Surender Reddy’s Dhruva (2016) Movie Review
Movie Review: Dhruva
Star Cast: Ram Charan, Rakul Preet Singh, Aravind Swamy, Navdeep,
Music Composed by Hip Hop Tamizha
Cinematography by P S Vinod
Edited by Naveen Nooli
Story by Mohan Raja
Screenplay & Directed by Surender Reddy
Censor Certificate: UA & Runtime: 165 Minutes
One doesn’t see many close to real life thrillers talking about good vs evil investigative genre in Telugu cinema as the Telugu film makers are now mostly interested in the usual safe commercial viable cinema only, fetching them sure returns. However when one looks at the Tamil/Malayalam industry then they do offer a wide range of films made on lesser budget, cleverly adapted, difficult films. Thani Oruvan is surely one of those rare good films written and directed by Mohanraja featuring Jayam Ravi, Aravind Swami and Nayanthara in the lead roles. Impressed with the content Ram Charan remade this film in Telugu to reach a wider audience. Let’s check out the review for more deep delved details.
Dhruva has that face off type scope, two guys driven so much by goals, playing each other to such an extent that at one point you don’t know whether to support good/evil. While Dhruva (Ram Charan) is good hearted and has a goal to demolish bigwig criminal mastermind in his lifetime and secretly maintains a research study for that. He has developed a special skill in understanding connection between the news and strongly believes in every small crime leads to a cover up of big organized crimes. He chooses a battle of no return no bars left behind battle royal with Siddharth Abhimanyu (Aravind Swamy). Now imagine very inconsiderable and ruthlessly menacing criminal, who plans more on covering his crimes he masterminds, than on the crime itself. He is one helluva pathlayer, who takes his birth in minister’s car, does an unimaginable thing to cease an opportunity at age of 15, and controls powerhouse of politics, crime and medical research together through his allies and father Chengal Rayudu (Posani Krishna Murali). The rest of the story is all about how Dhruva, who is hell bend on eradicating evil for good meets his strongest opponent ever in Siddharth Abhimanyu. Can he defeat him or Siddharth is too powerful to stop.
When you look at the title name Dhruva one immediately connect to a heartening mythological story about a young kid (at the age of six) who was able to perform the most difficult task in yoga and impress lord Shiva to shine as a bright north star in the sky, Dhruva Nakshatram. But Surender Reddy uses regular cop characterization for Dhruva here. One expect a metaphorical connection to this mythological legend, when you are using his name rather in the character of Ram Charan. He more looks like an obstinate teenager who is fixated in one and only one goal. One might think why I’m bringing this mythological connection to this today’s story, but there is always a connection between a character’s name and its characteristic return by a good script writer. Never does a film maker bother about stressing upon investigative skills of Dhruva (Ram Charan) other than giving him some helpful gadgets. How is he affording them? & who is funding him is a mystery left behind. In Tamil Jayam Ravi emotionally explains that from young age he used to perform different small time jobs to effort everything he has accomplished as an investigator. So the basic characteristic and logic that at least satisfies a normal viewer has been gladly skipped over.
This is just a small logical flaw and there are many in the film to delve about. In Tamil the makers tried to give an explanation, however dumb founded logics they were. And one tends to remember movies like Veteran  (Whose script was unfortunately leaked in 2014) and I Saw The Devil  (Regarding the Chip installed sequences in the protagonists body). Mohanraja’s story was very interlinked with each event unfolding on the screen. But more than story it was the screenplay by Shubha, A N Balakrishnan and D Suresh (Additional Screenplay) that mesmerizes you to enjoy Siddharth Abhimanyu menacing presence than routine Jayam Ravi’s character. Here the makers give credit to Mohanraja, which is good by the way. But gladly forgets other three who are more instrumental in designing Siddharth Abhimanyu as he was on screen (admitted by Mr. Raja himself!!). Leaving behind all this basically the film doesn’t try to improve on the faults committed by the original (Like after completing the training within a week no IPS officer can enjoy the trust of the team like ACP Dhruva does in the Organized crime branch. They could have easily taken a 3-4 months gap shoe horning everything into a montage or simple sequence where Dhruva gains the trust of his fellow team mates. Which could be related to the story in general), rather than adding some Astadigbandanam to the script it could have been better, they could have addressed the basic structure which follows a formula of going into the story during the Interval point. Eventhough this so unrealistic and illogical one tends to carried away with the presentation and enjoy the movie while it lasts. This might appear nitpicky to some readers but when one tends look at a movie you want a well-executed story rather than a lucky racy screenplay. The editing could have been better if the editor Naveen Nooli had edited the film more in accordance to the script rather than surrendering qualms of his director. The 165 minutes of running time was a bit too long. The movie has an eye catching backdrop in the training sessions shot well by the cinematographer P S Vinod (of Manam, Panjaa). Director Surender Reddy tries hard to involve you. His style of abstract making at times falters in pacing. Music by Hip Hop Thamizha is a bit loud; in songs okay, background score outsmarts the director and carries the feel of the movie. Dialogues by Vemma Reddy are just true translations from the original, nothing to write home about. Production design is in sync with Director’s vision.
Ram Charan is known to be one of the most fittest actors in Tollywood. He again transforms himself into an IPS officer right from the word go. He showed some intent in acting after many moons since Orange. His trust on Surender Reddy appears on screen as well. Aravind Swami shines as a pure evil. The lead character was enhanced in the film just because he had a worthy opponent to fight. He represents on screen what makers want to show even if it’s hard to believe Siddharth Abhimanyu exists you tend to whistle, when he shows his middle finger in character to the screen. He is the major USP of the film. You just can’t restrain yourself from falling in love with him. As usual in any cop movie raising testosterone levels are compensated by a blink and miss doll, here Rakul Preet Singh plays that role with plumb accuracy and kills your heart with her beauty. Posani tries to imitate “Thambi Ramiah” from the original, but he fails miserably. There Ramiah looks very original even though the character is a blatant caricature, here Posani fails in grasping the nuances of the character. Navdeep and team had some good scenes and they were adequate.
Eventhough the movie is a direct shot to shot copy of the original Surender Reddy tries to imbibe his way of film making, but misses the target in understanding the basic point of Thani Oruvan (Basic point is not about chasing down Siddharth Abhimanyu it is the growth of two people in their paths. Remake is about improving on flaws and correcting them, not blindly making same mistakes with same shots like in Nasser and Aravind last scene). He dabbles along the written word of the original, but never tries to better it. Well when you look at the original you feel a bit of novelty even though it looks like a traditional cat and mouse movie, you feel a bit of sincerity there. Here it feels like a lazy remake with some grand visuals. All in all, during my personal interaction with Surender Reddy he candidly admitted that ‘Oosaravelli’ is the best film “content wise” in his career. In Hindi there is a saying that “Samajdar ko ishaara Kafi Hai”, now I (you) got what he meant.