A Upendra product, be it a film or an advertisement or a statement on a general issue, has its own charm and unique attraction. Though, Upendra has not directed Topiwala, the credit given to him for the story and screenplay is enough to put the film in the category. From the very first day that the stylish stills of the film were released to its release today, Topiwala has sustained audience interest in it that only Upendra is capable of. On Friday, the box office proved why Upendra is such a saleable star in Sandalwood.
Topiwala has all the trappings of a film Upendra would himself direct. The main issue he tackles is about the black money politicians in India stash away in foreign banks, which has earned the term 'Swiss Bank' a notoriety. But in true Uppi style, it is not through preaching but through sarcasm, parody and humour that he manages to bring home the message that it is people who need to be on guard against unscrupulous politicians.
From the word go, it is entertainment. Though the message is serious, the way he tells it is funny. Take the example of the title card. The amount of black money from India stashed away in foreign banks is displayed with 1 followed by several zeroes. Then he goes on to show that if all this money were in India, the film would have Warner Brothers studio doing it but instead it is a comparatively smaller local company. Instead of Brad Pitt we have Upendra and so on. Finally, without our own money in our own country we have RJ Sreeni directing the film instead of Steven Spielberg! That is the creativity Upendra is associated with and that is how the film takes a grand opening.
The film moves with a rapid narration that does not let you blink for even a second. A politician who has stashed away Rs 50,000 crore in a Swiss bank dies before revealing the secret code to a beggar. The politician's son tries to get the code but the beggar loses short-term memory. Meanwhile, Basak, (Upendra) a local cheat has become a headache to police officer Ramayana Raghu (Rangayana Raghu). Raghu tries every trick, including getting himself and his men to masquerade as thieves themselves, but Basak (obviously a play on the name Kasab) manages to outwit him every time. The first half of the film is entirely devoted to this cat and mouse game between the police and Basak. Throughout, there is mention of films directed by Upendra directly and indirectly like Om, A and Upendra.
The second half of the film is more sedated but entertaining nonetheless. There is an inner meaning to all the madness and funny portrayal of a serious problem facing the country. Now who is the 'topiwala'? Is it the politician who cheats all the public, Basak, who cheats everyone for his own gain or the public themselves? The climax created by Upendra is a class apart.
Upendra and Bhavana make a good on-screen pair. The camerawork captures all the riches in a glamorous way. Music by Harikrishna is good enough with Shangrila and Girigitle making you want to watch the songs again. MK Srinivas has got the best debut possible. All kudos to Kanakapura Srinivas and KP Srikanth for making a lavish film which is a treat to watch.