Saaho promised to be a spectacle, and it exceeds expectation.
Partly shot in various Abu Dhabi locations over 40 days, this grand, breathtaking ride is another fine showcase for Telugu superstar Prabhas, whose stock is at an all-time high after his success with the Baahubali franchise.
Made by UV Creations, Saaho is a multilingual blockbuster. Directed by Sujeeth, it released in the UAE in multiple languages, in Telugu, Hindi and Tamil, and was made at an official cost of Rs 3.5 billion (Dh180 million).
The movie boasts an impressive ensemble cast, led by Shraddha Kapoor and Jackie Shroff with support from Neil Nitin Mukesh, Mandira Bedi, Chunky Panday, Mahesh Manjrekar, Arun Vijay and Murali Sharma.
But the star of the show is, of course, Prabhas, who has a huge following in the south of India, especially in Telangana and Hyderabad.
Fans of all of the above stars are in for quite a few surprises from the movie's plot.
The trailer suggested that Prabhas was an undercover cop, while Neil, Panday and Shroff are among a long list of villains eyeing a mysterious prize. Without spoiling the film, I can say that the story isn't as black and white as that, and the action scenes come in thick and fast.
Saaho is a double-edged sword. Action lovers can essentially ignore the script and savour all the explosions, while those looking for story twists and turns will find them, as the non-stop action sequences are impressive only up to a certain point.
Meanwhile, director Sujeeth, the action team of Kenny Bates, director of photography Madhie and the producers have pulled out all stops to ensure every box of a Hollywood and Masala blockbuster is ticked.
- Swagger and punchy lines for Prabhas: check
- Action, helicopters, boats, cars, superbikes, massive trucks, even jetpacks: check
- Romance and songs: check
- Exotic locations - Abu Dhabi to Austria, Mumbai to Hyderabad, Australia to Croatia: check
- Plot twists and turns: check
- Guns blazing: check
- Cars flying, actors flying, buildings crashing, the star saving the damsel in distress: check
- All that in both slow motion and rapid speed: check
- Multiple nationalities in the cast and crew: check
- Special item song as an afterthought: check
In his interview with The National on the eve of the film's release, Neil told us that director Sujeeth "was a great visionary to pull off a grand scale film like this with panache".
Indeed, it is an impressive effort for the director to fulfil the film's ambitious vision. It may have taken him four years to conceive and complete, but Saaho is worth the wait.
This is a ride that Prabhas fans can’t afford to miss.