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Toss, a regular potboiler

July 13, 2007 14:14 IST

Ram Reddy or Priyadarshini Ram changes tracks from an offbeat Manodu to a mainstream Toss.

Made entirely in the commercial format, this Telugu film stars Kannada superstar Upendra, Raja, Priyamani and Kaamna Jethmalani.

The film begins with the premise Oka abbadam padi saari nijam ante adi nijam vochu. Kaani oka nijam vanda saari abaddam anna athi abaddam kaadu (One lie uttered 10 times as though the truth can become the truth but one truth even if uttered 100 times as though a lie cannot become a lie).

Not everything you see is the truth and you can't see the truth all the time. It's not mind-boggling as it sounds. Basically Toss looks at who are morally right and systemically right through the eyes of its protagonists Neelakantha (Upendra) and Parasuram (Raja). The police commissioner Nayak (Suman) is another main character.

It's a question of the right side or the flip side -- hence, Toss.  Parasuram tosses the coin to take the right action -- an act reminiscent of Amitabh Bachchan in Sholay.

The film has parallel tracks -- of Neelkantha (who is a difficult man to contend with on account of his might) and Parasuram (a good man), which sets the pace for the layered narrative. These two converge in the second half and that's where the suspense element comes in.

The police commissioner and another gang led by Sultan are the other characters in this suspense drama. In the first half of the movie one is led to believe that Parasuram and Nayak are good while Neelkantha is the bad guy, till the toss...

In between there is romance brewing between Parasuram and Naina (Priyamani) which complicates matters, more so because Naina is Neelkantha's sister.

Toss has all the usual elements of a commercial film -- action, romance, revenge, brother-sister sentiment (which is the common theme of most Telugu movies in the last seven months), songs, dances, some enforced comedy et al.

So, in essence, Toss is the usual masala entertainer, albeit a tad too confusing at times. There are some areas which are not conveniently explained (for instance one wonders how Neelkantha becomes rich as he loses his parents and brings up his sister on his own).

The movie is slick, with some good CG work. The fact that the movie was shot in high-definition digital camera helps in the colour correction besides post-production. However, there are distractions in the song-dances and the few enforced comedy sequences.

Upendra looks menacing (thanks to his attire and sound effects) as Neelkantha. Incidentally Toss marks his return to Telugu movies after a long gap.

Raja, on the other hand, performs what is expected of him, and is quite convincing as the goodie who is SET (Self Employed Tax as calls himself).

Suman plays the notorious police inspector with his usual conviction.

The women provide the glamour (particularly Kaamna) and display some amount of histrionics.

Mani Sarma's musical score is in sync with the mood -- the only 'melodious song' being Prema Prema...

All said and done, it's the audience who will decide to flip for Toss or not.

Rediff Rating:

Radhika Rajamani