Long before the release, we all knew the wafer-thin storyline — the villain murders the hero, who gets re-incarnated as a housefly and has his revenge. The question remains, will it manage to hold our attention as a full-length feature film? Eega manages to do a lot more than that.

S.S. Rajamouli is completely in control of his team, his narrative and his vision. He proves, yet again, that he is one of the finest storytellers in contemporary Telugu cinema. He is aided by an equally talented team that helps give form to a movie that could have become gimmicky and shallow. Eega raises the bar for visual effects and animation for an Indian film. For the urban Indian audience that is continuously fed on Hollywood films that are high on visual appeal with cutting edge computer graphics, Eega shows what Indian filmmakers and production houses are capable of, at budgets much lower than that of Hollywood.

Nani (actor Nani makes his mark in a breezy guest appearance) is the quintessential guy-next-door who pursues Bindu (Samantha) for two years, unfalteringly, to win her love. She leads him on, plays hard to get and their love story unfolds at a leisurely pace, only to be jolted by the wicked businessman Sudeep (Kannada actor Sudeep), who will have none come in between him and the woman he eyes. Bindu broods over Nani and cherishes his memories while Nani gets reincarnated as the Eega.

The housefly wants Sudeep’s blood. But he can only do so much as annoyingly buzz around Sudeep, spoil his sleep, make him lose focus on road, land him in an accident and ultimately make him lose his peace of mind. To take on his might, the fly needs to do much more. What follows is a roller coaster ride of fun, revenge and ingenuity. Bindu’s talent as a micro artist comes to fore. Saying anything more will give away the surprises in the film.

Sudeep, a near stranger to Telugu cinema, is a perfect match for the animated Eega. He is menacing, annoying and has impeccable comic timing. Only an actor of calibre could have pulled off a role that called for emoting with an imaginary Eega. Remember that the Eega was added to the frames with the computer graphics after the visuals were shot. Sudeep can keep a few empty shelves ready in his abode to accommodate all the awards he is poised to win the coming year.

Samantha blooms in the role given to her. Long after she played Jessy, she gets a role with scope for performance. And how can we forget the inimitable Eega? Half way into the film, Rajamouli nudges even the most pragmatic among us into looking at the Eega as a character with emotions than a work of computer graphics. The audience cheers, claps and whistles away as the Eega lifts weights, wears goggles and even goes out on a date.

Eega is the work of a good team. M.M. Keeravani’s music score stands out with the melodious songs sharply contrasted by the background score, which seamlessly moves from sober to playful to pulsating. Senthil Kumar’s cinematography is an asset. The film needs a fine eye for detail and Senthil’s camera does a terrific job.

If you look for faults, you will find them. Eega is not a perfect film. Rajamouli gets indulgent and towards the latter half, the revenge saga gets a tad longer than necessary. But in the end, you come away feeling entertained. Book your tickets for this one, and you won’t be disappointed.