*This is a special guest review from someone who we, at Reeltalk, look up to: NaChaKi
Katamarayudu is the remake of the Tamil film Veeram starring Ajith in the lead role, which was already dubbed into Telugu as veeruDokkaDE. So, what is it about this film that a star of the masses like Pawan Kalyan wanted to remake, despite the fact that at least a few Telugu audience may have watched the dubbed version film?
Katamarayudu lives with his four younger brothers in a Rayalaseema village. He is a bachelor who sacrificed a lot (?) in his life to ensure that no rift can ever part the quintet of brothers. The brothers, upon some provoking from a family friend and advocate, decide that they cannot get married if they cannot first get Katamarayudu to marry. They create situations such that a visiting classical dance teacher Avanthi woos Katamarayudu. Avanthi is oblivious to their scheme yet things unfold like the brothers want. Katamarayudu and Avanthi like each other and then Avanthi realizes that Katamarayudu is outright violent. The daughter of a peace-loving Judge Bhupathi, who did not even touch his son’s dead body after the son chooses to turn violent and dies, Avanthi moves away from Katamarayudu. Katamarayudu does not give up and follows her to her hometown. What happens next is anybody’s guess.
Nothing seems to have worked very much in favour of the film – the story, the setup, the characters, …oh, yeah, the characters! All the character sketches seem …sketchy! So much so that one cannot figure out if the protagonist is a feudal lord or a village head or what! Or if the female lead is a dance teacher as well as a singer! Or if the Judge is retired or working, or if his brother-in-law was in NASA because NASA is dumb or because… oh, forget it! What can be told about the characters of a film about five brothers among who two do not even have names! One cannot but wonder who the antagonist is or why it must involve a game of guessing among Tarun Arora, Rao Ramesh, Pradeep Rawat or his brother.
So, is there anything good? Of course, Pawan Kalyan! He does a fair justice to the role of Katamarayudu and heaves the weight of the film on his shoulders. Music lets us down but costumes in songs let us down even lower. The younger brothers – played by Ajay, Shiva Balaji, Kamal Kamaraju, and Chaitanya Krishna – had not much to do in their roles and are largely limited to the typical bro-duo Nakula and Sahadeva in many mythological movies. Sruthi Hasan as the female lead did not require much of a performance and she fits the bill. Nasser was okay as her dad, and Ali did bring some laughs as the advocate friend of the protagonist’s family. Rao Ramesh’s role just remains as a good example of a half-baked role and Pradeep Rawat’s is much worse. Too many loose ends in the screenplay and bad character sketches mar the experience that the film could have offered. I have not watched the original Tamil film its dubbed version but the film’s plot has clearly undergone changes as far as Wikipedia could tell me. Thus, there’s no one to one comparison of those versions through this review. The plot of the film or the sub-plots have been rehashed many a time on the Telugu silver screen, and lack of novelty in the treatment is a disappointment, particularly when the music is not great and the comedy is not a true saviour (though it does help a bit). The action scenes and Pawan Kalyan’s performance in a few other scenes is okay, and that’s about the film, pretty much.
Go for it if you like Pawan Kalyan, and you’d not be disappointed so much. Go for it if you are okay with Telugu films merely promising something even if they don’t deliver it. The film does not bore you so much, I hope, but I couldn’t stop wondering why this film had to be remade …like this!
NaChaKi is a popular film critic and has worked for a popular Telugu cinema portal previously.