Priyamani looks extremely fit and toned and she sure did her homework for this action-centric role. The action scenes are shot well and the camera work is apt for this movie. Never in the movie will you feel the need for a hero in it. Priyamani does manage to take up the screen space well.
But the problem with Chandi is the treatment of its script. The writer-director chooses to infuse so many cliché-ridden scenarios in his attempt to re-hash an age old formula that he forgets to get the basics right. The scenes seem rushed and forced upon. I don’t understand the need for putting together a few formulaic scenes in order to build the story.
The movie starts off with introduction of Priyamani as Ganga, the grand-daughter of the legendary freedom-fighter, Alluri Seetharama Raju. She takes inspiration from him and looks to emulate him. But we suddenly are brought back to the present and Ganga is now Chandi and she is on a killing spree, hacking the bad guys at will. The reason for the transformation is the premise of the story.
Though the movie features a lady in the leading role and though it promises to be a women-centric film, never does the film do justice to its premise. The introduction of a few clichéd dialogues and a few formulaic scenes seems more like an attempt to score brownie points rather than a serious attempt to showcase those issues.
In the end, Chandi is a fairly routine film; the only difference is that you have an actress playing the role of a hero. It is a welcome change but the movie never rises above mediocrity and that surely puts you off. It isn’t a must a watch flick. However, if you want to see Priyamani in a new role, you could catch Chandi in a theatre near you, just don’t expect your money’s worth. I am going with 1.5/5 for Chandi.
I am being generous here, it is for the attempt to break the mould and let an actress take the centre stage. Priyamani should be given better scripts. She is a wonderful actress. Debacles like Kshetram and Chandi will do her no good. The near-empty theatre was a testament to this fact.
By Sriram Madhav