Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy: Chiranjeevi is fiery, the film not so much

Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy is an attempt to make something like Sivaji Ganesan’s Veerapaandiya Kattabomman (which Chiranjeevi has said he’s a big admirer of) in the age of Baahubali. It’s hard not to think of Baahubali, in terms of what this film aspires to be. Take note of, for one, the expansive cast, which includes Amitabh Bachchan playing a village priest/advisor. There’s Tammannaah in this film too, who makes the sort of angry face we saw her do quite a few times in the Rajamouli film. She has a better role here though. There’s Nasser somewhere; there’s Sudeep, who again, has a better role in this film; there’s Anushka Shetty in a cameo. In fact, as she bellows to no one in particular and heralds the arrival of this film’s hero, Uyyalawada Narasimha Reddy (Chiranjeevi), you could almost squint and see her doing the same when Baahubali storms into Mahishmathi. There are, of course, all the lavish battle sequences with liberal use of aerial shots in an attempt to flaunt the scale. There are a couple of love stories here too, and in perhaps the biggest similarity, an attempt to build a mythical hero from the first scene.

He’s a god among men, as the film would have it. Anushka Shetty’s character refers to him as ‘Renaati sooryudu’ (the sun of Renadu), which explain those lingering silhouette shots of Chiranjeevi, as the big, round sun bears down on us from behind him. The term is also a reference to the 2015 book, Renati Surya Chandrulu, which I imagine helped the makers with a lot of research. The filmmakers have clearly taken a lot of liberty though, as indicated before the film with a disclaimer almost as long as the film. Narasimha Reddy is introduced to us as an almost mythical character who was born dead, but is resurrected by the forces of nature—a thunder, to be specific. This is a film that labours quite evidently to try and be an epic. The hype around Narasimha is quite loud, quite early. However, the writing in this film never truly offers you the sort of satisfying payoffs that a Baahubali did so regularly. This isn’t Chiranjeevi’s fault at all; he puts in a serious shift. He’s all passion and fire especially when he’s delivering the sort of monologues I imagine people did when the audience could not be distracted by mobile phones.

(Continued in below link)

For the remainder of this review (and there’s a lot more left, I assure you), please visit https://www.cinemaexpress.com/reviews/telugu/2019/oct/02/sye-raa-narasimha-reddy-movie-review-chiranjeevi-is-fiery-the-film-not-so-much-14664.html

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