Swaroop RSJ's deft handling of a serious issue is ably complemented by his terrific script and commendable performances
Last Updated: 08.56 AM, Apr 29, 2022
Raghupati, Raghava and Raja Ram are three happy-go-lucky kids in Vadamalapeta, a small town in Chittoor district always game for an adventure. Raghupati dreams to become a filmmaker someday, an ignorant Raghava hopes to win a crore in a quiz reality show and Raja Ram is an aspirant fast bowler. Despite their ignorance, they're happy in their cocoon trying to accomplish their dreams. When Raghupati realises that the government has announced a Rs 50 lakh cash reward for those who manage to nab Dawood Ibrahim, the trio sets out on a trip to Mumbai to earn big, knowing little of what's in store for them.
No filmmaker has it easy with a follow-up film after tasting their first success. Some wait to call the director a 'one-hit-wonder' while the industry tries to dissect every possible reason behind his first success in an attempt to recreate that magic the second time. Writer, director Swaroop RSJ, who scored a hit with his debut Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya, successfully navigates past the 'second film hurdle' with Mishan Impossible, without losing sight of his strengths. It takes immense sensitivity in writing and deft execution to balance humour and something as dark as child trafficking. Swaroop proves the unlikely blend is very much 'possible'.
Mishan Impossible is a rare children's film that's pure at heart and truly 'gets' the minds of the younger lot. The writer, director is mindful of weaving a narrative that can't be downplayed by adults either. In a sleepy small-town setting, far away from the worldly chaos, the film tells the story of three streetsmart kids who try to bite off more than what they can chew. There's a genuine attempt to see the world through their eyes, with all their innocence and joi de vivre. The filmmaker takes us through their little joys, dreams and the extent to which they can go to accomplish them.
Raghupati, the film buff, tries to pass off Rajinikanth's character Vaseekaran in Endhiran as a real-life scientist in a classroom. Raghava is so confident in himself that he prepares an AV for his future appearance in an episode of Kaun Banega Crorepati. Raja Ram is particular about his field positions on the ground but not a single player in the town hasn't him for a six. It's their ability to dream big that binds them together and nothing can crush their confidence. The traits, quirks of three kids aren't merely established for comic effect but are quite crucial to accomplishing their 'mishan' later.
What if the three kids find themselves countering the child trafficking mafia in an alien city many miles away from their homes? The thriller comedy has its heart in the right place and has a taut script that offers laughs and respects the audience's intelligence. Mishan Impossible lets you soak in its lightness and simplicity in the first hour, more as a warm-up to the dark twists and turns in the narrative sooner. The film prefers to keep its setting grounded and realistic without compromising on its comical flavour and there's very little scope for cinematic liberty.
The second hour largely keeps you invested with the wit of the young trio, as they take help from activists and the police force to derail the plans of child traffickers. Journo-cum-activist Shailaja is the driving force behind the kids but never tries to hijack the narrative away from them and lets them take centre stage. Mishan Impossible at no point becomes this serious, preachy issue-oriented film and finds smart ways to lighten up the ambience. The pre-climactic portions where the kids outsmart the trafficking group are a terrific showcase of the director's writing prowess.
The child artists, Harsh Roshan, Bhanu Prakash and Jayateertha Molugu, are the backbones of the film. Beyond the street smartness of their characters, they make you notice the vulnerable, innocent dimensions of the characters and identify with their simplicity. Taapsee Pannu, in the form of her life, puts her stardom to terrific use in lending credibility to an outing that doesn't necessarily revolve around her. There's no greater example than Mishan Impossible to confirm her commitment to be a part of quality cinema at the peak of her career. Ravindra Vijay lives up to the demands of his role and does just enough to make the viewers empathise with him and the cause he stands up for.
Hareesh Peradi, right from his body language to his appearance, is believable as the notorious gangster. Kancherapalem Kishore, Bindu Chandramouli, Sharanya Pradeep shine in brief yet well-written parts. Amid a series of special appearances, it's Rishab Shetty who stands out as a drama artist who's out to con the children. Mark K Robin is probably a rare composer in Telugu cinema who doesn't merely bombard the music score on the viewers and gives them the time to process the sequence as well. Songs like Entra Adhrushtam and Yeddhaam Gaalam lend a unique rustic vibe to the film.
The writer, director Swaroop RSJ, much like his debut film, cracks the right mix between humour and a social issue this time too and has a capable set of actors and crew who help him fulfil his vision.
Telugu cinema can finally boast of producing a well-made children's film after ages. Mishan Impossible is neat, smart and entertaining and does full justice to its wacky premise. Watch out for the three wonder kids Harsh Roshan, Bhanu Prakash and Jayateertha Molugu and a confident Taapsee Pannu.