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Blog posts : "Telugu Reviews"

Geetha Govindam - Honest Movie Review

[This review was first posted on Anurag's 'The Filmy Basti' Blog]

Firstly, let’s welcome Vijay Devarakonda to mainstream Telugu Cinema! After playing the lead in two offbeat movies which became massive hits, he finally moves into the quintessential Telugu hero zone. Well, he almost does. Directed by Parasuram, ‘Geetha Govindam’ has all the major elements of a Telugu masala potboiler – stunning leads, lip-syncing songs, a slight dose of family drama, unrequited twists and an unnecessary female-bashing song! But, Parasuram, who has also written the dialogues and screenplay, alternates between an offbeat rom-com and a masala potboiler, making it an irregular movie to watch.

Vijay Govind (played by Vijay Devarakonda) is a young college professor, who believes in old-school romance and love stories. Even though he has his students swooning over him, he idolizes Kamal Hassan-Sukanya’s equation from Bharateeyudu (quite an odd couple for inspiration) and daydreams of stealing similar small pleasures of life – cuddling after a shower or while sharing a cup of coffee. The girl of his dreams takes the form of Geetha (played by Rashmika Mandanna), whose brother is set to marry Govind’s sister. To make this review spoiler-free, let’s just say that Geetha’s equation with Govind starts on a bad note, but while preparing for the wedding, it begins to change (predictably). If you look at my summary of the plot, Geetha Govindam, gives the vibes of a breezy, feel-good entertainer. I wish it was just that, without being burdened by the demands of commercial cinema. The movie would have worked better had it been treated the way Tharun Bhaskar handled 2016’s sleeper hit, Pelli Choopulu – which worked without having any needless subplots or pointless twists. Even the screenplay is problematic in the first 20 minutes when there seems to be an issue in the continuity. Having said that, Parasuram deserves credit for the witty dialogues, especially for Vijay Devarakonda and Rahul Ramakrishna.

But, it is Vijay Devarakonda, who makes this movie a delight to watch. In comparison to his previous cult, Arjun Reddy, Govind is a complete non-hero. He is awkward with female attention, listens to Chaganti’s pravachanam to help him find an ‘ideal wife’ and has no false pretense! Vijay Devarakonda channels his raw energy to play a submissive and naïve, Govind, who is a victim always caught on the wrong foot by Geetha. He has immense screen presence and does not seem to miss a note anywhere. His dialogues and demeanor are so contrasting to Arjun Reddy, that he appears like an adorable misnomer. (He plays a Kakinada boy with a Telangana accent though) Rashmika Mandanna manages to be effective and strong even in the presence of a spectacular Vijay Devarakonda. As the perennially suspecting and angry Geetha, she gets some of the best moments in the movie. The ones where she catches Govind in uncomfortable situations, followed by confrontations are hilarious! Another happy change was to see her gushing and crushing over Vijay – a rarity in Telugu cinema. (Thankfully, this was not shown negatively as in RX100) And yes, both the leads are extremely pleasant on the eyes! The supporting cast comprising of Subbaraju, Nagababu, Rahul Ramakrishna and Annapoorna Amma play their parts well. Vennela Kishore, whose entry was welcomed with a huge applause in the theatre, gets a small role but he manages to evoke quite a few laughs.

It would be a sin not to praise the melodious music by Gopi Sundar, especially, my current favorite – Inkem Inkem Inkem Kavale, in the mellifluous voice of Sid Sriram. Even the background score complements the narrative well. I wish the narrative had continued to remain easy-breezy in the second half as well, instead of going the routine Telugu film route. But, nonetheless, the leads make up for it.

My Rating – 3/5 | Grade - B (Worth a Watch!)
-An Honest Movie Review by Anurag Rao (@The Filmy Basti!)

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Mahanati / Nadigaiyar Thilagam - Instant Movie Review #40

Nag Ashwin's - "Mahanati / Nadigaiyar Thilagam"

Positives:
1) Keerthy Suresh
2) Story and Screenplay
3) Direction
4) Production Design
5) Cinematography
6) Music
7) Performances

Negatives:
1) Subplots

Introduction - Directed by Nag Ashwin, who's responsible for one of the best films of 2015 in Yevade Subramanyam, Mahanati is a biographical drama based on the controversial yet heartening life of Savitri garu, one of the most celebrated and exceptional female actresses of the 50's, 60's and the 70's in both Tollywood and Kollywood film industries. The storyline follows the journey of Savitri from her childhood to get married to her sweetheart Gemini Ganesan and later spoiling her health and relations with her family after getting addicted to alcohol.

Analysis - Now, making a biopic is a tough task, the research, and the execution have to be spot on cause you don't want things to go south when presenting the life stories of one biggest lady superstars. Nag Ashwin, did a fantastic job directing the film and the screenplay (excluding the sub-plots) was well written. The film's objection was to make us love, care and feel for the protagonist's character and it delivered on that level cause I didn't find a single person in the theatre without a teary eye. The technical aspects of the movie, cinematography and production design also deserve a notable appreciation. Also, the music and the background score by Mickey J. Meyer was outstanding and matched the film's vibe remarkably.

Performances - Now, portraying Savitri garu and her character accurately is one giant obstacle or even casting the right actor to represent the character is also a huge task. With that being said, Keerthy Suresh was phenomenal to a point where I believed that I was watching Savitri garu on-screen. Her ability to transform into this character who has a multitude of variations has to be appreciated and she carried her role perfectly. She is one of the reasons why the movie worked out so well. Her co-star Dulquer Salmaan along with the supporting cast, Samantha Akkineni, and Vijay Devarakonda also did their best in their respective roles.

Verdict - Overall, Mahanati is an incredible, emotional, thoughtful and a well-illustrated biopic of one of the most beloved actresses of South Indian Cinema and this film did the best it could to display her love for humanity, acting, and movies. So far, without a doubt, the best film of the year.

My Rating - 4/5 | Website's Twitter Handle - @JustMovieFreaks
An Instant Movie Review by Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal)

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Naa Peru Surya - Honest Movie Review

Verdict - "So Long! So Boring!"

Directed by Vakkantham Vamsi, Naa Peru Surya (Naa Illu India) stars Allu Arjun in the lead role and co-stars Anu Emmanuel, Arjun Sarja, R. Sarathkumar, Thakur Anoop Singh and Boman Irani as the supporting cast. The basic premise of the film revolves around Surya, a resentful, passionate soldier of the Indian Army and how his debauchery over anger management resulted in a failure of his Army career and how he responded to overcome his contradictions.

Clocking at an exhausting 148-minute mark, this trainwreck of a film tested my patience from start to finish. The storyline had no precise path as it bounced from one thing to another constantly and the numerous subplots also didn't improve the film's quality as I'm dunked with boredom the whole time. Also, with the inclusion of the subplots, the screenplay was atrocious especially during the second half of the film which suffered due to its unbalanced flow.

Likewise, the addition of Anu Emmanuel and the romantic angle between her and Allu Arjun did not blend well with the storyline or the overall film. Being a patriotic-action movie, Emmanuel's role didn't have any significance as it felt like she's only present to add sensual glamour to the film. Furthermore, the music by Vishal and Shekhar was excruciating and forgettable as I don't understand the reason behind choosing them over many talented Telugu musicians to score the music for the film.

Advancing to the positives, Vakkantham Vamsi did a terrific job at the presenting the film incredibly. Every single shot was lit, captured and rendered very well and all credits must go to the cinematographer Rajeev Ravi. Also, the action sequences were remarkably shot, performed and choreographed along with the dialogues which are wonderfully written. But, the biggest advantage of the film is Allu Arjun, he carried the movie on his shoulder and looked dynamic, aggressive, charismatic and was a perfect fit for his role. 

Overall, excluding the action sequences, dialogues, and Allu Arjun's magnificent performance, this film was a painful watch. It's boring, long and irritating at the same time as I left the movie theatre with no smile on my face and aggravated.

My Rating – 2/5 | Grade – C (Meh! Probably a rental)
-An Honest Movie Review by Surya Komal aka KM (
@SuryaKomal)

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Bharath Ane Nenu - Honest Movie Review

Verdict - "Bland and Boring!"

Directed by Koratala Siva, Bharath Ane Nenu starring Mahesh Babu in the lead role is a political-drama dealing with the current situation of politics in Andhra Pradesh and also stars Kiara Advani as the female lead.

After his father's sudden demise, Oxford University graduate Bharath (Mahesh Babu) is cherry-picked by his uncle (Prakash Raj) as the next Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh. Irritated with the poor governance in the state, Bharath brings few radical changes to the society which in-turn introduces him to new rivals and bitter adversaries from the opposition party who questions and argues for his zany agendas.

Now, if you've seen Koratala Siva's previous films, you're well aware that he presents his heroes remarkably. Similarly, his execution of Bharath's character was exceptional to watch. The stature, persona, and caliber were brilliantly presented by Siva as Mahesh Babu did his best to deliver on his performance. Also, the dialogues were also well written and added a much-needed weight to the film.

Advancing to the technical aspects, Ravi K. Chandran and Tirru did a fantastic job when it comes to the camera work. The music and the background score was well presented by Devi Sri Prasad especially the BGM which synced in well with the bestowment of the film. Also, Kiara Advani was delightful to watch. Although her character and involvement in the film felt forced and was understandable, she did her best in the role she's offered.

But, I'll tell why this movie didn't work for me. First up, the storyline, which is nothing new or broke any rules. As I stated earlier, they are few radical ideas in the film that I want to see implemented IRL, but, the basic storyline excluding the ideas was bland and mundane to watch. I can't help draw similarities between this film and Leader starring Rana Daggubati cause the two storylines are soo parallel to each other and I didn't see this coming from an acclaimed director like Siva.

Nevertheless, Bharath Ane Nenu had few moments here and there, but on the whole, this movie is a disappointment as it felt like something I've seen before. Watch it when it debuts on Amazon Prime.

My Rating - 2.5/5 | Website's Twitter Handle - @JustMovieFreaks
An Honest Movie Review by Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal)

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Krishnarjuna Yuddham - Instant Movie Review #39

Merlapaka Gandhi's - "Krishnarjuna Yuddham"

Positives:
1) Screenplay
2) Cinematography
3) Music

Negatives:
1) Story
2) Runtime

Introduction - 2017 has been a successful year for the Natural Star 'Nani' with his films like Nenu Local, Ninnu Kori, and MCA garnering box-office success irrespective of how critics felt. On the other hand, director Merlapaka Gandhi has also seen great success with his previous two films Venkatadri Express and Express Raja and was immensely appreciated for his screenwriting work. So, with the director and actor both being in terrific form, I expected an entertaining film with commercial elements sprinkled all over it. But!

Analysis - Clocking at 154 minutes, the runtime is one of the primary drawbacks of the film. Established on a bland generic, seen-before storyline, the film loses its pace and delight in the first thirty minutes and never tries picks it up. But, Gandhi entertains with his clever and adept screenplay and proves that he is still one of best screenwriters around. Karthik Ghattamaneni once again impresses with his remarkable camera shots and his ability to make a scene look delightful, rich and vibrant should truly be commended. Also, a special shout-out to the Kollywood sensation Hiphop Tamizha for his incredible work with the background score and music.

Performances - Despite few dull character moments, Nani impresses and entertain in his double-role, especially with this Chittoor district slang and verbiage, Nani demands the screen presence and enthralls with his incredible performance. Both the actresses, Anupama Parameswaran and Rukshar Dhillon were decent in their respective roles as well as the supporting cast.

Verdict - Overall, Krishnarjuna Yuddham is a total disappointment, the lackluster story and the dreadful runtime hurts the movie immensely. If you have the right amount of patience to sit through a bland film then this might be for you.

My Rating - 2.5/5 | Website's Twitter Handle - @JustMovieFreaks
An Instant Movie Review by Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal)

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Spyder - Movie Review

Verdict: ‘Murugadoss Knits a Watchable Spy-Thriller’

Spyder, the latest Tamil-Telugu bilingual from A.R.Murugadoss has Mahesh Babu, Rakul Preet Singh, and SJ. Surya playing the lead characters. 

Shiva (Mahesh Babu) works at Intelligence Bureau and illegally traps people’s phone by creating his own software and overhears their conversations. He anonymously helps people who are in danger by listening to their phone conversation. Mahesh Babu has given his sincere efforts and does his part well. Except for the “Kristen Stewart” reason that it was a bit tiring to watch him give a single reaction from him for every darn scene. 

Rakul Preet Singh didn’t have a significant role to do apart from being a testosterone-charged girl, trailing behind the hero for a one night stand which later developed into love and he becomes her inamoratos.

SJ. Surya is the show stealer in this movie. Adorning the role of a sadistic psycho-killer, he gives a Heath Ledger like performance. It was an absolute delight watching him as he lived the character on screen. Though he appeared for a relatively lesser time, he took villainous tactics to a whole new level and joins the elite club of baddies. 

Harris Jayaraj's background score was another highlight of the movie. The sound was gripping and parallel with the movie scenes. Santhosh Sivan, as usual, gives a visually rich experience. 

A.R. Murugadoss never disappoints his audience. Even with Spyder, ignoring few flaws, he had delivered a complete weekend pick for the commercial movie lovers. He even follows his routine of adding a social message at the end of the film.

To end with, Spyder is a guaranteed entertainer movie with required amount of action, comedy, romance and sentiments, which you could watch and feel content for this festival weekend. 

My Rating – 3/5
Grade – B (Worth a watch)
-By Nirmalraj aka AK  (@Nirmalraj2911)

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Shamanthakamani - Movie Review

Verdict - "Misses on Being a Better Film!"

Directed by Sriram Adittya and starring Rajendra Prasad, Nara Rohit, Sundeep Kishan, Aadi Saikumar and Sudheer Babu in the lead roles, the plot of Shamanthakamani revolves around a stolen five crore Rolls Royce vintage car and in one way or another all the lead characters in the film were trapped in the same web that eventually leads us to the whereabouts of the stolen car. 

First off, Tollywood is known for its crowd-pleasing multi-genre commercial films, they're always a safe bet for the producers to invest and honestly, the trend of making a bad commercial film is getting over-saturated these days with one or two films in a month failing at the box office miserably. Following the success of experimental movies like Pelli Choopulu and Kshanam last year, director Sriram Adittya made the right choice to stick to a particular genre and not worrying about commercializing the film. He believed in his script and his crew to carry the movie forward and for that reason, I gave major props to Mr. Adittya.

Now, dedicated only to a particular genre (which is an Action Thriller in this case), the storyline has to be seamless to make an enjoyable 120-minute film. Although Adittya added few twists and turns to the storyline in the third act, the first two acts of the films were slightly on the downside. He executed the film remarkably, he made sure that all the five leads had equal importance in the film, the camera work was unique and creative, the background music by Mani Sharma was on point but in regards to the storyline of the overall film, it felt a bit dreary at times.

Overall, Shamanthakamani had everything going in its favor except for the storyline that had its own issues until the third act. I'm a big fan of experimental films and they're very much essential for the industry moving forward and Shamanthakamani is a decent example (like Vedam) that a multi starrer experimental film will be appreciated by the audience if executed right.

My Rating - 3/5
Grade - B (Worth a watch!)
-By Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal)

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Baahubali 2: The Conclusion - Movie Review

Verdict - "Mothership of Indian Cinema!"

Two years of anticipation, numerous spoofs and theories and one universally asked question, 'Why Kattappa killed Baahubali'? Well, now you know why! Directed by S.S. Rajamouli, 'Baahubali 2: The Conclusion' had already been a widespread phenomenon since the release of its prequel and is presented as the crown jewel of Indian Cinema releasing over 9000+ screens worldwide.

Bounded around the basic plot of the assassination of Baahubali, the second film from this regal franchise continues exactly where the first film concluded and advances the storyline by developing the relationship between the characters of Amarendra Baahubali (Prabhas), Bhallala Deva (Rana Daggubati), Sivagami (Ramya Krishnan), Devasena (Anushka Shetty), and Kattappa (Satyaraj).

With nearly three hours of run time, the pacing seemed like a trifling issue for the film at times. The romantic angle between Prabhas and Anushka was sub par and the characters developed throughout that particular duration didn't correspond properly when the storyline proceeded to the next step. Also, this might just be an unpopular opinion, but the climax was marginally outstretched and would've been trimmed or narrated a tad more effectively.

Apart from the trivial negatives of the film, S.S. Rajamouli deserves high regard and utmost respect for making an Indian film (most importantly a Telugu film) seen, appreciated and cherished worldwide by different cultures of people. His determination, imagination for creating a spellbinding battle scenes and most importantly the execution to orchestrate such a colossal film was downright phenomenal. CGI and the production design were certainly an improvement when compared to the earlier film in the franchise and were presented brilliantly on the big screen.

The performances from the two main leads Prabhas and Rana Daggubati were fascinating to watch, both the actors were outstanding in every single scene and clearly worked very hard to bring the appeal and allure to their respective characters. Ramya Krishnan was again splendid as Sivagami which was one of the pivotal characters of the film and Anushka Shetty was also magnificent in her portrayal as Devasena regardless of her half-baked character.

Nonetheless, in the thick of massive expectations, S.S. Rajamouli never faltered to deliver an awe-inspiring film with his ambitious and novel acumen. Baahubali 2: The Conclusion only elevated the standards set by its predecessor and will continue to become the mother ship of Indian Cinema in terms of box office, film making, production design and visual effects.

My Rating - 3.5/5
Grade - B+ (A perfect weekend pick!)
-By Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal)

Baahubali: The Beginning - Movie Review: Click Here

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Premam - Movie Review

Verdict - "A tolerable remake!"

Directed by Chandoo Mondeti ('Karthikeya' fame), Premam is a much-awaited remake of the hit 2015 Malayalam film of the same title and features Naga Chaitanya and Shruti Haasan in the lead roles. In the midst of its enormous fanfare and popularity will this star-studded remake reprise the wholesomeness like its original or will it fall through and fail?  

The basic plot of the film narrates us the life of Vikram (Naga Chaitanya)  from his teenage to his adult life as he falls in love with three different women in various crucial points in his life and the film illustrates us the idiocy, happiness, sorrow and struggle that he had to go through to find his desired soul mate. 

Bounded within a fundamental storyline which has been admired and well-regarded over the years. This film didn't capture or meet the feel and the authenticity of its original and continued itself to present itself like a tolerable remake which will not be treasured or long-remembered. Don't get me wrong, the film had its moments, the comedic scenes were amusing, the screenplay was well-written and the film was not actually boring. But, two weeks or at least one month from now you will not find anyone talking about the movie. And that's a major setback!

The performances were overall decent from the complete cast. Naga Chaitanya, although not a great actor, made sure that he portrayed the diversity in his character that scales from his young school days to his adult professional life. Shruti Haasan's performance was satisfactory along with Anupama Parameswaran and Madonna Sebastian. On the more technical side, the cinematography by Karthik Ghattamaneni was breathtaking to watch and the film's sound design was noteworthy.

Overall, Premam is a satisfactory remake and entertains you across the two-hour-thirty-minute runtime. But it completely fails to stand out as a unique authentic film which will be remembered and celebrated in the upcoming years or at least months. Worth a single watch!

My Rating - 3/5
Grade - B (Worth a watch!)
-By Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal)

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Sarrainodu - Movie Review

Verdict - "A failed marriage between a flawed script and some deadly action."

Written and directed by Boyapati Sreenu, Sarrainodu features Allu Arjun, Rakul Preet Singh, Catherine Tresa, and Srikanth in the lead roles as it explores the story about a military gold medalist Gana (Allu Arjun) who works for an improved society by beating up barbarous hooligans and corrupted people every day. On the other hand, we are introduced to the antagonist of the film, Vairam Dhanush (Aadhi), who is an archetype of evil and is an imbecile who knows how to play with wicked power and a futile system. As the story unfolds and when consequences evolve, the story directs us for a mega showdown between the good and the evil which concludes with a predictable ending. 

On a narrative standpoint, this film had nothing interesting to present from its outset, the storyline was predictable, time-worn and was tested many times before. They're certainly few parts and characters that didn't connect with the storyline properly and felt like they're forcefully crammed into the film for entertainment purpose. Also, the movie had some serious pacing and editing issues where it abruptly cuts from one scene to another and it happened far too many times that truly made the film look a lot more defective. 

But, on a positive note, the cinematography by Rishi Punjabi was surprisingly incredible. Although the slow-motion gimmick was a bit repetitive, the magnificent scale accompanied with an ostentatious production design, amazingly choreographed action scenes and few fine-looking locations elevated the film on a technical level. 

About the performances, Allu Arjun portrayed a never-seen-before avatar in this film, his charisma, body language and the appeal that he brought to the screen was astounding. He carried the entire movie on his shoulders throughout the 160-minute runtime and was never disappointing. Aadhi's performance was another major boon for the film as he embraced his nasty character perfectly. Rakul Preet Singh and Catherine Tresa were decent as the female leads and didn't have a major impact on the film.

Nevertheless, Sarrainodu might impress only a particular set of audience who are looking forward to watch few awe-inspiring action sequences and a valiant heroic character whose only job is to beat people up. But, if you're expecting a film with a significant storyline and a constructive screenplay then this is surely not the movie for you.

My Rating - 2.75/5
Grade - C + (Decent Flick!)
-By Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal)

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Instant Movie Review #32 (Express Raja)

Merlapaka Gandhi's - "Express Raja"

Positives:
1) Direction
2) Story and Screenplay
3) Comedic Sequences
4) Performances
5) Music and Background Score
6) Cinematography

Introduction and Plot: Residing in downtown Vizag, Raja (Sharwanand) is an unemployed troublemaker who thinks hanging out with his mischievous buddies is the only way to enjoy his life. Subsequently, he moves to Hyderabad for a job and come across Amulya (Surabhi) and instantly falls in love with her. In the course of their delightful relationship, Amulya's pet dog goes missing that totally switches the entire movie into an enjoyable fun ride. 

Analysis and Technical: Whirling around a comprehensive story line, Gandhi's astute screenplay was the focal point of the entire film. The approach that he took to blend in the comedic sequences within the story line and his meticulous narration is certainly admirable. Karthik Gattamaneni's elegant cinematography and Praveen Lakkaraju's gratifying music made the film a lot better.

Performances: Sharwanand did his best with his cheerful, fun-loving character and entertained with his convivial screen presence. Actress Surabhi looked gorgeous but her action skills just felt synthetic for me. Prabhas Sreenu mesmerized me with his startling performance and Harish Uthaman looked menacing as the antagonist. But, Saptagiri stole the entire movie with his funny and uproarious performance that was outright inevitable to ignore laughing.

Verdict: Overall, Express Raja was an amusing fun rollercoaster ride to hop on and enjoy with your family. This was Sharwanad's third hit in a row and I wish he extends doing smaller films with many talented directors like Merlapaka Gandhi.

My Rating - 3/5
Grade - B (Worth a watch!)
-By Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal)

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Nannaku Prematho - Movie Review

Verdict - "A captivating and a well-written thriller."

Sukumar is a director with tons of intellect. His proficiency in writing an exhilarating screenplay with great dialogue is admirable. But he lost his credibility to a limited extent when "1: Nenokkadine" failed regrettably at the box office and fell short as a commercial success. Apparently, the anticipation for Nannaku Prematho is sky-high not only because Jr. NTR's diverse look, but also to get the drift of what Sukumar does next.

With only a few days left in his life, Subramanyam (Rajendra Prasad) narrates his appalling past life and his callous rivalry with Krishnamurthy (Jagapathi Babu) to his three sons. Traumatized by hearing the events occurred in his dad's life, Abhiram (Jr. NTR), the younger son of Subramanyam decides to finish his dad's rivalry with Krishnamurthy by making him go bankrupt in 30 days.

I've complained for many years now on the subject of Tollywood and established heroes, not taking too many risks to make a diverse film that is respectable for a viewer to watch. And after watching Nannaku Prematho, I certainly felt dumbfounded and I should appreciate the producer of the film BVSN Prasad, director Sukumar and Jr. NTR for taking the risk by making a non-commercial thriller that enhances the content throughout the runtime.

Even with a non-specific revenge plot, Sukumar managed to impress me as a viewer with his adroit screenplay and adept dialogue that is appropriate for a thriller. But during the 168-minute runtime, they're  many plot holes and irrational things that happen which are easily ignorable if you watch the movie with an open mind.

From his look to his character, it is a total overhaul for Jr. NTR as a performer and he never failed to impress as the major lead of the film. Jagapathi Babu's commendable performance, Rakul Preet's dazzling screen presence raised the bar in the movie to a laudable level. And Devi Sri Prasad's stellar music and the background music were also praiseworthy. 

Overall, despite being a comprehensive revenge thriller-drama with juvenile flaws, it is Sukumar's splendid screenplay, dialogue, and Jr. NTR astounding performance that kept the film alive. Tollywood deserves more similar thrillers like this, and I applaud the complete crew behind this film for trying something different.

My Rating - 3.25/5
Grade - B (Entertaining! With noticeable flaws)
-By Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal)

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Thoongavanam/Cheekati Rajyam - Movie Review

Verdict - "A cutting-edge-action-thriller."

Subsequently, after an abrupt incident that involves drugs and gunfire, Narcotics Control Bureau officer Diwakar (Kamal Haasan) gets hemmed in a relentless situation where his son gets kidnapped by a callous goon Vittal Rao (Prakash Raj) due to some unfinished business.

Kamal Haasan's commendable screenplay is undeniably one of the finest aspects of the film, as the narrative strictly takes place in one bustling place, Mr. Haasan made sure that the writing surpassed all its expectations and be strong enough to keep the audience engaged and entertained with few intense and amusing scenes.

Under a technical standpoint, this movie is well shot, and the action sequences were well choreographed and executed. But the background score plays a very significant role in every single action-thriller and as a result, Ghibran's intense electronic BGM made the movie a lot better to watch.

On the other side, this film might not seize the interest in a particular set of audience that don't like to watch an offbeat movie. The pacing felt quite bogged down, especially in the second half, maybe due to the reason there's nothing much left in the film to enlighten as a narrative.

Nonetheless, Thoongavanam is undeniably a hard movie to sell to the movie audience primarily because of its offbeat premise. But, if you're thrilled to watch a thrilling cutting-edge-action-thriller like me, then you'll definitely appreciate this film a lot. 

My Rating - 3.25/5
Grade - B (Worth a watch!)
-By Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal)

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Bahubali: The Beginning - Movie Review

Verdict - "A game-changer! Bahubali deserves the word 'epic'."

Three years in making, two years of high anticipation and with a colossal hype wrapped around it, Bahubali is the biggest motion picture from India with an inflated price tag of 175 crores. With a protracted narrative structure of nearly five hours, the film was divided into two parts -- The Beginning and The Conclusion. But with a mixture of an audience throughout India who incline towards a quick finale will "Bahubali - The Beginning" astonish and amaze a common and a diehard movie fan who had been waiting for more than a year.

The storyline evolves around this warrior group trying to extricate princess Devasena (Anushka Shetty) who was held captive for years under the malicious leader named Bhallala Deva (Rana Daggubati). On the other hand, Sivudu (Prabhas), a valiant and a heroic chap who was swayed by the elegance of the warrior girl Avantika (Tamannaah) joins the army to free the princess all alone. Will he triumph over? And what is the significant truth behind Sivudu's exalted past?

Here are my few complaints! Judging by the synopsis above, the storyline of this movie was not spectacular and certainly not what I expected it to be. It's simple, straightforward and conventional. The screenplay was a bit stale in the first half as it never felt exhilarating, the process of rescuing Devasena was also quite mind-numbing.

The most significant and the imposing attribute of the movie were the special effects as they looked mind-boggling. Particularly, they're a few eye-popping scenes in the first fifteen and the last thirty minutes of the movie, that were enthralling and jaw-dropping to watch. 

Subsequently, K. K. Senthil Kumar's amazing cinematography and Sabu Cyril's awe-inspiring production design bolstered as the backbone of the movie. The set designs looked authentic and meticulous as it sustained the precise vibe that is needed for an epic film.

Also, M.M. Keeravani's music elevated the movie to the next level with its ostentatious presentation. Every single note in the BGM resided flawlessly with the situation and it was a perfect match.

Prabhas and Rana were the perfect fits in their respective roles, they appeared intrepid and stout in carrying their characters throughout the movie and it completely looked plausible with these valiant actors in the lead roles. 

Tamannaah felt like she was entirely overdoing her character and that made her performance look artificial. Anushka was only given a single moment to shine in the movie and the build for her character in the second part was perfectly done.

Ramya Krishnan astonished me with her commanding performance in the movie. Her character felt very critical, real and I felt that it certainly is one of the most powerful female characters I've seen in Tollywood cinema for a while. Satyaraj was given a vital role and he always gives out the best in every movie he's in and it was a pleasure watching him perform.

Is SS Rajamouli is arguably the only director in India who is capable of making these type of big budget epic movies? Over the years, he gained a lot of trust and respect throughout India that made him one of the most popular directors in the country. And with a director who is sincere towards his work and with a lot of credibility under his belt, things would never go wrong and they never did (except for the story and screenplay). All the points I mentioned above about the performances, CGI, music, etc. would've never been astounding without Rajamouli and I'm sincerely humbled for the immense hard work that he put into this movie.

Nonetheless, Bahubali is surely a game-changer in Indian cinema and is unlike any other epic film you've seen before. The movie takes us to a whole new different world with its breathtaking visuals and impressive production work. We should be very grateful for Rajamouli for attempting this project that will remain as a special film in the history books.

-By Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal)

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Instant Movie Review #21 (Lion)

Satyadeva's - "Lion"

Positives:
1) NBK's performance
2) Dialogues
3) Sub plots

Negatives:
1) Screenplay and Direction
2) Music
3) Dim-witted villain

Story: Disoriented mentally with two different characters, the main narrative commences with Bose (NBK) struggling to find his real identity after recuperating from a major head injury which connects to his past.

Directions and Screenplay: Debutant director, Satyadeva's screenplay is surely my major concern about the movie, his distinct approach felt unique with all the subplots, but the exhilarating factor was totally missing in the first half and the second half has been just a bummer.

Performances: This movie is undeniably a one man show, NBK's over-the-top dialogues, and his outrageous performance certainly established the movie really well and his compelling screen presence was always fun to watch.

Verdict: Altogether, Lion missed out all the core ingredients of a solid family entertainer and you may have to think twice before taking this roller coaster ride.

My Rating - 2/5
Grade - C (Meh! Probably a rental)
-By Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal)

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Instant Movie Review #20 (OK Bangaram)

Mani Ratnam's - "OK Bangaram"

Positives:
1) Cinematograph
2) Music
3) Cast & Performances
4) Production Design

Negatives:
1) Story and Screenplay

Plot: In a contemporary world, OK Bangaram takes place in Mumbai and after an interesting first encounter, Adi and Tara become friends in a flash, as they find out that they share the same thoughts and opinions about marriage and many little things. Will the couple endure and carry through their relationship in love? 

Analysis: With one of the best storytellers in the business, Mani Ratnam, this film entirely suffers from a perplexed structure; many scenes for the movie feel random, slapdash, and it's either a hit or a miss. I certainly appreciate the mod offbeat storytelling aspect of the film, but when the screenwriter is trying to present a particular scene, he must make sure that it carries some importance to the content.

Bummed out with a sluggish story and screenplay, the cinematography is surely an astounding aspect in the movie. Every single frame in the movie had its own exquisiteness and magnificence, mainly PC Sreeram and the crew behind the camera and lighting department should be admired for their efforts.

Rahman's music stands out as another fascinating aspect, as it helps the movie throughout the process and renders support when it's needed.

Performances: The cast absolutely looks refreshing in the film, Dulquer Salmaan, and Nithya Menen were captivating and lovely in the movie. They had the perfect chemistry between each other and it surely worked even with a dull premise.

Verdict: Overall, OK Bangaram is a light-hearted movie filled with happy moments which are not plausible, as it never feels imposing. Watch it for the incredible camera work, euphonious and the appealing cast. 

My Rating - 2.5/5
Grade - C+ (It deserves your attention for a while!)
-By Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal)

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Son of Satyamurthy - Movie Review

With an imposing combination of a gigantic cast and a skillful director, Son of Satyamurthy recounts a striking story of Viraj (Allu Arjun), an affable moneyed man, who finds himself in a dejected situation after the death of his father as the narrative transacts between human values, relationships, and emotions. 

Quoted as a "Trivikram's Celluloid", this movie had all the attributes and traits we insist on. The complex and the eloquent dialogue raised the quality and made the movie much more compelling to watch. And the director's writing was competent when it comes to comedy and the way he articulated the moral values in the movie.

But, on the other side, the slapdash structure and the mundane screenplay (notably in the second half) which didn't really give the substance to few characters, made the movie a little tedious to watch.

Congested with a mighty potent star cast, performances from Allu Arjun, Samantha, Upendra, Rajendra Prasad and Nithya Menen were overall decent and could be better if they're given few brief characters.

Altogether, Son of Satyamurthy is filled with good thoughts and intentions and is a definite entertainer for a casual one-time watch. 

My Rating - 3/5
Grade - B (Worth a watch!)
-By Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal)

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Yevade Subramanyam - Movie Review

Positives:
1) Cinematography
2) Dialogues
3) Music
4) Performances
5) Story

Negatives:
1) Editing
2) Screenplay

Plot: Straight off after completing masters in business administration Subbu (Nani) is an ideal professional with a clear-cut ambition and goals set in his life. On the other hand, is his best friend Rishi (Vijay), a jovial and a heartwarming person who lives his life to the fullest without any boundaries. 

Eventually, Rishi reminds Subbu about their childhood pact about travelling to the Himalayas together and visit a place called Dudh Kasi. Will Rishi's wish come true?

Analysis: Firstly, I love experimental movies which at least try to be distinctive, unique and heartwarming. I'm glad that the crew including director Nag Ashwin and actor Nani proved that a movie can be entertaining without the generic and the comprehensive formulae, it totally took place in a different world with an offbeat storyline and intention. 

When you're telling a unique story, the execution should be spot-on and peerless. Here's what I felt, in the second half when the movie is trying to advance its storyline, the delivery was stale, most of the scenes were not concluded and moreover it felt very abrupt. As a result, the emotion in those scenes was dry as a bone, I never felt convinced and there's a lot of room for improvement. It could've been better.

Performances: Nani entertains throughout the movie, he had his own unique alluring presence and when he's on-screen, he lights up the atmosphere instantly and makes it delightful to watch. Malavika Nair along side with Vijay Devarakonda were entertaining and enjoyable with their welcoming characters and I never felt that I'm watching a rookie on-screen.

Verdict:  Overall, Yevade Subramanyam is a refreshing ride and is a complete opposite of all the stereotypical movies we usually get. If you're ready to accept a unique movie with few noticeable flaws, I certainly recommend you go watching it with your friends and family.

My Rating - 3.25/5
Grade - B (Entertaining! With noticeable flaws)
-By Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal)

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Instant Movie Review #18 (Chirunavvula Chirujallu)

I Ahmed's - "Chirunavvula Chirujallu"

Positives:
1) Performances 
2) Cinematography
3) Production Design

Negatives: 
1) Story and Screenplay
2) Two-hour runtime

Introduction and Plot: Chirunavvula Chirujallu starring Jiiva and Trisha whirls across the layers of friendship, love, emotion and narrates an underlying story about three childhood friends who creates a pact about being single their whole life but when things start to crumble, will their opinions on life change? 

Analysis: Initiating with the positives, the movie had endless comedy with few best one-liners, the sentimental aspect was executed well and the chemistry between the leads felt appealing. But the screenplay was out-of-place especially during the second half of the movie which really felt stale and obvious.

Performances: Performances from the cast was delightful mainly from Jiiva, Vinay and Santhanam.

Verdict: In spite of all, Chirunavvula Chirujallu is not a terrible movie, it definitely had its moments and is certainly a good enjoyable watch.

My Rating - 3/5 | Grade - B (Worth a watch!) 
-By Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal)

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Instant Movie Review #15 (Surya vs Surya)

Karthik Gattamaneni's - "Surya vs Surya"

Positives:
1) Story
2) Dialogues
3) Cinematography
4) Music

Negatives:
1) Screenplay

Plot: Agonized with a genetic disorder, Surya (Nikhil Siddharth) relishes his life only in the evenings because he was not supposed to go up against the sun. In a perplexing situation, Surya falls in love with Sanjana (Tridha Choudhary) who often says that she hates nightlife. Will their love story prevail?

Analysis: On a brighter note, the movie had a distinctive and an appealing storyline to seize your attention and interest. But the story-telling aspect of the movie was my biggest concern, despite being supported well by every technical aspect of the film, it never had that intriguing and exciting factor which enlivens the movie-going experience for a viewer and I totally blame the screenwriter for not capitalizing the story in a proper way. It had few well-written one-liners and a worthy message which didn't really carry the importance because of the screenplay.

On a technical standpoint, the movie was fabulous. Cinematography by Karthik Gattamaneni (also the director) looked elegant and attractive, he captured the movie well, giving it a glittering look which made it look like an eye-catching experience. Also, the music in the movie was incredibly easy on the ear. Few melodies and an astounding background score held up the standard of the movie.

Performances: Nikhil Siddhartha is always a treat to watch in these distinct experimental movies and he puts out his best every time he's on-screen. Tridha Choudhary and Madhubala were quite decent in their roles, but then again, Tanikella Bharani completely stole the show in a never-seen-before character, his comedic one-liners, and his incredible screen presence made the movie a lot more enjoyable

Verdict: To conclude, Surya vs Surya is not a movie at all, it had all the enthralling aspects which include a distinct story, euphonious music, and a few great visuals. But the screenplay of the movie was a major let down which made the movie barely intriguing. 

My Rating - 2.5/5
Grade - C+ (It deserves your attention for a while!)
-By Surya Komal aka KM (@SuryaKomal)

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