Cast: Puneeth Rajkumar, Priya Anand, Sarathkumar, Srikanth, Rangayana Raghu, Sadhu Kokila, Chikkanna
Director: Chethan Kumar
Duration: 149 minutes
The license to entertain
Watching James, the fact that this will be Puneeth Rajkumar's last appearance in a full-fledged feature never fails to nibble at the conscious constantly. This swansong of one of Kannada's best loved entertainers therefore obliges you to overindulge on his presence on screen. Chants of Appu and Puneeth never stopped for the entire duration of the show and the film fortunately captures his on screen prowess that made him such a darling of the masses.
James is a mass action entertainer that never misses a trick and gladly sticks to the trade. Lavish production values and a cast that would look too small being called ensemble is taken straight out of director Chethan Kumar's playbook. Add Puneeth's mass appeal and presence and you have an instant success formula.
The director goes beyond this simple formula to give the audience something more. That makes James special. A private security specialist, James (Puneeth) becomes an inevitable part of a crime syndicate's family. Just when it seems like a routine underworld saga headed toward post-interval massacre, the interval block provides a stunning twist. In the meantime, the parade of new characters adds strength to the screenplay. The best is however yet to come. Post-interval the story takes on a whole new dimension.
That's for the story, but without doubt this is a film for the fans. It is Puneeth's, dance, fight, smile and style that fans want to watch. James provides the perfect opportunity to fill your eyes and hearts with Puneeth.
A special mention is necessary about how Shivarajkumar and Raghavendra Rajkumar's characters are skilfully blended into the story. This has happened post the demise of Puneeth. The three brothers may not share screen space but Chethan Kumar deserves appreciation just for managing to bring them together in the same film.
A couple of scenes which Puneeth could not shoot have still been retained skilfully. The excessive body count is a mass film's collateral damage. There were lingering doubts about the suitability of Shivarajkumar's voice for Puneeth. The result is brilliant.
James isn't a film for the television and gorilla glass screens. The director has ensured it is best enjoyed on the big screen along with cheering fans.
Movie Review By -
S Shyam Prasad