‘The Warriorr’ review: Ram Pothineni’s latest suffers from generic screenwriting and shallow characters

A still from the film

A still from the film | Photo Credit: A still from the film

The stage is set for a grand no-holds-barred fight between two characters. One of them, Satya (Ram Pothineni as a cop), throws away his service revolver that conveniently rests on the tank of his bike. A section of the audience bursts into laughter, when, in fact, it should have been hair-raising. The reaction to this ridiculous shot comes from an audience who by then have refused to buy the film’s seriousness.

Lingusamy's Tamil-Telugu bilingual The Warriorr is a supposedly 'different' take on the routine cat-and-mouse game between a cop and a baddie, with the only difference being that this cop is not any ordinary police, but a "doctor police". Satya arrives at Kurnool (Madurai in the Tamil version) as a doctor to serve the people. After facing a series of unfortunate events with the local don, Guru (Aadhi Pinisetty), Satya goes back to his roots, only to return later as the new Deputy Superintendent of Police on a mission.

The Warriorr’s lifeless storyline is made worse with its generic scene writing and a template screenplay structure. Even the lead characters lack depth and Lingusamy’s attempt to make a tribute to all real-life doctor-turned-police heroes rests only in making the cop arrive at a mass scene in an ambulance. He even writes prescriptions to the henchmen that he thrashes because... “I am the doctor and the police here.”

Now, a terrific antagonist could have easily revived this screenplay. The ruthlessness of the villain ensures that the protagonist gets an investing hero’s redemption, and Aadhi’s Guru seemed promising initially. Guru gets a grand entrance and a rather interesting, terrifying parable: He plants a tree sapling for every murder he commits, and this eventually becomes a forest. Lingusamy goes to the extent of bringing Lal (who played a terrific villain in the director’s 2005 blockbuster Sandakozhi) to play a short cameo as a villain whose sole purpose is to be defeated by Guru. So it is shocking when even Guru is later reduced to a worthless shadow of our expectations.

The mass hero vehicles of the present day have good police action dramas to thank for redefining dialogue writing and delivery. In The Warriorr, every exchange has surprisingly terrible dialogue writing. Just after the introduction scene of a villain, he proclaims that no man alive can kill him. We know who the next shot will focus on.

In an already lacking screenplay exists a futile romantic track between Satya and Whistle Mahalakshmi (Krithi Shetty) that surprisingly takes way too much screen space. Every exchange between them warrants a song — on the plus side, Ram's dancing was entertaining. It's also disturbing to see how Krithi and other actors seem to have shot only in Telugu, while Ram (whose Tamil diction is laudable) and Aadhi seem to have shot in both languages... and this results in patchy lip-sync.

This need to make a Tamil-Telugu bilingual is a major letdown for The Warriorr. Let alone the fact that we are expected to believe that the film takes place in Madurai, most pivotal moments in the film happen in front of the Konda Reddy Fort in Kurnool. Yes, the film conveniently avoids all other cultural and geographical references, but it doesn't help if the hero's bullet bike — a major attraction in the frame — has an Andhra Pradesh registration number in one shot and a Tamil Nadu registration in another. In one shot, in fact, the number plate registration transforms during the action, thanks to bad VFX. The icing on the cake is that Krithi's character speaks in Madurai slang only during a Jallikattu scene.

It's disappointing that a film that attempts to try so many things lacks in execution. The screenplay offers no emotional drive to keep us invested — something that recent films like Ayyappanum Koshiyum ( Bheemla Nayak), where an ego trip was enough to make a solid conflict, managed to do. Lingusamy's long journey to find his redemption proves to be longer, and for Ram Pothineni, who wears his heart on the sleeve as Satya, it's another futile attempt and an unlucky debut in Tamil.

‘The Warriorr’ is running in theatres

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Printable version | Jul 16, 2022 8:58:19 am |