SYERAA NARASIMHA REDDY
Director: Surender Reddy
Starring: Chiranjeevi, Amitabh Bachchan, Tamannaah Bhatia, Nayanthara, Vijay Sethupathi, Sudeep Ravi Kishan
Written by: Venkateswara Rao Paruchuri, Gopalakrishna Paruchuri, Sai Madhav Burra
SYERAA NARASIMHA REDDY is the story of India’s first chapter of freedom struggle and is based in the mid 1800s. The film starts off with Rani Lakshmibai (Anushka Shetty) narrating the story of the brave Narasimha Reddy (Chiranjeevi) who revolted against the British a decade before the 1857 revolt. The film then goes into the flashback. Narasimha Reddy is a ruler of a part of the territory in South India called Rayalaseema. He is a part of a polygar which consists of several other rulers like Avuku Raju (Sudeep), Basi Reddy (Ravi Kishan) etc. All these kings get pension from the British and they are expected to bow down to the crown. Narasimha doesn’t like this and is constantly trying to find a way out of this and to try and free his kingdom. Their region is going through severe drought. To appease the rain gods, Narasimha’s mentor Guru Gosayi Venkanna (Amitabh Bachchan) asks him to do a yagna similar to the one that took place in his childhood. But he also finds out that before he could do the yagna, he had gotten married off to Siddhamma (Nayanthara). But both of them had to be kept apart for 24 years because there was some ‘dosh’ in Narasimha’s kundali. But Narasimha is devastated to find this out as he had fallen in and expressed his love to Lakshmi (Tamannaah Bhatia). With a heavy heart, he leaves and advices Lakshmi to use her talent of dance given to her by the Gods for the greater good. The trouble really starts when, despite the drought, the British officer Jackson (Oscar Skagerberg) asks the villagers for Lagaan and is being cruel to the villagers and the farmers. This doesn’t go well with Narasimha and he humiliates him. This doesn’t go well with Jackson and he retaliates even worse. This angers Narasimha even more and then he decides to kill Jackson once and for all. What happens next forms the rest of the film.
The story is something that not many of us have a knowledge about and it’s good that it has been finally brought to the screen. The story has been fictionalized, obviously but a little too much for the film’s own good. It is also over dramatized. There was a need to keep such a story more simpler. Also the makers have tried to tell a lot, Narasimha Reddy’s life from birth to death in this film and that is a lot. The emotions that the film tries to convey, however, hit they spot and work in the films favour.
Technically, the film is decent. Cinematography by R. Rathnavelu is good. He especially captures the battle scenes really well. Editing by A. Sreekar Prasad is not seamless in certain places, it could have been certainly avoided. The costume design and the production design was really good and everything looked authentic. The action is also the highlight of the film. It has been nicely done. The music is appropriate for the film. The script could have been more fine tuned.
Performance wise, the film was great. Chiranjeevi as Narasimha Reddy is the heart and soul of the film. He gets into the shoes of the character and gives a magnificent performance. The way he handles the action sequences as well is really commendable. Sudeep is great as one of the Palgars. He holds his own like his character tries to in the film. Tamannaah Bhatia has a supporting role but she is superb. Nayanthara also has very little to do but she gives her best. Vijay Sethupathi (Raja Paandi) enters the film in the second half but is great. Amitabh Bachchan in his cameo is dependable as ever. Ravi Kishan and Mukesh Rishi act well. Anuskha Shetty is impressive. The rest of the cast offer abled performances.
Director Surender Reddy has kept the massy appeal on this one. He could have avoided overly dramatizing a few scenes and kept it more simple, but otherwise he does a decent enough job.
At the box-office
The film has taken a decent start and with a good word of mouth the dub version should keep its investors happy.