Cast: Mohan Babu, Vishnu, Jayasudha, Shanvi, Thanikella Bharani, Kishore and Paruchuri Gopalakrishna
Director: Ram Gopal Varma
Mumbai: Anna Garu (Mohan Babu) is the most respected leader of the Rayalaseema people and at the same time a die-hard factionist. He is the one who makes all the decisions in the region and no one, politicians or officials, go against him.
His sons, Bhushan (Kishore) and Krishna (Vishnu Manchu), are diametrically opposites to each other. While Bhushan is arrogant and is up to no good behind his father’s back, Krishna is well educated, intelligent and respects his parents.
Bhushan, who has been cautioned often by Annagaru to mend his ways, is used as a pawn by the enemies of Annagaru who hatch a plot to kill him.
Krishna, who is in love with Sirisha (Shanvi), comes to know about the plot and tries to stop it. How he manages to do that, forms the crux of ‘Rowdy’.
Ram Gopal Varma has directed Manchu Mohan Babu for the first time in ‘Rowdy’. And it seems that RGV, who has not been able to impress the audience in the last few years, still hasn’t found his touch.
‘Rowdy’ does not have a novel subject and is a copy of his Hindi film ‘Sarkar’ with a few changes. Even the scenes are identical. The only change is the backdrop of Rayalaseema factionism. And while the cinematography is good, one can see the typical Ram Gopal Varma style of portraying the characters. The re-recording is very good and the music is okay. The dialogues, though, are impressive.
Performance wise, Mohan Babu steals the show. He dominates the entire film with his expressions and dialogues; this would have to be one of the best characters he has ever played. As Anna Garu, without any make up or wig, he has proved once again that he is one of the best actors of Telugu cinema.
Vishnu has done decent work and one can see a new Vishnu as he portrays his character with the right emotions – perhaps for the first time. Shanvi as Vishnu’s love interest is perfect and she looks glamorous, particularly in the song sequences.
Thanikella Bharani, Jeeva and Kishore play the bad guys though Bharani’s character is a little bit boring. Kishore as the elder son of Annagaru does his job well. Paruchuri Gopalakrishna is a surprise package in the film while Jayasudha shows her class once again.
Varma’s films are always technically good and ‘Rowdy’ is no exception. The action sequences are well choreographed, especially the one where goons surround Mohan Babu. RGV, however, is still out of touch and most of the scenes and camera angles are mere repetitions of his earlier films. If you haven’t seen ‘Sarkar’, you can watch ‘Rowdy’, especially for Mohan Babu’s performance.