. It’s almost three hours long, with terribly little to keep us interested. One can think of dozens of ways to make the film shorter. Entire sub-plots could have been removed without it really damaging the structure. And also, why does it have so many ‘things’ in it. We get a picture book, a black box, we get an antique lighter and a very complicated-looking box, but why?
10) In short, Saaho is a moral science lesson on how not to spend money while making movies.