In the most high and palmy state of Rome,
A little ere the mightiest Julius fell,
The graves stood tenantless and the sheeted dead
Did squeak and glibber in the Roman streets;
– Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 1
If the Indian penal code contained a provision for stringing up rotten film-makers and their stars, Leader (mis)director Sekhar Kammula and his menagerie comprising Rana Daggupati, Richa Gangopadhyay and Priya Anand would be standing at the gallows today with the noose round their necks waiting for the hangman to pull the stool from under their legs.
That folks churn out such garbage and have the temerity to call it a film bodes some grave tragedy to our land, a state not unlike ancient Rome in the days preceding Caesar’s death.
Some movie directors get better with each film.
But with this Kammula clown (responsible for story, screenplay, dialog and direction of this Leader), evolution works in reverse.
This was one Telugu film where the audience was openly laughing, not out of joy but a sneering laugh at the shit on the screen.
The story – if you dare call this sleeping pill a story – in a nutshell is about a young NRI from America stepping into his late father’s shoes as the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh after the old man is killed in a landmine blast.
If like us you think that’s hardly an entertaining topic for a film, the rest of the movie is worse.
A total bore of how our hero Arjun (Rana Daggupati) hangs on to his chair even as we get crude caricatures of the corruption of our politicians.
Nagarjuna School, eh?
Rana Daggupati, the hero of Leader, is a distinguished alumnus of the Nagarjuna School of Acting.
Unless you are a complete schmuck, you know that means if acting slapped Rana on the face he wouldn’t recognize it.
The fellow bumbled along for the duration of 2 hours and 45-minutes with a single expression on his face.
The fella just can’t emote, failing miserably both in the political context and the romantic scenes.
In crucial scenes like when he decides to throw his hat in the race to be Chief Minister, when he proposes to Archana, when his mother says she wanted him to be a leader not a politician and later when a old man (whose daughter is killed by some goons) declares he has no trust in political leaders et al, Rana flounders hopelessly.
Apparently, Rana is the nephew of Nagarjuna in real-life. You could tell in the (non)acting. 😉
Priya Anand was jumping around, desperately trying her utmost to prove that man indeed evolved from apes.
As for Richa Gangopadhyay, the woman didn’t impress us one bit.
Some girls, even if they can’t act, are at least good for an ogle or two. This one was a let down in the ogle department too.
We were not taken in with either the songs or the picturization.
Since the Indian Penal Code has no provision for stringing up buffoons like Kammula and his ilk, you can bet your last dime that this bozo will be back to haunt us with another Bleeder or Weeder shit in the not too distant future. 🙁 And that’s a mighty big shame.
Folks, don’t even consider watching Leader.
This garbage is worth neither your time nor your money.