An RGV film.
Anybody well associated with the Telugu newspapers for the last 15 years know the basic premise. Then again the script was dramatized a bit for whatever reasons Varma seemed to feel fit. The film starts with the Zilla Parishad elections on the horizon and a gamble of egos between two families of the upper and lower castes. Nagendar Reddy (Kota Srinivas Rao) plugs in the initial rivalries by misguiding the current MLA to not trust the ‘on the rise’ BC leader (father of Pratap). The swords and rifles start working with the kill of Pratap’s father by his most trusted man (played by Ashish Vidyarthi). And as Pratap’s elder brother swears revenge and promises a history of blood, enters Pratap (Vivek Oberoi) on a scooter with a kind of shot that we’ve grown fond of in Varma’s films.
Pratap abandons his education and leaves for the town on hearing the news. A few days later Pratap loses his elder brother and hits his breaking point for the first time as he trashes a police station and the police in it. How Pratap goes on from the guy seeking revenge to a major political icon is the remainder.
The film has the ‘I won’t bore you’ tempo which we can attribute to the sub plots created by the screenplay writer.
The ambience of ‘Ananthapuram’ is far superior compared to any of the numerous films made using this sort of a backdrop and of course the unique camera work you would expect from the man’s films had taken a few interesting enhancements.
The editor of the film (Nipun Ashok Gupta) deserves as much of attention as the celebrated director. It is not something that can happen, just putting it out there.
For once the violence had aesthetics attached to it. One particular sequence where Pratap comes in dressed as a cop, enters Nagendar Reddy’s farm house from the main gate, kills Nagendar, keeps firing around and jumps off the back wall. End of sequence.
What could have been refined?
The intense montages missed a good lyrical sense on a few occasions and also going for these heavy scores every single time kind of killed its own purpose.
The RGV voice over that goes through the film was new (because of an emotional tone instead of the usual neutral tone we have for voiceovers), but, sort of kills the director’s style of using fewer words.
The protagonist seemed at ease until he got into the popular white and whites.
Abhimanyu Singh (playing Bukka Reddy, the son of Nagendar Reddy) was a fierce evil force and carried the film when his moments had arrived.
A major attraction of the second is Shatrunghan Sinha (playing film star Sivaji aka NTR). The idiosyncrasies such as “BROTHer” and the popular NTR gestures were a total treat.
A great watch and also works as a radiant build-up material for the second instalment. Personally, I’ve experienced a ‘comeback’.