The incredibly slim and trim figure of NTR – a carry forward brand from Yamadonga – unleashed a sea of expectations among the Telugu film lovers all over the world. The persisting dilemma whether NTR could once again mesmerize the audiences with his uncanny figure in Kantri – just as he did in Yamadonga, got fizzled out. Yes. NTR is the clear winner. He ripped the screen with his electrifying dances and bone-breaking stunts and ferocious dialogues and what not. It is altogether an NTR film; and there is not much that you can expect from the entertainment angle. The film might soon slip into the flip side.
Kranti aka Kantri (NTR) is a Good Samaritan, who, to put it in his own words: “Kantri for cheats.” An orphan himself, he soon finds himself in the midst of baddies, forced to be part of their empire. Their boss is Pothu Raju aka PR (Prakash Raj), who rules his ring of operations from counterfeit currency to smuggling to all dark business in Hyderabad, with his seat in Hong Kong. Seshu (Asish Vidyarthi), Acid (Raghu Babu) and Bairagi (Subba Raju) look after PR’s business in Hyderabad. Das (Sayaji Shinde), once loyalist of PR but now a separate mafia don himself, becomes a nail in the shoe of PR here. He confronts with the gang members or PR, who one after the other gets killed. A new youth force is raised up from time to time.
Kantri is one such guy. Soon, he gets into the centre of activities and directly handles the operations without consulting his immediate local bosses. This helps him win the confidence of PR. Kantri even goes to Hong Kong and puts an end to the business of PR’s rival Murali Sharma (onetime loyalist) and clinches the deal. Back in Hyderabad, Kantri desperately needs Rs. 10 lakh to save the life of a patient at an orphanage, suffering from renal failure. When rejected, he kicks the local bosses and takes the money. He also doesn’t care PR in this matter and gets into direct rivalry with him. Now, its PR’s turn to land in Hyderabad to take on Kantri. But, all of a sudden, Father Atmanandam (Kota Srinivasa Rao), the head of the orphanage, reveals that Kantri is none other than the son of PR. After this revelation, Kantri takes the riches of PR as his son. Very soon, PR finds himself duped. His son is none but the patient with kidney failure. Meanwhile, the warring gangs forget their differences and join hands to kill Kantri. How Kantri liquidates them forms the rest of the story.
NTR as expected is the master of his own histrionics. Looking agile, bubbling with high levels of energy and charm, he rips the screen with amazing performance; say it in dances, stunts, dialogues and all other segments of acting. NTR as Kantri would sure make the audiences forget his previous molds of characterizations, hefty and round. Hansika Motwani is all glamour, but she utterly failed when it comes to performance. She played the role of a middle class girl. Another heroine Tanisha yet played the second fiddle.
Though, the director tried his level best to cull out the maximum mileage from the female charms, going by the story and situations, their characterization is rendered waste. Sunil and Brahmanandam’s comedy thread is dull. Dharmavarapu Subramanyam and Hema played the parents to the heroine (Hansika). Murali Sharma who played the rival to Prakash Raj in the backdrop of Hong Kong did well, but the footage is limited. Same is the case with the other villains Ashish Vidyarthi and Sayaji Shinde. Subbaraju’s performance as confident of NTR (in disguise) is interesting.
Meher Ramesh, the debut director in Tollywood, donned the multiple responsibilities of story, screenplay, dialogues and directions. Naturally, the result is a cocktail resulting in headache. Story is completely devoted to inter-rivalry factor – the henchmen turning into bosses themselves. This monotonous story further dwells into twists and counter twists, which the audiences really don’t seem to care at all. Screenplay is nagging.
First half is completely not-happening, giving the audiences a sense of boredom. The second half is merely wasted with the logic factor of the director himself. The characterization of the hero is not fully established. The villains who deal with not only the domestic operations but to the stretched out foreign locales are shown as clowns. To cut short, their characterization comes as more theatrical.
Direction is mediocre, but some shots are really commendable. Of course, grace coming in bits and flashes doesn’t score full marks. Comedy is given a name’s sake touch, with the boredom factor continuously pricking the audience. Songs are a feast to the eyes. They are terrific with extraordinary selection of locations. Music by Mani Sharma too sounded well in theatres, though it doesn’t create that much impact in the audio market. Dialogues are good in part. The scene in which NTR comes cycling and rendering dialogues in favour of TDP is something to observe in the backdrop of state politics. Cinematography is superb. Technical standards of Vyjayanti Movies are not missed out even by an inch.
Over all, Kantri disappoints. Too dramatic story and its irksome treatment are the main villains.