Cast: Naga Chaitanya, Samantha, Rao Ramesh, Posani Krishna Murali, and Srinivas Avasarala.
Director: Shiva Nirvana
Release Date: 5 April 2019
Naga Chaitanya has been searching for the Majili (excuse the pun) where he could find commercial success for some time. Ironically enough, it seems that a film which is generally rooted in reality with grounded characters like Majili which comes to his rescue. This is a tale of love, life, and heartbreak. Let's dive into the world created by Shiva Nirvana and find out if the film's worthy of your hard-earned cash and time this weekend with Majili review.
The tale of Poorna and Shravani
Poorna is an aspiring cricketer with serious ambitions related to the sport. He is as brilliant in his game (a batsman obviously) as he is charming off the field. One fine day, thankfully to take the story forward, he comes across a girl named Anshu and falls in love after a few routine setpieces and template. I mean she hates him first but falls in love anyway.
As with any youngster of this generation, Poorna has his own attitude and this leads to clashes with the team's captain. He then leaves cricket and starts working for a politician who is more like a goon (wink). He involves in local issues and fights, which leads to tensions in his love life. Anshu is the daughter of a naval officer by the way. A fateful error on his part leads to their separation. Then Poorna goes the Arjun Reddy way sans drugs.
As the parents want their children to get married so that they can settle in life, Poorna's parents force him to marry Shravani, who loves him. Despite his hopeless situation, Shravani believes that with the passage of time and her love for him she can heal his wounds and get him back into his life.
Unfortunately, that is not the case when we meet Poorna initially. Is Shravani's belief a self-conceit? Or will her will power and her love for him change Poorna? The answers to these pressing questions form the rest of the story. And we are in for an emotionally charged climax mind you!
Samantha is the scene-stealer of the film with her majestically understated performance. Despite the potential in the film to be melodrama, she never went overboard in the emotional scenes. The expressions she gives, the minutest movements in her eyes and talk volumes and it helped bring the film a lot of depth. She complemented Naga Chaitanya's macho angry self with her sweet persona.
Naga Chaitanya is at his best in the emotional scenes. The unfettered anger he shows in every moment and the way he utters the dialogues added to his appeal. But he needs to improve his dialogue delivery in the lighter moments. His screen presence is damn good though.
The other major actors in this film are Rao Ramesh (Poorna's father) and Posani Krishna Murali. They brought their experience to the fore and added value with their performances in the film which otherwise concentrates more on the lead pair (Naga Chaitanya and Divyansha in the first half and ChaySam in the second half). Both, Rao Ramesh and Posani, are refreshingly restrained in their work. Rest of the actors did justice to their roles in varying degrees. Subbaraju received a powerful role but it feels undercooked.
The songs in the film are already hit with the younger audience. Gopi Sundar once again did a fine job for Shiva Nirvana's film. But the placement of the songs is distracting. Thaman's background score adds dramatic value to the film. It elevated the emotions in a positive way. The cinematography by Vishnu Sharma is terrific. He brought an emotional heft to the proceedings.
The editing is crisp to the point at places we feel things are a bit rushed. And some areas have narrative lag. The production design is top-class. The locations are fresh-looking and the set work is excellent. The production values by Shine Screens are spectacular. It is a well-made film.
Writing and direction
So what about Shiva Nirvana's sophomore work? Does he breach the second film curse? Yes. To an extent. The writing is solid. The scope is a bit bigger than in his previous film. Emotional quotient in Majili is a notch higher compared to Ninnu Kori. While the first half is grounded with mostly realistic situations, he depended solely on the performances of the actors in the second half.
Several cinematic liberties are taken which may mar the experience. But the emotionally-driven climax which takes a good portion of 20 minutes makes things up for the flaws in the narration. The director succeeded in keeping the audience attention on the lead actors. And the characterization he comes up with for Poorna and Shravani makes an emotional connection with the audience (read: we can feel for the lead pair).
So, in one simple statement, Majili is a film the fans of ChaySam have been waiting for in a long time. Naga Chaitanya is sure to break the jinx and bag a big success despite whatever flaws we may point out in the narration of the film. That's what we all want. Amen! Tollywood's summer in 2019 starts in a positive manner.
- Relatable emotional content
- Samantha at her best
- Naga Chaitanya and Samantha pair
- Thaman's score and Gopi Sundar's songs
- Refreshingly grounded narration in the first half
- The director gets self-indulgent at places
- Too many cinematic liberties in the second half.
Pycker Rating: 3 out of 5