Outdated Mass Entertainer
‘U’ Certified, 2 hrs 30 mins
What Is the Film About?
Arjun Prasad (Balakrishna) is the son of multimillionaire Sarojini Naidu (Jayasudha). He heads the company like a pro and takes it several notches higher. A project leads Arjun Prasad to Uttar Pradesh which is vehemently resisted by his mother. Upon reaching there, the villagers are shocked to see Arjun and refer to him as Dharma.
Who is Dharma, and how is he related to the villagers? What is their problem and how Arjun solves it is what the movie is all about?
How Is Balakrishna’s Performance?
Two things that immediately strike to us watching the movie are efforts of Nandamuri Balakrishna and his styling. The former is worth appreciating as even in this age, Balakrishna puts his best foot forward and tries to come up with new body language. The styling is decent in one getup but is terrible and distracting in other.
The smart corporate chief look of Balakrishna is neatly designed. The star also does his best to showcase a ‘cool’ body language as a slick urban guy that doesn’t come naturally to him. He tries his best to chill out, which is visible.
As the regular mass action hero, Balakrishna goes about the work as a fish in the water. Except for the wig and styling, in general, there is nothing to complain.
Direction by K.S. Ravikumar?
KS Ravikumar is a senior director who knows his craft well. But, he seems to be stuck in a time warp and hasn’t come out. It comes across as outdated to the current times. Luckily, the same factor worked in elevating the drama of his last film with Balakrishna, Jai Simha. Unfortunately, there is no such luck for Ruler.
The basic story of Ruler is as outdated as it comes. One might have thought something crazy on offer based on the trailer. But, the actual movie has zero novelty and surprise value.
Only the initial portions involving Balakrishna in an urban avatar evoke some freshness. However, even in that case, the actual scenes are presented in a dated manner. They are also little vulgar, but that isn’t a big issue as seen with another recent mass entertainer. However, a couple of sequences in the second half cross the threshold level concerning the comedy.
It is the core story where Ruler falters heavily. There are zero surprise elements, and the elevation is on predictable lines. They work well for the action scenes, and that’s it. As mentioned earlier, the getup in flashback adds to the misery.
In general, flashback or present, the fight sequences are the best part of the movie. There is a fun angle to them via the dialogues, and hence they work no matter how lengthy or overdone.
As is with most of the mass films in the past few years, the villain is mostly a dummy guy. The weak characterisation dampens the overall mass impact. It is here that we recall the vitality of story of Jai Simha no matter how archaic it came across.
Overall, Ruler has nothing redeeming to offer, except the fights. Its ancient tale of heroism is done to death. It is meant for hardcore fans of either the star or action genre only.
Vedhika, Sonal Chauhan and Others?
Sonal Chauhan and Vedika are the heroines in the movie who appear in the first and second half, respectively. They are presented like toys for the voyeuristic enjoyment of the audience as well as the hero. There is nothing in the movie for them performance-wise. The glamour show is on the spot, though.
Bhoomika comparatively has a stronger role, despite less screen time. It is still no way near to what she has been doing in supporting parts in the few movies she does. Prakash Raj plays his usual role with conviction. The same is the case with Jayasudha. In case you are wondering if they have scenes together, no, they don’t. Srinivas Reddy, Raghu Babu, Raghu and Dhanraj come as comic relief in the first half. However, we feel the ‘relief’ when they are out of the narrative. The same feelings are felt on a much larger scale when Sapthagiri track ends. There are many more actors like Nagineedu, Jhansi, Sayaji Shinde etc. in small roles. They are all adequate.
Music and Other Departments?
Chirantan Bhatt gave good numbers in Jai Simha, but he fails totally in maintaining the same energy with songs in Ruler. The background score is comparatively better but is again on generic lines. The cinematography is decent in parts. The editing is fine. The choreography of songs is creative and makes the videos fun to watch on screen. The writing is on predictable lines.
Outdated And Hackneyed Story
The two distinct plot points in the flashback could be updated according to the latest trend. It would have made Ruler less obsolete.
Did I Enjoy It?
Will You Recommend It?
No, except for hardcore fans
Ruler Review by Siddartha Toleti