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Movie review ‘Boxer’: It ‘Always’ lacked the punch

Published Nov 21, 2015, 7:17 pm IST
Updated Mar 27, 2019, 12:53 am IST
This film by Preetham Gubbi is Korea's gift to sandalwood

Director: Preetham Gubbi
Cast: Dhananjay, Kruthika Jayakumar, Rangayana Raghu
Rating: 2

This film has nothing to do with the sport – boxing, but in fact the latest from Preetham Gubbi’s action covered with melodrama story is all about a local unprofessional kick boxer who fights for money, and his cute little ‘blind’ love story. Yes, the plot and everything from one scene to the next, is cut, copied and pasted from Korean director Song Il-gon’s ‘Always’. If the recently released ‘Aatagara’ was a mash up of decades old American and Brit films, this one is a straight out remake of the Korean film.
So with the ready mix, the director goes on to localise the screenplay, hardly changing anything in it. He then adds the routine ‘potion’, like for example several done to death romantic scenes. No guesses if either of the lead pair is blind.

Wonder what would happen if the foreign film makers became aware of their works being lifted in such a fashion! Any such attempts with other language films in our country, the producers would cough up money in the name of remake rights. The most disheartening issue being the filmmakers who do get ‘inspired’ and does the ‘lifting’ job in the name of direction, do not even acknowledge or even mention the original work in public.
Getting back to Preetham’s ‘Boxer’ – the first round is a builder to the romantic melodrama involving a fight showcasing the multi talented Dhananjay as kick boxer. The protagonist, an orphan is kick boxer who fights for money; finds solace in helping the needy at a missionary, often visits his favourite ‘lake’, and then by night works as an attendant at a parking garage. The punching begins when another orphan played by Kruthika slides into the attendant’s booth assuming the occupant at the booth to be the old man usually there. Instead she encounters a new attendant. What follows is a TV soap experience for sometime.
From the usual ‘stupid’ act of an ‘innocent hero’ having dinner at a restaurant, from eating pani puri at a favourite road side eatery, dancing on the road, slipping into dream songs, the ‘Boxer’ crawls to the final fight and then to the climax. Obviously the fight is for ‘visionary’ purpose. Raja (Dhananjay) finds no other way to get the money arranged for the operation of Lakshmi (Kruthika), but to fight in a mortal combat ring in an illegal Bangkok fight club. Leaving no suspense, Raja wins the match but he is soon stabbed in the back before he heads back.
The climax just gets extended by few months, while Lakhsmi with her vision back is in search of Raja. Will she ever find him? Where and how is another easy guess. Before parting, Lakshmi gifts a stone to the kick boxer, which eventually leads back to him. This film is a Korea's gift to sandalwood.