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Success seems to elude Telugu star Ravi Teja, who has had a string of bad films in the last few years. Audiences expected — and he hoped — that his latest film would buck the trend, alas it has failed too.

If ‘Disco Raja’ was a fraction as interesting as its teasers and trailers were, the movie would have been something Teja and director Vi Anand would have been proud of.

The architect-turned-filmmaker had all the materials to design an impressive structure but what the movie lacked was a strong foundation. Anand always tries to do things differently and has been successful in the past. But he fails to live up to his own reputation in ‘Disco Raja’.

Promoted as an action-packed sci-fi entertainer with good music, the genre is new for Teja. With suitable body language there was scope for him to exploit his talent in double roles — as a septuagenarian trapped in the body of a 35-year-old and as his son, also aged 35.

Anand has chosen a theme where a dead person who has been frozen under snow for decades can be brought back to life through scientific breakthrough. A doctor (Shishir Mishra) and his assistants (Vennala Kishore and Tanya Hope) achieve this medical marvel.

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The story is about Teja’s character who has lost his memory and struggles to find himself. This takes the story back to the times when disco was a craze and to the present — unravelling aspects of his life leading to his death more than three decades ago.

The opening scenes, where the protagonist is attacked and hauled through the icy terrain of Ladakh with snowmobiles and the eventual avalanche that buries him under snow, raise your expectations. But loopholes in the narration fail to impress the audience. In the second half it’s difficult to follow what’s happening with so many characters appearing and exiting, making the proceedings quite boring and putting you in a tizzy.

Teja has done well within the limitations and the tyranny of the theme. If Teja was expected to carry the film on his shoulders and turn the fate of the film, then the makers were wrong.

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The film boasts of three heroines, but neither Payal Rajput nor Nabha Natesh or Tanya Hope had any role to write home about. Though Rajput has a comparatively longer screen time, she had not a word to speak — she is deaf and mute. It must have been a truly dumbing down experience for her.

Bobby Simha, a busy actor in Tamil film industry, as the villain looks anything but one. He’s been projected to be bloodthirsty menace, but he pales before even some of his wicked-looking sidekicks.

The only performance that’s noteworthy is Sunil’s — he comes out as a surprise towards the fag end of the movie.

Cinematography by Karthik Gattamneni and music by S Thaman are the only highlights of the film making it a visual feast and a musical treat with a good background score — mass commercial elements nevertheless, but with no masala.

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Out now!

‘Disco Raja’ is currently showing across the UAE. Watch the teaser below: