Eagle Movie Review: Through Eagle, director Karthik Gattamneni wants to trick you into thinking that we are going to see a different kind of Telugu potboiler. And to some extent, he even succeeds in blowing dust into your eyes. But we know better. We know that at one point, the formula will bash its way in, and guess what? That's exactly what brings down this Eagle from soaring high in the skies. 'Mass Maharaja' Ravi Teja is in fine knick here, but I wish he told his directors when to apply brakes before the car skids and takes a long, wild swerve to the gutters. Eagle Song ‘Aadu Macha’: Ravi Teja Steals the Show With Swag in Lyrical Video of DavZanD’s Composition.

The story of Eagle begins with a rookie journalist, Nalini (Anupama Parmeswaran), finding out about this fine brand of cotton and doing a story on it, and the man who is responsible for its cultivation in Andhra's Tolkana forest. However, the story grabs the attention of the central agencies, and Nalini finds herself out of a job. Curious to know the mystery behind this man who has been missing from action for over a year and what about him still rattles the government, Nalini goes to his abode to investigate his life-story.

Watch the Trailer of Eagle:

Sahadev Or Eagle?

She learns that he is Sahadev Verma (Ravi Teja), a benevolent god for the local populace there and a terror for the conniving politicians and greedy industrialists who want to exploit the hills for bauxite. Nalini also learns that he is also 'Eagle', a ruthless assassin with an unswerving line of sight to rival Hawkeye, who has been out of action for 10 years.

A Still From Eagle

So when one man has a dual life story in a Telugu masala potboiler, you do know what that means? It means twice the buildup for the hero character and twice the many people to ham and overact in showing shock and awe on hearing the character's name. Be it the villains or the supporting characters, no one drops a beat when it comes to deifying the magnanimous, infallible protagonist whose invincibility takes out any tension from any fight scenes, no matter how slick they look and how cool they make Ravi Teja look in slo mo. But then, what's new?

First Half Soars... Kinda

Whether it is Sahadev or Eagle, the protagonist's story is told entirely through anecdotal flashbacks that Nalini gets to hear from various characters. This narrative style does create an engrossing vibe, building up the mystique of the hero (till you realise this buildup never ends... even when the end credits roll) while dropping hints around that one long night where all hell breaks loose. Some of the comedy are annoying and intrusive, but a couple of fight scenes are fun to watch, like the one before the interval in Sahadev's godown.

A Still From Eagle

Eagle also has a slick look, helped by the various domestic and international locales it is shot at and the plentiful (meaning occasional overdose) use of drone shots to establish these locations. The writing is silly at times, like Nalaini drops an interview with a character before he ends his story just because she gets one tidbit, only for her to return to him later. I mean, what kind of journo is she? Also, that RAW officer, played by Srinivas Avasarala, approaching her to tell her about 'Eagle' made little to no sense since she was completely clueless about this persona of Sahadev's, nor are the villagers she was interviewing.

Poor Pedro Pascal

At times, the film drops some weird Easter eggs in the tale, like naming a Mexican gangster 'Pedro Pascal' or giving PUBG-style screen graphics to an action scene. Even Sahadev's proficiency with guns keeps defying logic if you really think about it. But the silliness doesn't really matter as Eagle keeps the tempo alive. That is, until Eagle demands the hero gets his formulaic tragic backstory through a flashback in a film already replete with flashbacks.

A Still From Eagle

Kavya Thapar plays Sahadev's pretty but ill-fated partner. While their love story again has an older-looking hero stalking a much younger girl, there is a quaint subversion - this time, he spies her through his sniper lens. The subversion ain't interesting enough, though, to stop the chapter from being this boring, flimsy sequence that becomes a troubling speedbreaker from where Eagle never recovers.

Eagle Crashlands...

Yes, there is talk of Karma and responsible use of weapons (is there really any). Still, they are diluted by Eagle's tendency to overstuff itself with plenty of unwanted plot tropes and characters that don't really get much to do while the stretched runtime tests your patience. If government agencies and a local politician's goons baying for the hero's blood ain't enough, the screenplay also drops in some Islamophobia and Naxalism to pad up the runtime. If, in the beginning, you felt the film was slightly influenced by KGF, by the end, Eagle drops all pretence and becomes this mawkish KGF clone, even promising an ambitious sequel with a montage of scattered shots. Ravanasura Movie Review: Ravi Teja's 'Breaking Bad' Turn Serves Up a Lukewarm, Highly Problematic Masala Potboiler.

A Still From Eagle

Eagle's supposed piece de resistance - a long climatic fight where Sahadev takes on various enemy forces almost single-handedly - has a couple of cool shots like him controlling a nearby idol to bring down a helicopter. But the action becomes so mindless and one-sided that it becomes boring after one point. I also wanted to ask, if one of your snipers managed to injure the world's deadliest sniper while he was hiding, why haven't you used him again when he was out in the open for so long? Why is not a single gun pointing at his legs that remain completely uncovered while he keeps making makeshift shields from guns?

A Ravi Teja Show... Just That!

What works even in these flimsy portions is Ravi Teja's screen presence and charisma, even if the film doesn't exactly give him anything challenging to do as an actor. Also, the large expanses of buildup also help his character. Unfortunately, none of the side characters get that benefit, and they remain one-note. Anupama's character becomes this tool to propel the narrative forward without being of much use in it.

A Still From Eagle

Navdeep, who plays Eagle's sidekick, has no character motivation to justify his existence apart from barking when to take the shot. Madhoo's role, seemingly inspired by Raveena Tandon's from KGF 2, going by their common love for pointed stares and starched sarees, is mostly restricted to shouting orders from a room. Vinay Rai is wasted in an inconsequential role. The less I speak of the other characters, the better.

Final Thoughts on Eagle

Eagle has all the pretences of being a slick action potboiler that tries to go different but ends up making all the same mistakes as its predecessor. Ravi Teja makes most portions work with his larger-than-life screen presence, but there needs to be tighter control on the writing and editing, otherwise every other masala potboiler keeps falling to the second half curse syndrome.


(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Feb 09, 2024 04:59 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).