High octane action masala films have kind of been Tollywood's beating heart. With foot-tapping numbers and adrenaline-charged fight sequences, there's nothing that can't go wrong with a Tollywood movie that won't click with fans. Yeah, they like the dramatic entry of the hero, the first look at his romantic interest, the first instance where he breaks into a song, the first punch he packs proving that it's the first day for the rest of his life.
Jr NTR's Aravinda Sametha falls on the same sensibilities. The story starts with a rather eerie tone wherein few goons are locked up in a dingy warehouse while a cop is securing the place (while fearing for his life). On the other hand, he is being told a story by the hero's sidekick. Does sound like every Tollywood movie? Well, that's where the director tries to make changes. This is not your regular masala Tollywood movie with sleazy dance numbers, arm candy actress and senseless beating of villains.
The story goes like this, the war-torn village of Kommaddi is haunted by bloodshed thanks to two groups headed by Basi Reddy and Narappu Reddy respectively. Things get ugly and after experiencing and participating in a lot of carnage, Veera Raghava Reddy (Jr NTR), loses his father. In a fit of rage, he does chop off the arm of the person who killed his father and stabs Basi Reddy (hiding in the bushes) right on his neck. However, by wise words of some of the important women in his life, he decides to put an end to the violence and bring peace between the two groups for the safety of the next generation. Aravinda Sametha Teaser: Jr NTR Hacks His Way Through This Violent Promo - Watch Video
Director Trivikram's vision wrapped in the screen and audience presence of Jr NTR blends in perfectly. He does give us a taste of the action sequences that pretty much usually sum up a Jr NTR movie. But at the same time, the important message of peace and unity also makes a great screen presence. Kudos to Trivikram for giving the audience what they want but conveying what he wants as well. It has a strong message and the masala that a Tollywood fan expects from their films. Sure, the melodrama makes its presence felt too but they don't cloud the actual vision of the film.
It is nice to see that the filmmaker has given ample importance to Pooja Hegde's role as Aravinda, Veera Raghava Reddy's love interest. She's not your usual bimbo who gets wooed by the hero in a cheesy manner. Her character is brilliantly chalked out, as is the necessity of her presence in bringing forth a change in Reddy's life. The movie also has a bandwagon of strong personalities from across industries. Actors like Supriya Pathak, Devayani and Eeswari Rao (Kaala) have impactful roles. The big concern being, their acting chops are not put to good use. Devayani turns out to be just another wife of a powerful rowdy as does Eeswari Rao ( with a big twist in the end) whereas Supriya Pathak's wise grandma quotes are lost after the first few minutes of the film.
Despite glorifying the power, strength and impact of women in Reddy's life, the complex idea of explaining women is contrasting and quite offensive. There is a particular scene where Supriya Pathak is sharing a story of how Devayani was stalked and abducted by Reddy's father and gotten her impregnated when eventually she gave in to his "love". This is just one of the instances but there are quite a few in the movie. Some of the scenes are also unnecessary which don't make a lot of sense but have been carefully placed to drive the story further. Not to mention the extensive use of slow motions that only encourage a yawn.
- Brilliant screen presence of Jr NTR.
- Impeccable chemistry with Pooja Hegde.
- Well-choreographed action sequences.
- Captivating music.
- Compelling message of the film.
- Unnecessary slow-mo sequences.
- Highly offensive content regarding women.
- Storytelling lacking pace.
- Senseless scenes that don't add up precisely. (school scene)
- Amazing supporting cast reduced to menial roles.
At the end of the day, it's a Jr NTR film that definitely deserves to be watched, despite some of the obvious glitches. You have to see his film knowing that what starts in violence might not end in one. It's a simple plot with great moments within which is a good start towards changing the cinema style in Tollywood. Trivikram does deserve special mention for bringing out sense in a Tollywood film that is not blindly run by the high octane action sequences, hero's fandom or his sizzling chemistry with the female lead.