Sarileru Neekevvaru Movie Review:
Starring Superstar Mahesh Babu
and Rashmika Mandanna
in the leads, the film Sarileru Neekevvaru made way to the theatres today. Anil Ravipudi is the film's director Anil who scored a success with F2, immediately came on board for this movie. He finished the film in less time, which is appreciable. Rashmika Mandanna played the leading lady. Dil Raju and Anil Sunkara produced the film jointly and Mahesh also made himself a part of the film production under GMB Entertainments production house. Read on the film's review here.
Sarileru Neekevvaru starts off with a powerful scene of Vijayashanthi which defines her character in the movie. Like Anil said from the beginning, Vijayashanthi has got an amazing character to play, in her comeback film. She is someone who cannot encourage bad in front of her and also someone who takes a stand and sticks to good, irrespective of the troubles she might face. Also, Vijayashanthi is a brave woman who sacrificed his two sons to the Indian army and she is proud of the same fact. Her characterization is proper and peculiar which actually worked. If not for Vijayashanthi, any other actor in the role called Bharathi would look routine.
One of the best parts of the film is the hero's introduction. Without much hoopla, Anil introduced Mahesh Babu in a simple way, with a random scene. Mahesh Babu's characterization is also something that is a polished version of what he played in Khaleja, Dookudu, and Aagadu. The best part of Anil Ravipudi's movie is that every character in his story will have a unique characterization and also a purpose. No one appears just for the sake of it but comes with a purpose.
Coming to the film's story, it kind of looks like Trivikram's Athadu. In simple words, the film tells the story of an army Major Ajay (Mahesh Babu), who reaches out to Bharathi's family to help them with her daughter's wedding and inform the news that her younger son Ajay (Satyadev) sacrificed his life for the nation. By the time, he reaches out to Bharathi, her life is full of problems and the person responsible for the same is the local minister Nagendra (Prakash Raj). The rest of the story is about how Ajay faced Nagendra and helped Bharathi's family. The story of Athadu is also similar to the one in Sarileru Neekevvaru, but what brings the difference and freshness is the backdrop and characterizations. To be honest, the film has no new story.
Director Anil Ravipudi played his skill by bringing a lot of comedy elements and action elements to the screenplay that got designed with a weak story. If not for Mahesh Babu or the strong characterizations, the movie would have been another regular routine commercial cinema. The first half of the film literally has no story. The first half has three aspects, which is the introduction of characters, conflict and the train episode and the pre-interval action episode. Anil did not have the pressure of adding story elements in this first half because of this format. But, the second half has a lot of content that is engaging. Had the second half also been the same as the first half, the film would have become a failure.
The much-hyped train episode is not everyone's cup of tea. The comedy in Anil Ravipudi's movies is always targeted at B and C center audiences. The A center audiences might not get connected with his comic elements. The train episode does have a pattern of comedy that Anil designed with interesting characters but it fails to impress all. Although the film cannot impress everyone, the comedy track in Mahesh film always won the hearts of audiences and for the first time, it results in a mixed response in Sarileru Neekevvaru. Bandla Ganesh also hardly makes any impact. His character is neither funny nor engaging. It appears as he got forced into the script.
The soul of Sarileru Neekevvaru lies in the second half of the movie. Anil Ravipudi has given perfect elevations to Mahesh Babu and designed his character in a way that the fans will have a feast in the theatres. The action sequences are a major highlight in the movie and Mahesh is at his best, after a long time. Konda Reddy Buruju Fight, Prakash Raj home fight, and Forest Fight are the best in recent times. The second half also has a story moving forward. Anil Ravipudi surprises with his writing in the second half, especially with Ministers' meeting scene and Mahesh revealing son's death news to Vijayashanthi.
Performances wise, everyone in the movie has given their best. Mahesh Babu is at his usual best but he still needs a makeover. If he reminds us of the hero character from his previous movies, it is not a plus point but before he gets bored and routine, Mahesh should do what Suriya did with Soorai Pottru, a drastic change over from a regular role to aggressive role. Hope Mahesh does the same. Rashmika is cute in her character and she is a proper commercial cinema heroine in the film but with a fresh approach. Vijayashanthi's character graph goes up and down. She gets introduced in a powerful role but she comes down to a stage where she seeks help from the hero and then everything after that turns routine. But, she leaves an impact as she looks fresh on the screen. Rajendra Prasad, Murli Sharma, Rao Ramesh, Sangeetha, Hari Teja, Jaya Prakash Reddy, Posani, Brahmaji, Subba Raju, Vennela Kishore, and others made their presence felt.
Technically, the film is extraordinary. Rathnavelu's visuals are eye-feast. Ram-Lakshman masters did amazing fights. The runtime of the film is more than required. The film is engaging for sure but it could have been better in many ways. Devi Sri Prasad's songs sounded good with the visuals and his background score is routine. Technical wise, the film is good.
Coming to the director Anil Ravipudi, he improved a lot in terms of writing. He changed his style and added new things to his style as working with a star hero demands that. Anil also proved a point that he can touch some sensitive subjects and can give a new approach to present patriotism on the screen, without preaching. Also, he gave a new touch to the commercial cinema with a different climax. Not many would convince with this climax but it is certainly different from routine.
On the whole, Sarileru Neekevvaru is a packaged commercial cinema. Everyone cannot connect to every aspect of the film but sticks to any particular element for entertainment and the film delivers it perfectly. The movie has a scope to do big at the box-office in terms of revenues. Sarileru Neekevvaru is a change from Mahesh's line of movies that he did in the recent past. At the same time, the movie puts Anil Ravipudi in the star league of directors list. On a concluding note, Sarileru Neekevvaru is a mass cinema with more highs and fewer lows.