The Cast and Crew
Cast: Srihari, Prakash Raj, Vaibhav, SP Charan, Siva, Premji, Vega, Kajal, Nikitha, Saran and others
Music: Yuvan Shankar Raja
Cinematography: Sakthi Saravanan
Editing: Praveen KL and Srikanth NB
Produced by: T Shiva
Banner: Amma Creations
Written and directed by: Venkat Prabhu
Saroja is inspired by the 1993 Hollywood film Judgement Night, starring Emilio Estevez and Cuba Gooding Jr, and directed by Stephen Hopkins. The original English film was a chilling crime drama and Saroja is a thrilling Indianised version.
Saroja is a story of four ordinary people, who by a conspiracy of circumstances, become heroes by rescuing a kidnapped girl.
Saroja(Vega), daughter of Industrialist Vishwanth 9 Prakash Raj) is kidnapped by a group of criminals and demand a ransom of Rs 10 Crores. Police Commissioner Ravi (Srihari) takes up the case and is busy planning the rescue of the girl.
In a separate track, a group of four friends in Chennai – Ramaswamy (Vaibhav), Rangaswamy (SP Charan), Ganesh (Premji) and Ajay (Siva) leave for Hyderabad to watch an Indo-Pak Cricket match. An accident takes place on the highway, when a tanker collides and blocks the traffic and they are forced to take a short cut to Hyderabad so that they will be in time to watch the cricket match.
As the group of friends journey through a forest, they come across the hide-out of the gang that kidnapped Saroja. The rest of the story deals with how they rescue the girl culminating in an unexpected climax.
Srihari gives a convincing and competent performance. Prakash Raj is his usual thespian self. Vaibhav, SP Charan, Premji and Siva are quite adequate in their roles. Kajal Agarwal adds a bit of glamour quotient. The rest of the supporting actors just go through the motions.
Venkat Prabhu, who charmed everyone with an original story in Chennai 600028, disappoints with Saroja. His adaptation of Judgement Night is without screen logic and his attempts to bring in nativity is a drag on the narration. Only those scenes which are copied from the original look a bit interesting. The attempt to tag-in some humour falls flat.
Camera work and editing have nothing much to rave about. The music of Yuvan Shankar Raja is the only redeeming feature.
Saroja is a perfect example of mediocrtity and can conveniently be avoided, unless someone is paying for the ticket, popcorn and soft drink.
2.25 out of 5
Review by Deen Kumar