Kalki 2898 AD | Movie Review

Kalki 2989 AD

When I first heard about Project-K, (now Kalki 2898 AD) with Prabhas a couple of years ago, I wasn’t impressed or excited to be honest. Post Baahubali, Prabhas has been selecting unconventional scripts that have mostly been duds. Additionally, he has put on so much weight, making it seem like he can no longer carry a film effectively. But Salaar was a breath of fresh air, and my hopes went up for Kalki, especially with the casting choices. But does the film deliver? Let’s dive in!

With just two films under his belt, Nag Ashwin’s Kalki 2898 AD aims for the stars. His vision is very similar to Ayan Mukerji’s, who made Brahmastra last year. Both these young directors had a similar ambition of wanting to make something spectacular, with grandeur akin to Hollywood movies. However, where Ayan failed and Nagi succeeded (though both had Amitabh Bachchan) is that Nagi had a proper script to back his conviction.

The movie starts about 6000 years ago with a couple of episodes from the Kurukshetra, and then fast forwards to 2898 AD, to a dystopian future where the world teeters on the brink of collapse, and the only surviving city is Kashi. The poor are on the street, while the lucky few live in this modern complex, with luxuries and good food, ruled by supreme ruler Yaskin (Kamal Haasan). Units are the currency required to enter a lavish complex, and our protagonist Bhairava (Prabhas), a street dweller, strives to gather the million units needed for entry with his AI sidekick Bujji (Keerthy Suresh). Meanwhile, fertile women are captured by Yaskin’s army and subjected to artificial insemination to produce a serum for Yaskin. SUM-80 (Deepika Padukone) is one of these women who manages to endure pregnancy the longest. Her baby’s life is under threat, and the rest of the story is about how the rebels and Ashwatthama (Amitabh Bachchan) save her. Or do they?

Nagi successfully combined mythology and science fiction, and I loved how he infused enough humor into this otherwise serious script. Though the movie is about three hours long, it never felt like a bore. However, the first half seemed unnecessarily long, and certain plot points in the second half feel rushed. There were also parts he could have done better (I wish he had skipped the bit with Disha Patani and Bhairava’s episode in the complex as they were the only cringe-worthy bits), but I’m still impressed with his screenplay and direction.

Prabhas is the right choice for Bhairava. His comic timing is great, but his expressions were often obscured by his beard and bulky face. Amitabh has a meaty role, and he does full justice. I loved that he dubbed for his character (for most scenes). Deepika and Shobana deliver decent performances. Kamal Haasan’s brief role relied heavily on CGI, leaving little to remark about his presence. The rest of the supporting cast performs well; I’m glad that Nagi picked relatively new faces for these roles, bringing a sense of freshness.

Music by Santhosh Narayanan is a huge disappointment. I agree that there is not much for him to play with considering the script, but the tunes felt outdated and didn’t resonate with the film’s epic proportions. Thankfully, the background score is decent. Cinematography by Djordje Stojiljkovic is stunning, with sprawling cityscapes, intricate set designs, and breathtaking special effects that create a believable futuristic world. Barring a couple of scenes, the CGI work is very good. Some of the action sequences are well choreographed, but this can’t be said for all (especially the first fight). Editing by Kotagiri Venkateswara Rao could have been better; some scenes cut abruptly to the next, and care should have been taken to avoid such amateur mistakes for a film of this scale. Dubbing is way better than what we saw in the trailer but there were inconsistencies in the voices which didn’t help. Despite these flaws, Vyjayanthi Movies need to be commended for putting so much time and money into Nagi’s conviction.

Overall, Kalki 2898 AD is another monumental achievement in Indian cinema, pushing the boundaries of genre and storytelling. Yes, it is inspired (or copied, whatever you want to call it) from various movies, but bottom line, it’s a film that dares to dream big and achieves its goal. It does have its fair share of imperfections, but despite the minor issues, the film manages to maintain a cohesive vision, driven by its strong performances and visual grandeur.

Is it worth your time and money?: Yes, absolutely! This is another bold attempt in Telugu cinema, an ambitious and visually stunning epic paving it’s way into the new genre of Indian science fiction. Can’t wait for Part 2!

Worth mention: The grandeur, visuals and production values.

Acting: 8.5/10
Story-Screenplay-Direction: 9/10
Technical Aspects: 8/10

Verdict: 8.5/10

Dasara | Movie Review


After Ante Sundaraniki, Nani is back again with another offbeat film. Okay, maybe not so offbeat as we’ve had films with similar rustic 90’s setup come in the recent past (Pushpa, Kantara, KGF). The trailer was impressive, and with all the promotions and releases in multiple languages, does Dasara live up to the expectations? 

Directed and co-scripted by debutant Srikanth Odela, Dasara is set in 1995, and tells the story of Dharani (Nani), his best buddy Suri (Dheekshith) and his lover Vennala (Keerthy). Dharani and Suri are drunk coal pilfers, and as anticipated, they get entangled with local village politics. One thing leads to another and Suri gets killed (this should ideally be a spoiler, but you knew this was coming from the word go!) We’ve seen tons of movies with a similar premise, and you’d think that this is heading in the direction of another Rangasthalam or more recently Narappa, but what differentiates Dasara is the grounds for the murder. This twist is handled well by Srikanth, but I thought it was revealed a little too early. 

Nevertheless, the direction is neat. His vision is clearly evident on screen, which says a lot about a debutant. The screenplay, however, could have been a little more effective, particularly in the second half, as the movie was too predictable but for the one small twist revealed too soon. Films like these need to be more gripping, and that’s where Dasara fails to engage the audience. I also felt that Srikanth was trying too hard to incorporate all his inspirations into his first film (last shot in the climax was almost a replica of Kshatriya Putrudu, and even the post-climax episode was clichéd and unnecessary!)

On the casting front, Nani, Keerthy, Sai Kumar and Jhansi are the only familiar faces on screen. Oh wait, there was Samuthrakani as well, but was it really him? Anyways, as you’d expect, this was Nani’s show all the way. He puts everything into the character and does a fantastic job; his attire, body language, dialogue delivery, everything is just perfect (his mannerisms reminded me of yesteryear Rajinikanth). Keerthy is not far behind; her performance, specifically in a tragic death scene, is praiseworthy. Dheekshith Shetty is alright as the buddy. Shine Tom Chacko makes an impressive debut in Telugu films; he looks menacing, but I felt his character could have had more depth. Jhansi makes her presence felt, while Sai Kumar and Samuthrakani are both wasted. 

Music by Santosh Narayan is a definite asset. Apart from “Dhoom Dhaam Dhosthaan” and “Chamkeela Angeelesi”, the background score during the cricket match and the climax fight are really good. Editing by Naveen Nooli is adequate. Cinematography by Sathyan Sooryan is excellent; “Dhoom Dhaam Dhosthaan”, the pre-interval bit and some of the climax elements are very spectacularly shot. It took a while to understand the dialogues in native slang, but you eventually get past this hurdle. 

Is it worth your time and money?: Yes for Nani and Keerthy’s acts. But otherwise, the story is way too predictive, and the extreme violence doesn’t help. If only Srikanth refrained from the commercial elements and illogical fights but instead put efforts into a gripping screenplay, the movie could have been more impactful.

Worth mention: Nani and Keerthy’s performances!

Acting: 9/10
Story-Screenplay-Direction: 7.5/10
Technical Aspects: 8.5/10

Verdict: 8/10

PS: I don’t think there was any need to make this a Pan-Indian film, especially in Hindi. There are a lot of local native superstitions which are too much for non-Telugites, especially North Indians. 

Godfather | Movie Review


When Chiranjeevi decided to remake Lucifer into Telugu, I was actually excited for I thought he’d be the only one who’d be able to do justice. But at the same time, I had my apprehensions as to if they would change his character to make it massy and cater to his star power. Thankfully, they didn’t alter the core of the Malayalam blockbuster, and I think I can say “Boss is back!”

Helmed by the remake master Mohan Raja, Godfather tells the story of Brahma, a mysterious yet dangerous man funding the government, who comes to the forefront of state politics after the death of the CM PKR. Jaydev, PKR’s son-in-law, is a corrupt mastermind vying to be the new CM, and smuggle drugs into the state. Brahma doesn’t approve of this, and the rest of the story is about how he saves his family and the state from Jaydev.

Mohan Raja makes the film his own rather than copying the original. He made quite a few changes to the original ensuring more screen time for Chiranjeevi, but at the same time, doesn’t deviate too much. He does a commendable job to highlight Chiranjeevi’s character without ever overdoing it. The direction is neat, but I thought the screenplay could have been a little crisper. I also thought that he failed to extract the best from other cast members. 

It’s a cakewalk for Chiranjeevi and he does justice to the character. I wish he danced a little more in the Thaar Maar song. Nayanathara is decent as Sathya, PKR’s daughter, but I thought she could have emoted better; she had the same straight face for most of the film. Satyadev is brilliant as Jaydev and kills it. Salman Khan has a good cameo. Murali Sharma is okay, and the rest of the cast are alright but underutilized. 

While the songs are mediocre, the background score by Thaman is decent. Edited by Marthand K. Venkatesh could have been better; the film was longer than needed and some scenes should have definitely made the cut on his table. Cinematography by Nirav Shah is of top-notch quality. The VFX too should have been better. And I was so very disappointed with Prabhu deva’s choreography for Thaar Maar.

Is it worth your time and money?: Even if you have watched Lucifer, Mohan Raja’s Godfather is still a good watch for the director makes it his film. At the same time, the film isn’t great because it has flaws common to most Telugu films (unnecessary item songs, some illogical sequences, etc.). Nevertheless, megastar’s magic works on screen.

Worth mention: Chiranjeevi and Satyadev’s performances. 

Acting: 8/10
Story-Screenplay-Direction: 7.5/10
Technical Aspects: 7/10

Verdict: 7.5/10

Sita Ramam | Movie Review

Sita Ramam

From the trailers, Sita Ramam seemed like a romantic love story from the 1960s, with a war backdrop. Does this age-old romance work in the current era?

Scripted and directed by Hanu Raghavapudi, Sita Ramam narrates the non-linear back-and-forth story of Afreen (Rashmika), a Pakistani student from 1985 who reluctantly travels to India to handover a letter written 20 years ago by Lieutenant Ram (Dulquer) to a woman named Sita (Mrunal). While trying to locate Sita, she learns about Ram, his heroics in the Indian army, his undying love for Sita, and a little about how she’s connected to them.

From the first frame, it is clearly evident that Hanu wanted to create a love story like Roja, a Mani Ratnam classic. While combining war and the army into love stories is not new, I thought Hanu tried too hard to make everything fit into the storyline. He succeeds with the love story element; an army officer receiving letters from strangers claiming to be his family when he says he’s an orphan is well conceptualized, and how this ignites Ram and Sita’s love story is beautifully handled. The twists and turns along their journey and how it’s integrated into the army operations work well until a point, but eventually starts to feel artificial and unrealistic, primarily because of the slow pace of the film. Movies like these need to have a crisp screenplay and keep you engrossed all through, and that’s where this movie falters.

Dulquer Salmaan is brilliant as Ram. His characterization makes you fall in love with him. Mrunal Thakur scores big on her Telugu debut; she looks lovely and utilizes her expressive eyes effectively. Sumanth has a meaty role and does justice. Rashmika’s act could have been better; it felt like she did the film just for the heck of it. There are numerous actors from across industries in the film but almost all of them either have a single frame or are under-utilized.

Music by Vishal Chandrasekhar is alright but nothing great. Editing by Kotagiri Venkateswara Rao is decent considering the slow screenplay; at almost 2 hours 45 minutes, the film is too long, but I doubt he could have done anything about it. Cinematography by P. S. Vinod and Shreyaas Krishna is a major asset to the film. The Kashmir valley is stunningly picturized, and so are the buildings and frames of the 1960s. Production by Vyjayanthi is commendable.

Is it worth your time and money?: Sita Ramam is a beautiful love story with its moments, but it falters because of its slow paced and shoddy screenplay. So, watch it if you have the time and patience.

Worth mention: The chemistry between the lead pair.

Acting: 8/10
Story-Screenplay-Direction: 6/10
Technical Aspects: 7.5/10

Verdict: 7/10

Vikram | Movie Review


Kamal Haasan is one of India’s best actors. But lately, his movies, similar to his personal life, seem too self-focused. Does Vikram stand out?

Scripted and directed by Lokesh Kanagaraj (part of his cinematic universe), Vikram starts with the murders of a couple of NCB members and an ordinary man, Karnan. Amar (Fahadh Faasil), a black-ops squad/sleeper cell commander is pulled in to investigate, and soon realises that the murders are related to missing drug containers owned by Sandhanam (Vijay Sethupathi), a local cartel leader and a ruthless man. It all comes down to who’s Karnan and how Vikram (Haasan) is connected to the all of this.

In the first half, Lokesh focuses on establishing the characters of Amar and Sandhanam, while the entire second half is about the triangular conflict between Vikram, Amar and Santhanam. While things might seem a little confusing, Lokesh holds our interest thanks to the crisp screenplay in parts. However, some episodes involving Sandhanam and his abilities after getting stoned are ridiculous and even funny. I also thought the interval bang was not well executed; c’mon, there’s one guy and 100’s of goons and police, but not a single gun? There are a quite a few illogical sequences like these in the film.

Kamal Haasan plays his age but looks sophisticated and stylish. He has a paunch in the first song, and I was like, whoa. But even with it, he delivers sleek action sequences in the second half. Fahadh Faasil carries the entire first half by himself and does a fantastic job. Vijay Sethupathi looks menacing, but I thought his character was not well scripted. Narain continues his part from Kaithi as Inspector Bejoy and is decent. Suriya impresses with his act as the antagonist (future films) in the climax. The rest of the cast is alright.

Music by Anirudh Ravichander is groovy and makes an impact on screen. The title track and the music pieces (Once upon a time & Wasted) are well used as background score. Editing by Philomin Raj is mediocre at best; films of this kind need to be sharp, but he fails miserably. The cinematography by Girish Gangadharan is top-notch. The action sequences are well choreographed.

Is it worth your time and money?:If you like action and slick films, Vikram is your cup of tea. But at the same time, the screenplay might be too much to handle at times for a regular moviegoer. Also, there are references to Kaithi/Khaidi, so it might be a little difficult for you to follow if you haven’t watched it. 

Worth mention: Kamal Haasan and Fahadh Fasil’s act.

Acting: 8.5/10
Story-Screenplay-Direction: 7/10
Technical Aspects: 8/10

Verdict: 8/10

PS: It would be great if Lokesh could combine Dilli and Vikram’s characters in the next film with Rolex as the villain, rather than making two separate sequels.

Major | Movie Review


I’ve heard good things about Major and was excited to watch this movie. However, I wasn’t much impressed. I believe that it is tough to make a biopic on a war hero, and while Adivi Sesh (script and screenplay) does his homework and comes up with a good film, too much cinematic liberty makes this just an average film for me. Maybe I would have better connected if it were a regular film.

Direction by Sashi Kiran Tikka is mediocre. The Taj siege sequence could have been better handled, for there was pretend and over-the-top action. I am sure there were some brave acts inside the hotel during the siege, but all the team did was make it look larger than life rather than making it real for the hostages and the soldiers. A more nuanced approach would have worked wonders! The woman being “alone” episode also doesn’t add any value to the film.

Adivi Sesh puts in all his mettle to look and be like Major and does a good job. Prakash Raj and Revathi are aptly cast and do their parts well. Revathi is brilliant in the last episode. Saiee Manjrekar and Sobhita Dhulipala are alright. Murali Sharma’s act could have been toned down.

Music and background score by Sricharan Pakala is effective. At about 2 hours, editing by Vinay Kumar Sirigineedi and Kodati Pavan Kalyan is good. The cinematography by Vamsi Patchipulusu is average

Is it worth your time and money?: Major isn’t a bad movie; if anything, it’s a good action movie. But when you add the tag of it being a biopic, it doesn’t work. I am sure Sandeep Unnikrishnan did more courageous stuff than what is showcased in the movie. But, Sesh and the director make his sacrifice for the nation look more commercial and action-oriented rather than making it real and connectable. Also, too much sentiment and cinema/drama dilute the effect. 

Worth mention: Adivi Sesh’s act as Maj. Sandeep.

Acting: 8/10
Story-Screenplay-Direction: 6/10
Technical Aspects: 7.5/10

Verdict: 7/10

Ante Sundaraniki | Movie Review

Ante Sundaraniki

First things first, I like Nani. He usually picks sensible subjects, but of late, it seems like he too is taking the formulaic route. Post Jersey, none of his movies made an impact, apart from maybe Shyam Singha Roy (which I thought was a decent watch). Come Ante Sundaraniki, he’s back at his favourite genre, and I was eagerly waiting to see if he still has the charm to woo the audience as he did for, say Ala Modalindi or Bhale Bhale Magadivoy

Scripted and directed by Vivek Athreya, Ante Sundaraniki tells the story of Sundar, a confused Hindu guy from an orthodox Brahmin family, and Leela, a strong girl from a Christian family. As you’d expect, they fall in love, and Sundar conceives a plan with some significant lies to convince their families for the wedding.

It’s more or less a simple story, but Vivek has handled the subject with a lot of maturity; the film is bold and addresses many unspoken topics, such as choice of pregnancy, infertility, etc., while never trying to be preachy. Every character is very well written and makes an impact on screen. Coming from similar family background, I could relate to most of the content. I loved how Vivek (I’m guessing from his own experiences) showcased the rawness of a Telugu Brahmin household (including the cuss words). There are a couple of illogical sequences, but he has integrated them so seamlessly into the comedic narrative that you don’t tend to delve so much into them. Thanks to the non-linear narrative, the screenplay is compelling and keeps you engrossed all through. 

It’s a cakewalk for Nani, and he excels as Sundar. His expressions while conversing with his manager are priceless. Nazriya, a Malayalee actress famous amongst the Teluguites because of Bangalore Days, compliments Nani in every frame. She’s charming, relatable, and fits into the role with ease. Dubbing for herself added value. It’s a meaty role for veteran Naresh, and he does a fantastic job as the orthodox father (he reminded me a lot of the old Naresh from Jandhyala movies). Rohini is apt as the mother and does a commendable job in the final act. Nadhiya and Azhagam Perumal are alright as Leela’s parents. Prudhvi gets a good show after a long time as Sundar’s uncle. Harsha Vardhan is perfect as Sundar’s manager, and the cameos by Rahul Ramakrishna and Anupama Parameswaran are effective. The child artists who played young Sundar and Leela are excellent.

Music by Vivek Sagar is decent. I liked the fact that the songs are blended into the background score. The choreography for the first song with the child artist is worth mentioning. No qualms with the cinematography by Niketh Bommi. Editing by Ravi Teja Girijala could have been crisp, for the movie seemed a little too long. Production values by Mythri Movie Makers are good.

Is it worth your time and money?: I loved the movie, and so did my better half. Ante Sundaraniki is a neat and clean romcom. However, not all might appreciate the overarching message, for I know that we still have people in our society who don’t look beyond caste, religion, superstitions, and other social issues. If you aren’t one such soul, enjoy the movie!

Worth mention: The beautiful chemistry between Nani and Nazriya (would you believe if I said there’s absolutely no intimacy between the lead pair but still it still makes an impact?), and effective storytelling.

Acting: 8.5/10
Story-Screenplay-Direction: 8.5/10
Technical Aspects: 8/10

Verdict: 8.5/10

Narappa | Movie Review

Naarappa Poster

Quite a few Telugu movies were released on OTT in the recent past but none made an impact. After a lot of delays, Narappa was confirmed to release on Amazon Prime, which airs the original Asuran as well. Risky move? Let’s find out.

A remake of the 2019 Tamil film Asuran, which in itself is influenced by the real-life Kilvenmani massacre that occurred in Tamil Nadu in 1968, Narappa narrates the story of a poor farmer and his family in the 1980s, and their tussles with the local landlord resulting in Narappa’s younger son murdering the landlord. Narappa, who is looked upon as a spineless loser by his son, flees with him into the forest to protect him. Rest of the story is about Narappa’s hot-blooded past, and how he saves his son.

I watched Asuran first before starting Narappa, and I felt that I was watching the same movie again, for it is a frame-to-frame replica of the original. Except for one fight, every scene is literally a cut-copy-paste. The sets, background characters, most of the locations, down to the minute little detail. I’ve seen quite a few remakes, but this one seemed extreme.

Asuran vs. Narappa

The only difference I observed is in the climax fight, the original version has the village elders disapproving the son being hurt, which is missing in the Telugu version. That apart, same to same. Srikanth Addala, the credited director of the Telugu version, didn’t even attempt to showcase the storyline as per his point of view. I understand that Vetrimaaran wrote the screenplay for both versions, but how difficult is it to make the movie yours? Addala didn’t even do a good job replicating the emotions for the punch was missing.

Comparison apart, I honestly didn’t feel that the story that appalling in the first case. The concept of the elder son rebelling against the landlord was sure to result in him being killed; it’s like he’s asking for it. 

It is more or less a cakewalk for Venkatesh, and he apes Dhanush in every shot. What I fail to understand is why he didn’t make the character his own. Priyamani is okay, but her dubbing in the slang seemed a little off. Ammu Abhirami and Aadukalam Naren are the two actors who reprise their roles from the original and do justice. Ammu Abhirami, however, looked odd romancing Venkatesh onscreen given their age difference. Newcomer Rakhi, who played Narappa’s younger son, does a commendable job. The rest of the cast is alright. 

Mani Sharma is credited as the music director and G. V. Prakash Kumar is thanked in the title credits, but I thought it should have been otherwise for the music and background score is more or less the same as the original (but for the only different song is “Ooo Narappa”). The title score is good. Art work by Gandhi Nadikudikar in the flashback episodes could have been better. It’s regular business for cinematographer Shyam K. Naidu and editor Marthand K. Venkatesh for they just had to copy the original with no uniqueness. The Telugu version is about 15 minutes longer than the original, I wonder why?🤔

Is it worth your time and money?: If you’ve watched Asuran, then it doesn’t make sense at all. If you are a non-gulti, then watch the original and give this one a miss. If you are a telugite, then watch it at you’re leisure. It’s not a bad film, but I wish it had some originality to it. I rest my case.

Worth mention: The original?

Acting: 7/10
Story-Screenplay-Direction: 6/10
Technical Aspects: 7.5/10

Verdict: 6.5/10

Baahubali – The Conclusion | Movie Review

Baahubali - The Conclusion

Before reading my review of Baahubali – The Conclusion, I’d suggest you read my review of Baahubali – The Beginning 

I called Baahubali – The Beginning a half-baked biscuit. Having watched it more than a couple of times in the last two years, I might have eased a bit towards the movie, but I’d still say it could have been so much more. Tell you what, remove the first half of The Beginning, with the folk love story, and we had a winner. Alas!

Come Baahubali – The Conclusion, thankfully we’re done establishing the characters, and seem to have better grip on the script, which helps us delve right into the story. The result – an epic conclusion.

Rajamouli’s “conclusion” starts off right where it ended in the first film, with Kattappa reliving the tale of how Amarendra Baahubali and Bhallala Deva fight off the Kalakeyas, and Amarendra being appointed as the king by Sivagami. Before he takes oath, our soon to be king and Kattappa take off on a kingdom tour, to understand the well-being of the people. On this journey, they run into Devasana, a beautiful fiery damsel, princess of one of the small nearby kingdoms. Amarendra sneaks into their kingdom as a nobody, and soon we have love blossoming. Bhallala interferes, one thing leads to another, and we have the interval bang.

Rajamouli succeeds to keep the entire first half gripping without losing out on the entertainment factor. The grandeur is all there, the visuals are great (barring a couple of terrible graphic blunders), and here is the director we all know about. The second half finally reveals why Kattappa killed Baahubali (#WKKB). While this is for all the obvious reasons and an easy guess for most, Rajamouli showcases it beautifully, intertwining it with some tear-jerking emotions. We’re back to the present day, and like in the first part, the story drags a bit before ending with a clichéd yet perfect climax. Screenplay is near perfect, and overall, a grand conclusion to years of efforts from Rajamouli and team; an epic saga, but for its minor flaws, could easily be touted as a masterpiece! Don’t get me wrong, the movie has its share of noticeable flaws, but the overall big picture douses them. 

Prabhas excels as Amarendra. He couldn’t have asked for a better characterization, and he performs to the T. While I was not so happy with his looks and performance as Mahendra (Shivudu) in the first part, he ensures that he showcases subtle yet matured variation for this character. Anushka is gorgeous as the feisty princess. Who cares if they’ve digitally sculpted her when she looks so damn beautiful on-screen? And man, everyone knows that she can act. Rana has a limited screen presence, but he makes his presence felt in every aspect with a commendable job. Sathya Raj is very good, while Ramya Krishna and Nassar do justice to their roles. Subba Raju surprises with his cameo. Tamanna, who? Rest of the cast have improved their act.

On technical front, there is tremendous improvement when compared to The Beginning. Music and background score by Keeravani is better. And unlike the first film, almost all the songs are interlinked into the movie. I personally loved the title track and its use as background score. Cinematography by Senthil Kumar is spectacular, as expected. Special mention to the action sequences – they are all perfectly shot. The graphics are better, but a few make you cringe for they looked like scenes from an animation movie. Editing by K V Rao is perfect barring one shot during the climax sequence. Sets are grande, and production values are excellent.

Bottom line.. wait, did Rajamouli and team happen to read my review for Baahubali – The Beginning? They seemed to have improved or even bettered on almost every aspect I’ve highlighted. The story-telling is impeccable, and yes, now we are definitely a part of world cinema. World, look at us! 🙂

“It’s disheartening to see a director who took this path falling back and taking the easy road.” 

Rajamouli, I take back my words. You’ve walked the tough road, and succeeded!

Is it worth your time and money?: Oh yes. I can proudly say that Baahubali – The Conclusion is one of the finest works in recent time. Watch it not just for the grandeur but for the amazingly perfect storytelling.   

Efforts are channelled in the right direction, and Baahubali is now an epic.

Worth mention: Direction, storytelling, visuals and production values.
Acting: 8.5/10
Story-Screenplay-Direction: 9/10
Technical Aspects: 8.5/10

Verdict: 8.5/10 + 0.5 for Rajamouli

Now we all know why Kattappa killed Baahubali. 🙂

PS: I believe a bigger chunk of people loved the first movie better, but this is the winner for me!

Kabali | Movie Review


He’s the Superstar. His movies are expected to be a treat. Fans adore and worship him, are crazy about him. But he has been disappointing them time and again in the recent past. Kabali is no exception.

Directed by Ranjith, the movie starts off with Kabali being released from a prison in Malaysia after 25 years, where he once was regarded as the good gangster. The police requests him to stay away from the mob, but our Superstar heads straight into the (smaller) Dragons den. He does his thing, and Malaysia knows he’s back. They celebrate with a song. That’s it; those are probably the best moments of the entire film. Ranjith loses the plot right away. He seemed to have an idea of what he wanted to showcase, but that doesn’t transpire onto the screen – this is the biggest problem with Kabali. The mediocre screenplay and disastrous direction ensure we have another flop for the Superstar. A gangster film needs to be fast paced and slick, but Kabali is neither. It’s a drag – Kabali going from one house to another in search of his dead wife was the biggest bore of them all. The climax was most clichéd; and what was the post climax scene? Ranjith, you’ve made a lot of enemies man!

Rajni – the name which is enough to ensure that halls are full no matter where in the world you are, the name which is enough to make people pay thousands to buy the tickets, the name which is enough to make fans go gaga – is the only saving grace of this dud of a film. He tries his best, again, to keep the boat sailing, but can’t help much. Radhika Apte (who never ages) is alright as his better half. The rest of the cast, be it Dhansika, Riythvika, Dinesh Ravi, or Kishore, they all overact like there’s no tomorrow. Not one makes an impression.

Music by Santosh Narayan is alright. The background score (Nippu ra) is very peppy and ensures that you don’t snore. Editing by Praveen should have been crisp. A number of scenes could have made the cut. Cinematography by Murali is decent. Production values are good, but what’s the use?

Is it worth your time and money??: Rajni charms you with his smile and expressions, but the movie fails to impress you on the whole. Even hardcore Rajni fans in the theatre couldn’t hide their disappointment.

Rajni – the name which is enough to ensure that halls are full no matter where in the world you are – the halls won’t be full for more than a couple of days for Kabali.

Worth mention: Rajni and the background score.

Acting: 7/10 (only for Rajni and Radhika)
Story-Screenplay-Direction: 5.5/10
Technical Aspects: 6.5/10

Verdict: 5/10 + 1 for Rajni

PS: It was nice to see Rajni not romancing anyone!

PS: The movie might be a little better in Tamil, for the dialogues in Telugu were disastrous!