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V The Movie Review: No Vera Level Entertainment
Let’s beat the routine
Arya aka Mr. A steals something valuable and then leaves a clue A. And then a successful police officer carries investigation and is accompanied by a comic relief sidekick. There are a couple of girls who have nothing much to do. Yes. You have guessed this film right from the first four words itself. Okay! Remember this. We’ll talk about this later.
We have seen Ravi Teja starrer Kick. The movie could easily be written off as a typical Ravin Teja film with all the masala elements and a few good comedy sequences. But right from the beginning, the movie is unpredictable and the comedy sequences are well connected to establish the nature of the protagonist. The technique the director used in this film is quite unique. He never revealed the mind of the protagonist directly but has shown it from the points of view of various characters like the heroine, the police officer rival, his friend Azaamu, and his father. Even the flashback sequence which packed quite a punch is shown through the eyes of his father. The movie remains a classic. Just remember this. No need to recall later.
The Villain’s story
DCP Aditya is a high achiever. There’s no case he couldn’t handle. And there’s no medal he couldn’t win. And there’s no... okay! I’m going into Kick mode. Let’s get back to Nani mode. He’s quite sincere. When everything’s going smooth and he’s aiming for the betterment of his career, he has to take up the case of the murder of a police officer. A killer leaves a mark of V as a clue (because serial killers leave clues). But he’s always one step ahead of the Aditya.
As Aditya is a youngster and a Telugu cinema hero, he has a girl friend (and also a dance number) named Apoorva Ramanujam. But as the role is played by Nivetha Thomas, the director has given her some good footage and for that she’s involved in the investigation solving the puzzles for the police officer. She’s a wannabe writer. This happens even in real life. Even the high profile American investigators (FBI, CIA and more) approach Hollywood screenwriters or high profile writers or even past criminals to help solve cases because a lot of psychology involves here.
But the criminal is always a step or two ahead of this team (because of his background and also the hero is a bit lazy singing songs and romancing every now and then). One more murder. And it’s now apparent that the killer has a strong motive behind all this. Who’s he? (Don’t say Nani. We all know it right from the moment the film was announced). What made him turn himself into a... we all know what happens.
Nani as usual is the heart and soul of the film and all the promotions are centred on him. This is his movie. And his 25th movie. He made the role his own. But he couldn’t bring the cruelty of the killer to the fore as needed by the role. As the role is played by Nani, we can always be assured that there would be a flashback to create sympathy for him.
But it is the flashback which comes out as a fly in the cake we’re about to eat. It’s as routine as possible. The romance between the couple (Nani and Aditi Rao Hydari) is a borefest. Even the chemistry between them couldn’t keep us from hitting the forward button. Aditi is gorgeous though.
Sudheer Babu improved leaps and bounds in terms of his screen presence. There’s no awkwardness in romance scenes this time round and his physique sets goals youngsters and even police officers can aspire for. He one upped Nani in a few moments. Nivetha Thomas is a terrific actress and she’s wasted in a role that isn’t as meaty as she deserves. It’s good that she’s made part of the investigation process in the beginning but in the second half she’s got not much to do. Rest of the actors doesn’t matter much.
Writing and direction
Mohan Krishna Indraganti’s second attempt at action and thriller genre is the same as the first one. He shows flashes of brilliance in a few moments and is found lacking in others. But one cannot clear an examination if that person passes only in a few subjects and fails in the others. In theatrical days, one can watch the films from the beginning to the end as there’s no other option but to leave in the middle.
But on OTTs, every minute detail counts and you shouldn’t say the film is good in parts and for that alone you can watch it. Yes. Watch it in leisure. But that doesn’t matter much. Because, lack of urgency from the part of the audience means the filmmaker is a failure.
The opening of the film is slow. But that’s acceptable. The pace picks up from the moment Nani’s influence is felt. The first half is good with decent thrills and Nani’s novel factor. But the second half is where the film fails big time. Amateur filmmaking is the right expression. Or shall we call it naive? Or laziness? Self indulgence is also a way to express it.
The cinematography is good. The colours used to depict the mood are good but templatish. There’s no innovation here. The frames are clean. The songs by Amit Trivedi are good (why he always these days?) but could have been better. Thaman excelled in the background score and his brilliant work went the drain route as usual. It’s he who should have composed the songs too.
Editing is choppy. The art department did a terrific job. The locations and props are neat and blended well for the genre. As we have used the word genre here, let me be clear. This is not a serial killer thriller. Nor is it a proper thriller. There’s no thrill factor. It’s just a routine revenge film marketed as a star vehicle for Nani where he played villain. The production values are good as it’s a Dil Raju film.
Don’t rush to watch it. You’ll anyway watch it as it’s available for free on Amazon for a yearly or monthly subscription. So keep expectations low and go ahead in your leisure. You may like a few parts of the film. Nani might have done well. But his characterisation is not up to the mark.
Khelo Rating: 2 out of 5
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not like i expected
not like i expected