Movie : Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy
Cast : Chiranjeevi, Amitabh Bachchan, Vijay Sethupathi, Tamannah Bhatia, Anushka Shetty, Jagapati Babu, Nayanthara, Kiccha Sudeepa, Ravi Kishan, Mukesh Rishi.
Direction : Surender Reddy
Indian filmmakers and their obsession with historical and period films is something known to all. But despite that fact, if the story selected for visual storytelling is as compelling as that of the great warrior Narasimha Reddy, the excitement is bound to cross all limits. Add to that, to enhance the visual experience for this massive plot is a massive star cast, comprising of the who’s who of the industry. The buzz is sure to generate and that’s exactly the case with Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy. Now, whether it at all manages to stand up to the expectations is something that needs to be explored. Let’s find out –
The story unfolds in a very weak and expected fashion. Narasimha Reddy, aka Chiranjeevi, is the military ruler of Uyyalawala, who after following his Guru Gosayi Venkanna’s advice (Amitabh Bachchan) decides to become a fierce and deadly warrior. He soon sets out on a mission, the objective of which is to bring the East India Company down on its knees. The East India Company as we all know has inflicted a lot of pain and torture on the people and their lives, and has left an everlasting negative impact on them. Narasimha, who’s fierce and seeking avenge for the same, is fed up of the brutal atrocities of the East India Company and henceforth joins hands with rulers of other empires, the likes of Avuku Raju (Kiccha Sudeepa) and Raja Pandi, ably played by Vijay Sethupathi. Together, they decide to rebel against the pain and atrocities caused by the British and this particular rebellion was a big reason that inspired the eventual Indian Rebellion 10 years later in 1857. The fight for Narasimha isn’t just external but also within his own, as there are many close to him who want to see him lose, and hence, that ends up making it a battle within a battle for Narasimha. His personal life isn’t the most perfect either, as although he falls in love with Lakshmi (played by Tamanna Bhatia), he ends up marrying Siddhama (Nayanthara) owing to several situations. The entire plot is about how Narasimha Reddy deals with all this at the same time and how his rebellious nature was a huge threat and challenge to even the British, who had to take notice of the might of his sword.
IWMBuzz Verdict: Although Amitabh Bachchan has a very brief role to play, the sheer presence of Big B is enough to create that rage and magic when the viewer watches the narrative on the silver screen. However, what’s disappointing is the fact that the actresses have been pushed to only a limit and hence the scope of their performance renders to only that. Nayanthara and Tamanna do their best but the film is a tad too much about just Chiranjeevi, which is why, due to the lack of versatility in the sequences, a run time of 2 hours 50 mins looks very far stretched. Add to that, an average story and weak plot doesn’t help in the direction. The action is just about fine, but the director falters as he tries to create a larger than life spectacle with just about literally everything in the film and that ends up being the film’s downfall. The screenplay and the cinematography is decent but the background score is something which needed more focus and attention and especially when it’s about a visual spectacle involving the story of a personality as rebellious and fierce as Narasimha Reddy. The music is boring and is just too periodic compared to today’s time, but that’s no surprise either. The camaraderie and comfort zone between Sudeepa and Chiranjeevi is visible in every shot and one would definitely want to see more of them as that is one of the very few positives about the movie. The first half is a tad slow and the action starts to pick up in an uneven way only from the second half, but by then the damage is already done. However, the one thing worth appreciation is the fact that the director has managed to create a visual spectacle involving so many giants of the film industry together in a film and managed to get it right, even if partially, and hence the effort deserves all the credit. Overall, watch it if you are into history and tales of warriors fascinate you. Otherwise you can ignore.