Telugu cinema Reviews

Katamarayudu: One-man show

A scene from the film  

If you are a big star and playing the son of the soil, you play it with a force that will make Rohit Shetty shudder. Shetty, the man who tosses up many SUVs on screen, wouldn’t have thought of a sequence where the cars stay up in the air until the hero finishes delivering his punches and then return to the ground, in quick succession.

When Pawan Kalyan sends SUVs flying by a mere thud, you wonder which hero you’re watching. This is Rayalaseema and the actor is showcasing the power of the region. The man at the receiving end is sent flying across the house on to the gate. On his way to the village, he’s hurled a farmer and his humble cart into slush. Can he be spared?

Katamarayudu’s brothers — played by Ajay, Kamal Kamaraju, Chaitanya and Siva Balaji — adore him. This inimitable force guards the village. But what’s a story of just five men? The older brother steers clear of women. He doesn’t fall in love and won’t let his brothers either.

Kishore Kumar Pardasani’s film tries to blend in romance, a question of violence vs. non-violence and family sentiment with a liberal dose of masala.

An eccentric, blood thirsty Rao Ramesh has revenge on his mind. Another guy waits to avenge the blows meted out to his brother. But they both need to wait, because the brothers are busy trying to make Katamarayudu fall in love with a girl who likes classical music and dance because, wait, in his teens Katamarayudu had fallen for one such girl.

You laugh when the brothers make Shruti Haasan believe that Katamarayudu knows bird language and practices yoga, though it looks extremely silly. The proposal scene where the awkward Katamarayudu says he’ll gift her with his favourite cow is fun. The scene on the railway platform where the brothers and the lawyer (Ali) introduce Katamarayudu to their respective girlfriends is a riot. Much later, in a desolated village fort, Katamarayudu finishes off a gang as he plays hide and seek with a little girl. The songs are catchy and there are several clap-worthy masala moments, hugely helped by Pawan Kalyan’s charismatic presence. It’s a one-man show. Watch him mimic Rao Ramesh. He’s having fun and it shows.

Beyond that, the film gets somewhat grating. The bad guy we saw earlier is nowhere in the picture later because there’s another gang at work. The lack of coherence (remake of the Tamil film Veeram) is a dampener.

Shruti Haasan comes up with another elegant performance, holding her own in Pawan’s presence. Barring her and Nasser, others don’t make an impact. The brothers remain in the background, without a scope to shine.

Katamarayudu

Cast: Pawan Kalyan, Shruti Haasan

Direction: Kishore Kumar Pardasani

Music: Anup Rubens


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Printable version | Jun 17, 2021 5:41:17 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/katamarayudu-rides-on-pawan-kalyans-presence/article17643121.ece

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