Arjun Suravaram Review & Rating
Arjun Suravaram Review: Partly Intriguing Investigative Thriller
Kanithan or to be easily read Ganithan (the mathematician) is the Tamil film which is based on the everyday scam of fake certificates and shows the extent of the Mafia and how it wreaks havoc in the lives of several people. The relatable subject matter and the intriguing manner in which the film is narrated by using several real-life incidents made it a sought-after subject for several industrywalas. Ultimately, it is Nikhil who got the chance to star in the remake.
Tamil Cinema has an enviable track record of delivering one thriller after another intriguing thriller. Tollywood, for the most part, is still in the process of warming up to the idea of thrillers. Young hero Nikhil Siddharth invested a lot of time and effort in this film. The director of the original film, T. N. Santhosh himself directed this. Let's see if the filmmaker ironed out the flaws of the original and improved in the narration with Arjun Suravaram review.
Arjun Suravaram and his world
Arjun Suravaram comes from a family of journalists. Since the time of his grandfather, the Suravaram family is associated with media. His complete name, Arjun Lenin Suravaram gives us an idea of his family background. Though theirs is a family with a media background, Arjun's father doesn't want his son to follow the same route and makes him an engineer.
But Arjun's mind is more into investigative journalism and he aims to join the team of investigative journalists of the BBC. He currently joins as a reporter in 99 TV and obviously meets the heroine in his line of work. And even more obviously he falls in love with her. He's a self-respecting Telugu hero after all. To his surprise and the audience guesses it right - she also works for the same channel. She reciprocates his feelings as the subject of this film is not their love thankfully.
Arjun applies for the BBC job and is selected. With his love on the right track and his life nearly settled, we feel that the film is over in the first 45 minutes itself. But when we look at our mobiles, we find that we're not even in the theatres for 50 minutes straight till that point. So, a twist must come to prolong our stay in the theatre. Our protagonist is arrested on the charges of fake certificates. It happened that during the BBC's verification, Arjun's certificates are found to be of a null value.
The guy sitting next to Arjun in the police van commits suicide due to distress and the game's afoot. With the help of his lawyer friend (Vennela Kishore in an excellent turn-in), a neighbour, and his girlfriend Kavya help him come out of the custody (no, no prison-break. It's just a bail). He understands that there is a bigger mafia behind all this and uses his skills as an investigative journalist to find out who's behind this. How and if he did this form the rest of the story.
Writing and direction
Except for a more richly sounding name to the hero (Arjun, okay! Lenin and Suravaram have historical importance), nothing is changed from the original Kanithan. The same flaws (like logical cinematic liberties in the second half) are carried forward in this remake too. At least, it's better than the same footage from the original being used like a few films did this year (Hello, Rakshasudu and Kausalya Krishnamurthy). The narration starts in a lazy manner.
The hero is introduced in police custody. Then the movie moves to flashback. Instead of coming to the point directly with a crispy intro of the protagonist, we're made to watch a hero introduction song (since Preminchukundam Raa days, sigh!). Then the highly creative romantic episodes which we have watched since the days Akkineni Nageswara Rao introduced dance steps in Telugu Cinema. The proceedings make an impact only after Arjun is arrested.
At least 20 minutes of the film in the first 45 minutes could be mercilessly chopped off. The interval block is executed with panache though. This raises expectations for the second half. There is a sequence in the second half where more than 50 school children are killed due to a badly constructed building (an engineer with a fake certificate). This adds to the emotional quotient in the film. The second half is pacey and has its moments. But the climax which promised much ends on an abrupt note.
Nikhil is terrific in this film. He oozed the body language required for the role. His dialogue delivery improved much. And his screen presence is authentic. He looked intelligent as required by the role. Lavanya Tripathi is on the verge of retiring from films. She's not getting offers or she seems to be not interested in routine roles. But unfortunately, her role in this film has nothing much to do except adding a female character to the list of cast. She's competent in a limited role. But Kavya may not bring her more offers.
Nagineedu played the role of Arjun's father. He's good. Pragati is neat in her routine role as the hero's mother. Posani surprises with his versatility in a highly sympathetic role. Satya offers a few good laughs. Vennela Kishore adds value with his performance. Tarun Arora who played the kingpin behind the scams is a routine villain.
The music of the film is an ear sore. The background score is over the top. The songs are passable at best. The cinematography is atmospheric. And the visuals have energy. The production design is top-notch. The production values are first class. Despite more than a year has passed since the film's original release date, the film doesn't look dated. The credit equally goes to the director's high quality work and the production values.
Arjun Suravaram has an intriguing concept and is made with sincerity. But the narrative flaws from the original are carried through into this remake. And the first 45 minutes makes you fall asleep with routinest of routine template narration. But it picks up pace once the protagonist is arrested and it's a relentless ride then. Easily you can watch it once.
- Intriguing and relatable subject
- Excellent performances
- Neat direction
- Too many cinematic liberties are taken in investigation scenes
- The first 45 minutes add nothing to the film except runtime
Pycker Rating: 2.75 out of 5
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