The Sankranti festivities are here and the Telugu film industry seems to be filled with an upbeat vibe. Adding to the fervour is Mahesh Babu’s Sarileru Neekevvaru, which is Tollywood’s big-ticket release this season. Directed by Anil Ravipudi of F2 fame, the film’s trailers promised a high octane mass entertainer for the superstar’s fans. Bringing the curtains down on a long wait, the eagerly-anticipated film hit screens on Saturday amid much hype and frenzy.
Sarileru Neekevvaru review:
In one of the initial scenes, Major Ajay Krishna, played by Mahesh Babu, leads his team into a terror camp in Kashmir to rescue a group of child hostages. After sneaking into the enemy’s room, the Major, while taking guard, nonchalantly croons “Hum Tum Ek Kamre Mein Band Ho”, to leave the terrorists, colleagues, and the audience befuddled. From what we understand, the vocals are indicative of the character’s “swag”. Nothing to take away from the actor’s dapper look as an Army man though.
A major portion of the first half is dedicated to a sequence on a train journey. The scenes are primarily intended to evoke laughter but end up being an assortment of cringe-worthy jokes. While the first 40-odd minutes of Sarileru Neekevvaru is certainly not devoid of such awkward moments, the film begins to take the right shape when the plot progresses towards its core.
Deployed on a special purpose to Kurnool, Ajay Krishna lands to meet Bharati, a medical professor played by Vijayashanti. In the process, the Major gets embroiled in a heated tussle with thug-cum-politician Nagendra, who rules the town at his will. What follows is an interesting set of events that sees Mahesh Babu jump into terrific form. The actor hits it out of the park with a mighty-impressive concoction of effortless comic timing and intense action. Music director Devi Sri Prasad and cinematographer Ratnavelu deserve a special mention for blending in their art wonderfully well into Anil Ravipudi’s work. The pre-interval fight, for example, is one of the movie’s best scenes that send the actor’s fans into a tizzy.
The second half of Sarileru Neekevvaru deals with the conflict between the leads as Major Ajay Krishna delves to accomplish the task he’s been deputed on. High on action, entertainment, and elevations, the act keeps the viewers seated and once again draws its biggest strength from Mahesh. The actor also springs a pleasant surprise with some sassy moves in the peppy number ‘Mind Block’.
The director though rides onto a messy turf in the climax; much similar to what was witnessed in his previous film F2 as well. The convoluted treatment handed over to the antagonist and the love track (if we may call it so) between Mahesh Babu and Rashmika Mandanna play the spoilsport, and somewhat chip away at the well-raised stakes until then.
However, despite the aforementioned shortcomings, Sarileru Neekevvaru manages to keep the viewers engaged, thanks majorly to its leading man Mahesh Babu. From a lesser critical point-of-view, the film comes as a commercial entertainer (sticks to what the trailers promised) and possesses all the right ingredients to emerge as a massive winner this Sankranti.
Sarileru Neekevvaru one-line-review:
Go watch this commercial potboiler. You wouldn’t want to miss Mahesh Babu and his impeccable act this festive season.