Why Pokiri (Telugu) is better than Wanted (Hindi)


ARVIND SWAMINATHAN writes from Madras: As a shameless fan of the new breed of slick South Indian flicks, with their cheap tricks and sexy chicks, please permit me one more attempt at silly alliteration: Puri Jagganath‘s Pokiri was total paisa-vasool for the hicks in the cattle-class, unless, of course, they had deposited their you-know-what in the gold class at PVR.

With a frantic plot immersed in testosterone and coated with impossible machismo, fast action, groovy music, a sexy heroine, voluptuous vamps, good chases, not-so-bad humour and endless violence, only those who dream in sepia tone of Akira Kurosawa and Louis Malle, would find it difficult to admit that the tapori stuff was not ‘bombaat time-pass’.

In both Telugu and Tamil.

In Telugu more than Tamil.

So, it was with no small expectation that I went to see Wanted, the Hindi version of Pokiri starring Salman Khan. And it gives me great joy to report that like masala dosa and mathematics, this new breed of slick South Indian flicks will remain a South Indian speciality. And this despite the director of the Tamil Pokiri (Prabhu Deva) having made the Hindi Pokiri.


#1: Mahesh Babu is better than Vijay is better than Salman Khan

Pokkiri5-1OK, his father Krishna couldn’t act, speak, dance or fight to save his life but yet went on to become a star. Mahesh Babu can do a bit of all that and even has a screen presence to match—and is a star. In Tamil, too, Vijay (left) brought younger legs. The ageing but finely chiseled Salman Khan looks like he’s dancing with a Jaipur foot. And surely Pandu sounds more endearing than Radhe any day? I saw Rajeev Masand of CNN-IBN write “Watch Wanted for Salman”. Our fullest sympathies with those who have to.

#2: Ileana is better than Asin is better than Ayesha Takia

sexy_ayesha_takia235There’s no way of knowing, of course, for us earthlings, but one presumes that 30-26-29 are the first six digits of Ileana’s phone number. Or 32-28-34 of Asin’s. But Ayesha Takia (who was apparently originally slotted for the role of Shruti in the Telugu Pokiri) is clearly from Silicon Valley judging from the 42-27-30 area code. Ileana brought a certain lightness; Asin a certain effervescence. Takia is too top-heavy, much too much in your face, especially with her whole body looking like a surgical appendage of her defining organ. Why, you sometimes fear the poor thing might just topple over.

#3:  Mani Sharma (Telugu) is better than Mani Sharma (Tamil) is better than Sajid-Wajid

ManisharmaIn both the South Indian versions, the music was a defining feature of the film, like Ghajini, meaningless maybe but still a very important part of the movie. Each of the six numbers in Telugu were foottappingly good, and at least a couple of them (Deva devuda, Jagadame, Vasantha mulai) were memorable in the context of a “mass” movie. But in the Hindi remake, the music sticks out like a sore thumb. Why, even the names Sajid-Wajid sounds like the director is playing a small joke on the audience.

#4: Bramhanandam and Ali are better than Vadivelu is better than whoever it is who is playing Bramhanandam or Vadivelu

comedian-brahmanandam-28The humour in the Telugu Pokiri, especially the beggar sequence, is done well and with great novelty. It is even decent by the rapidly plumetting standards of South Indian humour. It gets loud in Tamil, of course, but in Hindi it positively plumbs the depths, often bordering on the execrable. When “Teri maa ki bleep”, “Teri maa ki bleep” gets a lot of shouts even from those who have paid Rs 250 per ticket, you have to send a silent prayer to the censor board members—and their mothers.

#5:  Upma is better than thayir sadam is better than pasta

Seriously, what is this pasta fixation for a fatherless girl working in a call centre in Wanted? Some kind of status symbol on the Virar Slow? Doesn’t maaji dig roti or parantha or phulka? Think outside the lunch box, Prabhuji. See how funny “Nee yenna periya pasta va?” sounds as compared to the original “Nee yenna periya pista va?” If there is one shot which exposes the pretentiousness of Bollywood, the disconnect with the masses it serves, it is the pasta.

#6 Mummaith Khan is better than whoever it is who is trying to play Mummaith Khan

918695_f520Mmmm. Don’t just take my word for it. Click here for the full evidence: Ippatininka naa vayasu inka padahare or En chella peru apple. Like a good villain, Alibhai (Prakash Raj) has the right molls around him in Telugu and Tamil. He is even in the right business, running night clubs and such like. But Ghanibhai (Prakash Raj) screws up bigtime in the kind of item girls he employs in Hindi. He should pay dearly for this unpardonable sin.


You could go on and on.

That Alibhai sounds better than Ghanibhai, even if they are both played by the same national award winning actor.

That the Telugu or Tamil versions didn’t have to accommodate Govinda or Anil Kapoor. Etcetera.

If there are two areas that the Hindi Pokiri stands shoulder to shoulder with the South Indian ones, it is in the casting of Vinod Khanna as Salman’s father (as against Nasser in Telugu and Tamil).

And the cops.  Mahesh Manjrekar fares better than the overacting Ashish Vidyarthi as the lecherous sub-inspector, bringing back memories of Tinnu Anand. And Govind Namdeo scores over the even more overacting (and overdubbing) Sayaji Shinde as the honest police officer.

Prabhudeva showed enormous promise with his Tamil adaptation of the Telugu Pokiri. But in the Hindi remake, he totally blows it. But having seen the Tamil Pokiri, too, you have to wonder like the great bard did, if the fault lies in him— or that of his stars.

Also read: Why Tamil Ghajini is better than Hindi Ghajini

11 similarities between the iPhone and Rajnikant

Thank god, at least one critic thinks Kaminey is crap

Bollywood’s a scam, and Farah Khan is a big, fat con

Conceited, egotistical, nacissistic but the greatest?

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37 Responses to “Why Pokiri (Telugu) is better than Wanted (Hindi)”

  1. shilpadesh Says:

    Yay for the telugu Pokiri! All said and done it boils down to Mahesh babu >>>>>>>> Sallu!

  2. Gaby Says:

    Why does Churumuri have to have this rubbish ! I suppose the blog-owner owes the writer a favour ?

  3. Putnanja Says:

    Who gives a f@#$? ASSnathan please spare us from your largesse. What was the last Kannada movie you watched?

  4. Anonymous Guy Says:

    #2: And what is the author’s problem with big boobs?

    Too much to handle aa?

  5. mysore peshva Says:

    dear arvind: lovely writing, but isn’t your article a bit futile?

    what an utter waste of the nation’s time…. yours in writing about, mine in reading about, the audiences’ (telugu/tamil/hindi) in watching… the diarrheal crap that is indian cinema.

    (this weekend i saw tamil “pokiri” and yash raj’s “dil bole hadippa”)

  6. Amrita Says:

    Oh great, now I have yet another mission in life: to find and watch both Tamil and Telugu versions of this movie. You’re spot on about Mumait and Manjrekar btw. Manjrekar coz that lech cop is a testament to practice makes perfect.

  7. rads Says:

    rofl! Agree agree and agree! :-)

  8. vinay Says:

    even tho i haven’t seen the film in any of the languages ( and also don’t plan to… pay money to see S K ???) , the above article was much more enjoyable than the stuff that’s on ibnlive or rediff

  9. Thyampanna Shetty Says:

    WOW!! After reading how great Tamil, Telugu and Hindi movies are…..now I can go to sleep peacefully.
    Jai Kannadaaambe!!

  10. Janasamanya Says:

    Arvind, you are nuts. What are you blabbering about?

  11. cb Says:

    Great writing, Arvind.

  12. BB@B Says:

    Arvid saar, masal dosa in Delhi is very different than from Mumbai. And same with Chennai and Bengaluru. It depends on your taste buds on how have you developed them. So better stop comparing on things related to individual tastes. By the way, also publish which of these three versions made max profit, this is what movie makers are interested in.

  13. Karthik Says:

    Would it not have been better, had we commented on a Kannada Flick,even if it is a remake version of other south Indian one??
    Its a clear vindication of the following for Tamil/Telugu movies.

  14. pharoah Says:

    I think most of us are sick and tired of reading about this non-existent good qualities of tamil/telugu/hindi films. Enough of this nonsense. Is there no good Kannada movie to review?

  15. Putnanja Says:

    That’s correct Karthik, there are only remakes in Kannada, no originals. Also, just so you know the Tamil Pokkiri is not a remake of the Telugu Pokiri. And Tamil and Telugu movies are always originals, never remakes.

    Before you write ur next comment, please take your head out of your you-know-what.

  16. Gaby Says:

    I wonder why there isnt anubody writing a review of Gulabi Talkies- I havent seen the movie since it isnt available on DVD and I cant get Doordarshan where I live- so putnanja et al can you guys do it. That is the only way to counter the rubbish like the current review comparing silly movies.

  17. Anshuman Patel Says:

    Reading quite a few comments, I am tempted to ask why so serious saar? Chill maadi:) Arvind has quite a yen for the word-play and it’s fun to read this tongue-in-cheek piece.

    While we are all busy solving much more weightier problems of the world (eg. Global warming, Financial mess @ Wallstreet, alleviation of poverty, yadda yadda), let a small helping of fun and humour be allowed. No harm in that IMHO..

  18. neha Says:

    wanted is a superb movie.Its almost as gud as telugu pokiri. But far better than tamil pokiri. Salman is 1000 times better than crap vijay & almost as good as mahesh babu. Ayesha takia is slightly better than asin but not as gud as illeana

  19. Gokulam 3rd Stage Says:

    I don’t quite know what to do with the breathless endorsement of “South Indian specialty”.

    The Sound of Music is better than Parichay and Bedi Bandavalu, and Schoolmaster is better Baghban. That is how it works. The vorjnal is always better than the remake. It has nothing to do with Masale Dose or Vada Pav.

  20. Gaby Says:

    About originals and remakes- Shakespeare borrowed from Holinshed, Chaucer, Ovid, Pliny the Elder, Boccacio, Philip Sidney and a whole list of other people- can anybody tell me which was better- the originals or the Bard?

    What is being compared here is two BAD products- doesnt matter wheter the one made earlier is better than the one made later- both are horrible. In any case my pralaapa is that this comparing of Telugu- Tamil- Hindi flicks feels alien in this blog- a little bit like Sheekh kababs in Pachappa’s hotel.

  21. tsubba Says:

    check the lyrics in this

    ondu kanasu
    khaali peeli
    kaNNa munde
    heege oDutirabeku

    baaki maatu maaro goli
    yaeno gungu
    nanna kaaDutirabeku

    ondara kinta ondu,
    yaenaeno seLetada kaaTa
    ee manada paradeya mele
    aa neraLu beLakina aaTa

    dainika daaravahi ee baaLu khanDita alla
    ee nalivu novige illi praayojakarantu illa

    khaali peeli
    mandahaasa ondu mooDutirabeku

    khaali peeli
    nanna kaDege
    ella noDutirabeku.

    precisely captured by kaikini.
    yella vokay inglis yaake.


    thats what i dont understand the rhymes in inglis are retelling the same story. why cant they rap in kannada?

    dam its gonna blow
    madai thiranthu

    retake of raaja.

    check the rhymes out.


  22. tsubba Says:

    churumuri sorry. please keep separate.

    rokka fine-u sherry wine-u
    dostra byani dostraga

    tampu hava biShi huDugi
    nann yochni nannga

    muTTara noDu mutthara koDu
    anno plan nanndoo

    thoo yoor aouna
    aourd allin chinti aadra
    innoo vond chinti yoordu

    some awesome writing in this. could work on the sound though. but flawless writing.

  23. alvaa matte Says:

    Its the same old T-Series (‘tam’s and ‘tel’s) attitude, the same old ‘foolish arrogance’, biddroo meese mannaaglillaa anno thara….

  24. chavakiran Says:

    Cool Review.

  25. Hindi Bolo Says:

    I watched the Hindi version “WANTED” of the south indian movie “Pokiri”. The movie was a complete disaster. It is clear to me how intellectually rotten Prabhudeva is. Salman and Ayesha looked ok otherwise there is noting worth watching in this movie. In all aspects, this movie is a typical south indian massaala movie which will not do business in Bollywood. Look what happened to “duniya dil walonki”, “hamse hain muqabala”

  26. filmizest Says:

    ^^ the film is a superhit in Bollywood. India no matter which end can never not like dishoom dishoom type masala films.

  27. Pulikeshi the Last Says:

    I wonder about Tsubba. How does he make a living when he seems to be writing long comments all the time about everything discussed in the blogs and finding you tube masala to bolster his esoteric observations with?

  28. Anupam Says:

    wow!! bang on man the article.

  29. Srikant Aggarwal Says:

    Stupid people writing reviews now a days.. WWho is this writer anyways ??? Dont give a shit to his nonsense blog.

  30. Ram Says:

    I have seen Telugu Pokiri about 6-8 times. Every time I find it funny, especially brahmanandam begging scene. Mahesh babu’s dialogue delivery is light hearted & funny. Illi is smoking hot. In comparison Salman looked old & out of sorts. I went to wanted in Dubai, could not sit past intermission. Wanted is a lousy remake and salman was no comparison to prince Mahesh.

  31. Amit Says:

    I think u all would be right…..but Salman’s wanted was too good…..I’m not saying that pokiri was bad…..but they both…..mahesh babu & salman….was awesome in the movie

  32. ankit Says:

    sallu is any way better den mahesh watevèr babu..dont even compare wid dese prankstars to a real superstar of whole india to sum1 4m telugu movie only..Salman is baap..babu is a real babu..or a real flop khaleja star..

  33. sonu joshi Says:

    Telugu pokiri and wanted were equally brilliant and both illena and ayesh takia were sexy with small and big ones respectively which the author has remarked but tamil was disaster . and who compares the tamil guy with mahesh babu style and salman khan impact shouldn’t watch movies. yes tamil version was good but stands nowhere in comparison to mahesh and salman khan ones. only things which stood equally was asin assets otherwise it was average. This review is biased towards tamil movie. I have watched both pokiri and wanted many times and enjoyed everytime. Those who insulted mahesh babu pokiri and salman ‘s wanted are idiots because both were awesome. This south vs north is idea of a corrupted mind . we should enjoy every flavor of India . Asin, ayesha and illeana are equally hot in their own places and with their own assets.

  34. Deepak Sharma Says:


  35. rohitraj Says:

    dear ankit,if salman a superstar why he depends too much on remakes mere bhaii…..mahesh aaj tak ek v remake nhi kiya…he always tries original….after doing remakes of south indian films sallubhai ka stardum badgaya(wanted,bodyguard,ready,kick & many more to come)

  36. telugu movies Says:

    pokiri is strait film, wanted is remake, mahesh babu 5 times most desirable person of india

  37. supriyo dey Says:

    Hey frndz..i watched Pokiri, wanted & Porki…..not yet watch Tamil version….i njoyed every movie, Mahesh & salman did fantastic work , & so did Darshan…we should njoy every languages & every flavor of India

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