Director-turned-actor Pratham, winner of Bigg Boss Kannada season 4, is widely known for his eccentricity and surprises on reality TV. When he announced his movie MLA in which he plays the lead, his fans knew what to expect.
Pratham doesn’t disappoint them, as MLA is a movie meant strictly for Pratham’s fans. The movie blindly follows the synopsis of a '90s potboiler film. Jobless man, love - at - first - sight, heroine’s mother is a rich and powerful woman whose name is Rajeshwari (synonym for a rich, successful, middle-aged woman), throwing challenges at each other and finally a predictable climax. And oh! The hero’s entry happens with a clichéd dialogue – “Is there nobody who can save us from the clutches of these villains.” Time travelling!
The first half reminds you of Pratham in Bigg Boss and his amateur antics inside the house. Throughout the film, he keeps repeating that he is ‘Olle Hudga’ (Good Boy), ‘Nimmane Hudga’ and ‘Kannadiga’. In fact, the first half is just scenes switching between Pratham yelling these dialogues and stalking the love of his life. The second half is a shabbily written political ‘thriller’.
Sparsha Rekha is brilliant as the shrewd MLA, as she fits the shoes perfectly and walks in them with pride. She wears neatly ironed costly sarees and looks every bit a politician. Plus, she is the only saving grace of the film and also the only one who can act in the film. From challenging Pratham to contest in elections to owning several such scenes, she is sure to become busy in Sandalwood, if she takes up such roles.
Sonal Monteiro, the female lead, is amateurish and has to work on her acting skills if she wants to survive in the industry. So is Pratham, who is yet to get the nitty-gritty of acting. Being stupidly loud and cracking unnecessary jokes don't make one an actor.
Comedian Kuri Pratap’s jokes are not funny and are mostly sexist. The director seems to be confused with navigating he film towards a successful climax. The movie does not have a single scene/dialogue that stands out. The movie is every bit chauvinistic during the conversations with the female lead. From saying ‘I want to be the father of your children’ the minute he sees Sonal to making a fuss about her drinking beer in a bar, the makers have made sure that the only job of a woman is to be the subject of objectification. Not just that, moral lessons about ‘how a woman should be’ are forceful inclusions in the plot.
None of the five songs in the movie is worthy of humming or listening to for the second time. The makers had every chance to make this film a wonderful parody – akin to Humble Politician Nograj, but it falls flat.
Disclaimer: This review was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the film. Neither TNM nor any of its reviewers have any sort of business relationship with the film's producers or any other members of its cast and crew.