A1 Express Review & Rating
A1 Express Review: Riding This Emotionally Charged Express Is Good
Writing script for an engaging sports drama like A1 Express is always a tough task. The reason is: except for a very rare cases where the story is based on real life events, the outcome is evident. The hero or heroine wins. Or the protagonist prevails. When the film is based on known story, there is the bigger trouble. The audience already knows the ending. And there is no suspence factor for the climax.
Then the filmmaker needs to depend solely on his skills to capture the attention of the audience and then sustain the same till the end. Not everytime it's possible with straightforward narrations. That's where sub genres come into the picture. And subplots are used to differentiate their films from the others. Tamil filmmakers have become masters in delivering sports based films. They, instead of depending on the glitz factor, depend on human emotions and before sports-finale climactic drama.
One such film is Natpe Thunai. The Hiphop Tamizha Aadhi starrer is an emotional rollercoaster ride having a hockey backdrop. As with smaller scale films, the film is about a small town hockey team which practices in a ground. As with other films of this genre a political force or a mafia eyes the ground for business. The team players and coach need to do something to prove they're worthy of playing the game at the ground and using it. That match is the climax.
In Telugu, Sundeep Kishan who is known as a talented actor plays the role of Aadhi. Though this is a remake, the film is essentially a Telugu retelling than just a remake. Let's see how much it entertains you with A1 Express review.
Sanju is a youngster who comes to Yanam. As he's the hero and it's a sports genre film of this emotional subplot, he has a flashback which will be revealed at the opportune moment. In the coastal town of Yanam, there's a sports ground called Chittibabu Hockey Ground and it has a revered history. It is on the premises of the Bay of Bengal and is the favourite place to train for the local hockey players. As our film is a commercial one, our hero needs a heroine and she's played by Lavanya Tripathi. That heroine, Lavanya aka Lavs (fashionable nickname) quickly becomes the object of attention of our hero.
Lavs is a competent Hockey player. He one fine day has to grab a hockey stick for her. By that time, the movie reaches a point where the mandatory twist of a corporate company eyeing the ground as its nearer to the sea. The local politician Rao Ramesh helps the corporate honcho. Meanwhile a shocking truth (we can easily guess) about out hero gets into light. To add insult to injury, the hockey team under the local coach (played by the inimitable Murli Sharma) needs to prepare his team to play a match with Pondicherry team in order to keep the ground. Like in the movie Sye. We know there will be an emotionally charged Hockey match and a happy ending follows.
Sandeep Kishan is terrific as Sundeep Naidu aka Sanju the hockey player. He has received a role that has scope to display a wide range of emotions. He also has a lot of mass elevations that are organically blended into the narration. He looked good on the screen with six pack and he looked the part of a real hockey player. In emotional scenes, he did well. It's one of the better roles he received in his career and he grabbed it with both hands.
Lavanya Tripathi looked like a Tom boy and is good in her role. After all, despite not getting top of the line offers and chances with stars, she's a talented actress after all. She upped the glam quotient too to keep those audience who are not too keen on the proceedings if the film. Rao Ramesh is superb as a croocked politician and fun to watch. Murli Sharma is his usual self in the role of the coach. Priyadarshi and Rahul Ramakrishna excelled in emotional threads.
Writing and direction
The narration of the film is templatish. As the director wanted to keep the suspence element about the hero intact, he needed to depend on love story and the fun related to it to fill the scenes in the first half. Though it's breezy to watch, some scenes give deja vu feel. The interval block is executed very well. But that twist is expected. The second half where the flashback is relealed lacks consistency. The politics in sports and sports boards are already seen in many films but they are handled well. The screenplay is typical first half and second half styled one.
The music is good. The background score is excellent in the match scenes. The cinematography is first rate. The match scenes are terrifically captured. The scenery is also well used in creating right atmosphere. The art department has done a fine job. The editing is decent. The production values are first class. All in all, it's a well made film.
A1 Express is a sports film which might look like one another sports based template film but the emotional core of the film keeps it engaging. The performances are great and it's good to see Sundeep Kishan getting a role where his full range of talents are on diaplay. A good film to watch at least once this weekend. But mot a must watch. Btw, Sundeep did better than the hero in Tamil version.
Rating: 3 out of 5
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