Film: Abhay; Director: Mahesh Babu; Cast: Darshan, Arati Thakur, Om Prakash Rao, Pradeep Rawat, Sangeetha and Suresh Mangalore; Music: Hari Krishna; Rating: **
Telugu film writer Janardhana Maharshi, who has successfully rehashed several Telugu film scripts to market stories to Kannada film producers, has done it again in 'Abhay'.
He has now remixed elements seen in Telugu films like 'Aata' and 'Gudumba Shankar' to create the story of 'Abhay'. The film doesn't offer anything fresh to even Kannada film audiences as many elements of the story have also been seen in Kannada movies like 'Namma Basava', 'Bindaas' and 'Bombaat', the last two having been penned by Maharshi.
In the film, the protagonist Abhay is a fearless youth who meets Arati on a flight to Amsterdam, falls for her and then follows her. Arati initially tries to maintain distance but finally falls in love with him.
She then narrates her troubled past about how she has been forcibly engaged to a man who had raped a woman. Arati has no other go than to be part of this engagement because her parents have been threatened by the criminal.
Abhay later discloses everything to the villain's gang, who come to Amsterdam to take Arati back to India. Then Abhay comes back to India and walks straight to the villain's house, uses his brains and muscle power to teach him a lesson. In the end, the lovers are united.
Darshan fans have their full quota of well-choreographed fights. But the story of a courageous hero taking on villains and then fighting them in the last reel has been overexploited in Kannada and Telugu films.
Darshan's stunts, particularly in the climax sequence, is the major attraction of the film. The songs are well shot in Amsterdam and Bangkok. Om Prakash Rao scores with his comic timing.
Coming to the negative points, the fact that the film's story has been borrowed from many Telugu films is itself a big dampener. There is no originality or freshness. The movie's inconsistent pace is another drawback.
The dialogues of the film are also somehow uninspiring.
Darshan is as usual lively in his portrayal of Abhay but his talent seems wasted in a film like this. Arati could have been a bit more expressive while emoting.
Om Prakash Rao, who was good in 'Parameshi Paanwala', is highly entertaining in his role of Nokia Shashtry.
Hari Krishna's music, which is usually of high standards, is a shade below his other compositions in films like 'Gaja' and 'Raaj, The Showman'.
'Abhay' lacks freshness and is just a remix of several Kannada and Telugu films. Darshan fans may, however, enjoy the film for the action and stunts.