Paisa is a Telugu film starring Nani and Catherine.
It’s obvious from the title what this film is about, money. The idea is actually not bad. Prakash (Nani) and his friends are poor guys who dream of making it big. Prakash values money more than anything. He wants to be wealthy and he plans to achieve that by marrying a rich girl. Noor (Catherine) doesn’t care about money, she is in love with Prakash and dreams about marrying him. But Noor has her own problems, her family owes some goons money. To pay off the loans, Noor agrees to marry an old Dubai sheikh. She does this because she believes that Prakash loves someone else. When Prakash hears about the marriage, he lands up at the place and takes Noor away. While running away, they get into a car and take off. Later Prakash discovers bags filled with money in the back of the car. The money was on the way to a political party. When people hear about the missing money, different groups start searching for it and Prakash is in big trouble. The rest of the film is about how Prakash gets out of trouble and whether he ends up with the money or not.
The story is about Prakash but there is a backdrop to the film which is about political corruption. The main theme of the film is about how people are obsessed with money and will do anything to achieve it.
So far, the film sounds good enough to watch. But when I was watching the film, I wanted to bang my head against the wall. The reason is simple: poor cinematography, camera work and editing.
The camera work and editing in this film are very strange. The camera comes in at very odd angles. In scenes where we are used to seeing still camerawork, the camera in this film is moving around like it has hyperactivity disorder. I mean if one character is talking in a scene, why do you need fancy camerawork for that? Keep it still in a center mid-shot, otherwise, slowly zoom in or zoom out, if you’re bored, snap to a side shot. But no, the cameraman was so bored in this film that he had to move the camera back and forth and to the side and diagonally and around in all sorts of angles within a matter of seconds. So I got the feeling that I was on a roller-coaster, not exactly the feeling I want to get when watching a film. I saw at the end of the film that a steady cam was used, which explains the issues with the cinematography.
The performances were not bad, I was especially impressed with Nani. Despite the poor production and cinematography, his talent and dialogue delivery shines in this film. If he did so well in this film, just imagine what he would do in a better film with a better story and a better production team. I hope he is signed on to better, higher budget films because he deserves it. He is a better actor and performer than some of the Telugu A-listers. My favorite scene is when he finds out that Noor is getting married. He delivered his dialogues so well and won me over in that scene.
Catherine was good in this film. She performed better than she did in Iddarammayilatho, she was acting more naturally. I think she is improving her acting skills. She selected a fairly different role despite being a new actor and she was convincing in her role. So I think that she has a bright future as an actress if she chooses the right scripts.
The music in this film is surprisingly very good. You just have to close your eyes when the music starts because the choreography and dance costumes in some songs are painful to watch. But I’m impressed with most of the songs tune wise, a few of which have a Middle Eastern melody. Some of the songs were shot in Dubai.
In conclusion, you’re probably better off not watching the film unless you are a Nani fan. You might want to catch the songs online.