Kishore Kumar Pardasani’s Katamarayudu (2017) Movie Review

Survi Katamarayudu

Kishore Kumar Pardasani’s Katamarayudu (2017) Movie Review 

Star Cast: Pawan Kalyan, Shruti Haasan, Kamal Kamaraju, Ajay, Ali, Rao Ramesh, Nassar, Siva Balaji, Chaitanya Krishna, Pavira Lokesh and Tarun Arora.

Screenplay by Vasu Varma
Story by Siva
Music Composed by Anup Rubens
Cinematography by Prasad Murella
Edited by Gautham Raju
Directed by Kishore Kumar Pardasani

Censor Certificate: UA & Runtime: 149 Minutes

Commercial Tollywood films like this always stir many doubts in your mind regarding making and all the people involved in the creative side, behind the screen. To begin with, it’s really shocking to know this is a remake of Ajith’s commercially successful film Veeram (2014), since the present Telugu remake has nothing really worth praising or even talking about. Moreover, it has 7 fight sequences in its age-old storyline that it truly makes you wonder what forced makers to choose such a film to remake for the Telugu audience and what they wanted to prove by remaking a film that’s already been dubbed into Telugu, as Veerudokkade.

Katamarayudu revolves around the lives of argus-eyed village head Katamarayudu (Pawan Kalyan) and four doting brothers, who wouldn’t hesitate to wield arms to protect them or even all the thallapaka villagers close to their family for that matter, but situations force them to leave trigger-happy life and swan to never raise them again, for Avanti (Shruti Haasan). As Kollywood projects go, it seemed like a commercially viable subject for Tollywood to adapt. We’re nothing if not familiar with adoring brothers, crazy commitment phobia and people get their shit kicked out of them so that they can showcase their do-gooder angle in Rayalaseema, and falls for a girl with classical taste and family, so that Pawan Kalyan can express his unfeeling orphan emotion in the end: “when you asked me to leave your place, for the first time I felt like an orphan.”

Katamarayudu, directed by Kishore Kumar Pardashani (Gopala Gopala &Thadaka), seems to narrate a simple story that was so age old that a story like “Rajugaru 7 chappalu” feels fresh infront of it. One wonders what movie did he watch, while Veeram/Veerudokkade movie was playing in his laptop. He doesn’t understand core characterization of the lead, nor does he try to improve on the basics that a director like Siva was able to create. You don’t need a popular hero for the kind of output he brought on to screens. Any kind of hero the result would have been same, and for a popular hero this kind of a film will remain a black dot in his elusive resume. A popular hero comes with a baggage of expectations and also a legacy of his previous hit movies. Many makers tend to feel referencing to the successful past movies of the stars will suffice, but you need to create a strong enough characterization for the actor in a tight screenplay.

The problem with Katamarayudu lies with creating an emotional core for the main characters. In Tamil, the narrative doesn’t specify all of them as orphans, but here they try to play the orphan card more than once, where there is such kind of a strong utilizable tool in the screenplay one would pound on the opportunity and try to create as many scenes as possible for the character’s arc to build on the final emotion that the narrative wants to deliver. In Veeram, the strong bond between the brothers was explored and utilized as an elevation tool and for also comic purposes. Unknowingly the viewer tends to feel the emotion when you are watching the climax. Trying to avoid that, the writers falter in creating strong character for any of the leads. I would like to know if there are valid reasons for ignoring this basic character developments in the screenplay; 1 – How does an orphan like Katamarayudu became a village head, 2 – How did he come across other orphans like him, 3 – what was the main reason or push for taking such a  strong decision to dedicate his life to someone, whom he doesn’t know or have a blood connection. These points would have given the depth and emotional core to the proceedings in the character without fail.

Cinematography by Prasad Murella feels like work of a film school student, who is looking to pass out the semester. Such lack of finesse in blocking and staging and also very random no of shots doesn’t give you a feeling that this is done by a veteran. Outputs like Attarintiki Daredi and Katamarayudu when compared you never feel like they were done by the same person. The DI finesse, the Tonal Quality, giving an atmosphere to the whole proceedings on every level Prasad fails, like a KG kid. Editing by veteran like Gautham Raju is abyssal. Music by Anup Rubens proves that he is unfit to score for a popular hero. Manam, Ishq, SCN belongs to the director’s brilliance in providing him some good references. When it comes to BGM Thaman, DSP, Santosh Narayanan, Keeravanai, Mani Sharma would be proud to hear their song’s extended version through out. He even tries to remix the original theme of Veeram – “Rajaa Ghaja Chathura” in the climax, which falls flat on his face. The fight choreography by Ram Lakshman are good in parts.

Pawan Kalyan falls pale in comparison with Ajith in carrying a film like Katamarayudu. He looks aged, jaded and completely out of form. Its not about this weight or physical age, but interest he fails to create in an audience except for his fans. His screen presence in a song like Jivvu Jivvu or in romantic scenes bring vintage Pawan Kalyan antics to life, but the man himself look a pale version of his greatness. It high time that he tries to stop evoke laughter with his feministic dance moves. Ajith even though looked out-of-shaped in the movie had a spark in his eyes and believability in the way he delivered the lines. Whereas Pawan Kalyan looked disinterested and completely casual in his approach to the same scenes.

May be Tamil audience can accept the kind of costumes, weight and expressions Shruti Haasan put on, but for Telugu audience taste she looked more like a vamp than a heroine. If one believes Shruti Haasan is village belle in this movie, then they should belong to a village in America or on some other planet. Ali and Prudhvi performed well in the given limitations and rest of the actors failed to impress, esp. brothers.

There is nothing in this movie world that gives an adrenaline rush like a good commercial cinema. Masala movies might be criticized but every tom-dick-harry likes to enjoy a well-made popular star movie that showcases them as heroes we connect with. That connection started missing in movies from last decade after Pokiri. Pokiri was the last character I was able to connect with as far as I can remember. Directors and writers need to come out of just writing 1-2 elevation scenes to the popular actors and they should start creating characters for them. Take examples from old classics like Shiva, Khaidi, Okkadu, Thammudu, Tholi Prema rather than taking inspirations from Legend or Sarrainodu. Dolly proves yet again, he is poor in handling a popular star. Now I get the point, why they remade an already dubbed film as they think of Telugu audience as crazy emotional fools rather than passionate progressive movielovers.

Survi Review: 1/5

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