Magadheera sets new standards in commercial film making. It is excellent. second half is spellbinding. Go for it. Credit goes to Rajamouli.
Magadheera is about rebirth and revenge. Harsha (Ram Charan) is a bike racer. He accidentally touches the hand of a girl Indu (Kajal) that creates sparks in his body. He meets Indu, but she hides her identity and plays pranks with him. Indu’s father (Surya) is fighting to get back their ancestral Udaighad castle. His nephew (Dev Gil) eyes Indu, kills his uncle, and puts the blame on Harsha. From this point on, the story goes back in time 400 years.
Kalabhirava (Ram Charan) acts as a bodyguard to Udaigadh’s princess Mitravinda (Kajal) and also trains the king’s soldiers. Mitravinda loves Kalabhairava. On the other hand, the king’s nephews Billa (Dev Gil) wants to take over the kingdom and marry the princess. In a challenge, Billa gets defeated by Kalabhairava. Meanwhile, a muslim emperor Sher Khan (Srihari) plans to take over the kingdom with the help of Billa. In an epic battle, Kalabhiarava saves the kingdom and also gets killed along with the princess. The rest of the story is about the rebirth of Kalabhairava to take revenge on Billa and win his lady love in this birth.
First things first: Magaheera, in one word, is splendid! It sets new standards in commercial Telugu Cinema. Director Rajamouli went big and achieved it enormously. One needs guts, and a great passion that exceeds that, to make this kind of fantasy period film on a grand scale. Kudos to Rajamouli for translating his vision onto the screen to near-perfection. The soul and strength of Magadheera lies in the 400-years-old episode that occupies about 45 minutes in the second half. This entire episode amazes the audiences. It is not to say that the rest of the scenes are not interesting but this episode is the life of the movie and etches in our mind long after leaving the theatre. That’s all good cinema is about, is it not?
Rajamouli’s grand vision, great art work, superb visual effects and graphics , top-notch camerawork and performances in this episode alone are worth tons of praises. Both the content and technological finesse gels well. Thematically, technically, and in every aspect of film, Magadheera is much above the standard commercial films. Every segment of audience can enjoy it thoroughly. There are some minor issues too, such as weak comedy, and clichéd climax.
Scenes that really stand out are:
* The very opening scene is very dramatic and it makes you glued to the screen. From writing point of view, it is a master stroke.
* Ram Charan and Dev Gil taking of the challenge and horse-riding sequences shot in Kacch area are excellent.
* Kalabhairava’s confrontation scene is too good.
With this film, Ram Charan Tej has evolved into a true star. He looks awesome in the period get up of Kalabhairava. His gait, expressions, and horse-riding skills are impeccable. Of course, like his father and like he already proved with his debut, he dances effortlessly. Fans may go crazy for his dance in bangaaru kODipeTTa… Ram charan Taj is definitely “star material”, he proved with this film beyond doubt!
Kajal is perfect fit to the role of a charming princess. She is so cute in her looks and her chemistry with Ram Charan works greatly on the screen. Kajal will be going to top league with this film.
Srihari as Sher Khan brings life to the move. His role is brief but instrumental to the story, and it would remain one of the best roles he played in his career.
Dev Gil as villan gives tough competition to the current villains of Telugu cinema. In the film, he seems a perfect opponent for Ram Charan.
Among other cast, it is Rao Ramesh as Ghora scores with good performance. The Megastar Chiranjeevi himself appears in a brief scene to cheers the fans.
This film needs special mention for its technical crew. Every technical member has excelled in one’s own right. Rajamouli should be mentioned first for his vision, for his perfection, and for his directorial capablilites. He has now become the master of commercial movies. There is no other director in Telugu to understand the pulse of the so-called mass audiences. He once again proved that none can beat him in elevating the heroism, picturizing fantasy or period films. He always had a vision, no doubt, but this time, he executes with perfection. He tried to the same with Yamadonga but could not achieve it completely then. The formula is still the same – a simple first half, 30 minutes of fantasy elements in the second half and revenge drama in the finale – as in the format for Yamadonga. Rajamouli has done it this time on larger scale and with better finish.
Rajamouli is ably aided by his long-time cameraman Senthil Kumar. After Yamadonga and Arudhathi, Senthil does it again! In Magadheera, his work is on par with international films! The scenes he shot in Kacch area in Gujarath and the scenes in the second half are outstanding examples of his prowess. The creative work from his camera can be seen in the picturization of dheera dheera… and panchadaara… songs too.
The next person that should be commended is music director M.M. Keeravaani. His songs are well in tune with theme of the film, with especially dheera dheera… and panchadaara… songs standing out as being catchy. Like always, the veteran music director elevates the mood of the film with his rerecording. This time, his cousin Kalyani Mallik also helps him in sound designing. Together they made the film aurally rich.
Art director Ravinder’s work is really commendable. The Udaigadh set is almost real! The film looks grand, all because of this art director! Special effects and graphics are also superb if you look at it with Indian film standards in mind.
Rama Rajamouli’s costumes for Ram Charan and Kajal for both periods are perfectly suitable. Peter Haines’ action episodes are good. Editing is neat. Prem Rakshit’s choreography is good too. Producer Allu Aravind should be praised for pumping money extravagantly into the film with confidence on the project. His expenditure is visible on the screen.
Bottom line: Magadheera is spell-binding and very excellent. It could be the best bet for entertainment in this season. The second half of the film is the soul and strength and when you leave the theatre, that happy feeling remains in your mind! Director Rajamouli made this good entertainer that can be enjoyed by all section of audiences. Go for it![Telugucinema]