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Nijam is a run of the mill tale
May 26, 2003 21:27 IST
Only a couple of things salvage director Teja's Nijam -- the first is an excellent performance by lead star and teen sensation Mahesh. The second is cinematographer Samir Reddy's camera work.
The story begins with the typical happy family -- Ranganath, a fireman; his wife, Taluri Rameshwari; and their ideal son, Mahesh. Then there's Rakshita, who is determined to win Mahesh's love despite his apparent lack of interest.
Local don Suryaprakash Reddy is the villain in the story -- addicted to money and women, he can't even keep is eyes off his henchman Gopichand's girlfriend, Raasi. And, when the local shopkeepers delay in handing over protection money, he orders his men to burn down the market.
Ranganath catches Gopichand red-handed in the act of arson, slaps him and saves the day.
Gopichand, bent on revenge, gets Reddy killed for eyeing Raasi. He then traps Ranganath in a murder case and tortures him to death with the connivance of police officer Bhramaji.
Mahesh, who returns from giving his exams in another town, is stunned at the turn of affairs. Worse, everyone he turns to for help demands a bribe.
Mahesh and his mother swear vengeance.
With the help of an honest constable, they begin killing those who are corrupt. An atmosphere of fear pervades. Police officer Prakash Raj, charged with stopping the murders, identifies the killers but is unable gather the necessary proof.
The movie meanders on towards a rather predictable denouement.
Mahesh tries his best, but cannot save this routine tale of vendetta. After Okadu, this is another good performance from the young actor. Nijam's second half is watchable only because of him.
Reddy's lighting is good as is his camera work.
Nijam could be composer R P Patnaik first flop with Teja since most of the tunes lack repeat value.
Contrary to Teja's claims, there is nothing in the film that can be called unique. This time, Teja -- who proved his mettle with love stories like Nuvvu Nenu and Jayam -- has chosen a wafer-thin plot that is not helped by his weak screenplay. His characters are mere caricatures, with Gopichand, in particular, behaving like a maniac.
At the end of the film, Teja appears on screen and advises people to slap anyone who ask for bribes with chappals (slippers). He claims all the things shown in the film are lies to justify his tagline -- 'It's a lie'. If that is the case, one wonders why he made the film in the first place.
Cast: Mahesh, Ranganath, Taluri Rameshwari, Suryaprakash Reddy, Raasi, Gopichand, Shakeela
Producer, director: Teja
Music: R P Patnaik
Cinematography: Samir Reddy