Rating: 3.5/10 (Not Mister, but Miser)
Release Date: April 14th, 2017
Cast: Varun Tej, Lavanya Tripathi, Hebah Patel, Nikitin Dheer, Harish Uthaman, Tanikella Bharani, 30 Years Industry Prudhvi, Shakalaka Shankar, Prince, Srinivas Reddy, Nasser, Murali Sharma, Shatru, Surekha Vani, Bhramaji, Banerjee, Fish Venkat, Satya, Priyadarshi, Madhu Mani,Raghubabu, Anand, Eeswari Rao, Ravi Prakash, Sripriya, Master Bharath, Shravan, Nagineedu, Chandramohan, Shafi, Mahadevan
Banner: Lakshmi Narasimha Productions
Screenplay-Direction: Sreenu Vaitla
Music: Mickey J Meyer
The much awaited day has arrived. Sreenu Vaitla is finally back with his movie Mister starring Varun Tej in the lead role. Does the movie mark the comeback of the comedy entertainer master? Let's find out
Story: A young man named Chai (Varun Tej) picks up the wrong girl at airport and takes her back to his house. Her name is Meera (Hebah Patel). Slowly but surely love blossoms between them and he proposes to her but she rejects him saying that she loves another guy named Siddharth (Prince Cecil). Heartbroken, he sends her away but ends up getting a call from Meera that their relationship has fallen apart and she needs his help.
So he comes to India and takes a bus to Karnataka and he meets a clueless girl named Chandramukhi (Lavanya Tripathi) who's been shunned from society and doesn't even know what a cell phone is. In the process of meeting her and eventually saving Meera, 3 gangs are after Chai, Meera, and Chandramukhi respectively.
Who are these gangs and why are they after the main characters? And how does Pichayya Naidu Sr. (Nazar) fit into all this forms the rest of "Mister"
Performances: Varun Tej is very good as Chai. It's a very good makeover for him and he impresses mightily with his comic timing. Varun delivers an all around performance and his build and frame makes him extremely believable in action sequences and he does a pretty good job in the emotional scenes too. He has tried to show flexibility in his dances moves and they're decent. He tried to put the movie on his shoulders but it's too weak for him to carry and keep it afloat.
Hebah Patel as Meera is ok. Her performance in the emotional scenes are not good at all. It looks as if she's half crying and laughing at the same time. Lavanya Tripathi is gorgeous as Chandramukhi and gives a commendable performance but one could argue this one of the worst characterizations in her career.
Nikitin Dheer is below average as the villain. Nagineedu and Tanikella Bharani are caricatures with their characterizations. They lack the necessary depth for villainy in the movie but blame the writers for poor characters.
Srinivas Reddy, Raghubabu, and Tejaswi Madivada bring the house down with a hilarious spoof on Oopiri. Prudhvi partly entertains as a film director in the latter part of the 1st half and 2nd half. Shakalaka Shankar is wasted as is Satyam Rajesh.
Nazar as Picchaya Naidu is ok. Chandramohan is brief and has about 3 scenes.
Anand, Eeswari Rao, Satyam Rajesh, Ravi Prakash, and Shymala are adequate as Varun Tej's family members. Harish Uthaman, Shatru, and Fish Venkat are average as Meera's family members.
Murali Sharama as Sri Krishna Devaraya has perhaps played the worst and most absurd character of his career in this film. It's actually his character that brings the movie down as a whole.
Pellichoopulu fame Priyadarshi and Sathya as doctors are brief. Brahmaji makes a blink and miss cameo as a cop.
To sum it up, there are way too many actors in this movie and none of the them make an impact except Varun Tej, Lavanya, Srinivas Reddy and Raghubabu.
Direction: No matter how bad a movie is and even if he had no part in the story discussions, the director is always going to be at the wrong end of the stick if a movie fails. Sreenu Vaitla has no where to hide. While it's unfair to put full blame on him because of writer Gopimohan's ridiculous story, Vaitla should have seen the farcical elements in the story and changed it up a lot. But instead he has directed a movie with some 50 plus recognizable actors and threw all of them into a painful and dreadful 2nd half. People just keep coming and going with no real aim and there's just too much confusion as to who's after who. I could understand what was going on since I'm well educated but for the common idiot who pays 50 rupees to watch the movie in Hyderabad probably had no idea what was going on. To sum it up, Sreenu Vaitla knew what he was doing for a good hour or 60 minutes and after that he was clueless. It was almost as if he knew the movie was not going nowhere and he gave up halfway through the filming. It's clearly evident with the output on the screen. Disastrous direction from Sreenu Vaitla and the slight ray of hope is slowly fading away in the deep hole Vaitla has dug himself into with his last two films.
Technicalities: Music and BGM by Mickey J Meyer is good. The songs are shot well but the item song just honestly makes you WTF were the makers thinking at that time? Cinematography by KV Guhan is the lifeline of the movie. The makers have promoted the film as a travel film and rightfully so the visuals are simply breathtaking whether it be Spain or Chikamagalur. He is the one bright spot in a film full of dark patches. Editing by MR Varma is a joke. The movie is a painful 2 hrs and 35 mins to sit through. To be honest, had he cut out half the nonsense in the 2nd half, Mister could easily have been told in 1hr and 50 minutes. Art by AS Prakash is flawless as usual. Another highlight would be the grand sets and filming locations. Fights by Stun Siva are good but way too over the top. Mister tries to show that Varun Tej is Superman and can single-handedly take on 50 goons with sickles and came out with less than a cut or stretch on his body. Dialogues by Sreedhar Seepana are good. Story by Gopimohan is the main culprit. It's a simple line with promise but it's stretched way too far with too many characters and stories into one. Production Values by Nallamalupu Bujji and Tagore Madhu are exquisite and it clearly shows on screen but they wasted their money on this one.
Verdict: This might be one of the longest analyses I'm ever gonna do so be prepared to read. I have a lot to discuss. So bear with me. My first question point is the teaser. Refreshing and different. We thought Vaitla had finally changed from his masala mixture and family entertainers. Then the trailer came and poured cold water on all the high hopes the teaser gave because it showed Vaitla's mixture is clearly still intact. Vaitla claims he has learned from his past mistakes but in reality the only thing he's learning is how to make a film with lower quality and content with each upcoming film of his.
If Aagadu was the tip of the iceberg poking a hole in the ship and Bruce Lee was midway of the ship sinking, then Mister is when it hits rick bottom.
Mister is a film with a lot of promise that's ruined by amateur execution and a story with a zillion subplots that deviate your attention from the main plot. But that might be the problem here. The main plot is so wafer thin that there's not much to show or tell the audience. How Varun Tej could accept such a farcical and ridiculous story is beyond me.
Also it's shocking and embarrassing to see that in wanting to change and learn from his past mistakes, Vaitla has forgotten how to do his job properly in the process! The direction in the film can be excused from a newcomer who has no idea what he's doing, not a star director known for making films like Venky, Ready, and Dookudu. It's really a shame to see how far Sreenu Vaitla has fallen. Then again with a bad story at hand, there's not much you can do.
The first half opens up immediately with Nazar and Tanikella Bharani's conflict with Nikitin Dheer helping out Bharani. This is one subplot introduced. Then Varun Tej is introduced as Chai and Hebah Patel comes in as Meera. The Spain episode is very entertaining and never makes you feel bored especially with Srinivas Reddy and the hilarious Oopiri spoof on Raghubabu.
After the twist is revealed about Meera, the film runs on predictable lines and the tempo slowly falls down and you expect it to come to a decent level by the interval. But Lavanya's introduction and a tediously 20 minute long pre-interval chase and fight sequence makes the 1st half end on a decent note.
Post the interval, Vaitla tries to show comedy by Shakalaka Shankar's Gandhi follower comedy which is poor in taste and doesn't evoke any laughter. In fact, in Vaitla film's the 2nd half is usually the lifeline and the highlight, but since Aagadu it has been the Achilles heel. Mister is no different. The film boasts of an entertaining first half and an absolutely insipid and disjointed 2nd half.
After the Gandhi comedy episode, we are taken on another chase sequence this time by the relatives of Lavanya and we are introduced to her flashback. She belongs to Sri Krishna Devaraya Radhavara lineage in Karantaka and is royalty. We are then introduced to Murali Sharma as the Maharaja Radhavara and he gives out orders for people to be beheaded as if he was the architect of the French Revolution where they beheaded the King with the guillotine. There's also a special sword that only a special man can take pull from a stone to behead these people. And remember, this is not an old Telugu movie. This is 2017. Really? Do these types of people still exist in India and give out these types of judgments? He also sits on top of a mountain in a weird set like it was from the Middle Ages. This episode is what sinks the movie and it never gets back. It is just fucking idiotic and it an assault on your senses. Murali Sharma eventually pulls the sword from the rock like he is King Arthur or the kid from the Sword of the Stone.
In the process, Varun Tej is sentenced to a death by beheading for helping Lavanya before Murali Sharma chops is head off, he is saved because the priest who arranged Lavanya's wedding stated that a boy with a mole of the right side of his waist will marry her and she will never face danger again. Before this, we have an item song slotted in and after the aforementioned scene above, we have an engagement ceremony between Varun and Lavanya and then the song Sayyori Sayyori.
In the middle of all this, it's revealed that Lavanya was actually engaged to Nikitin Dheer and his family but it's all a plan hatched by Nagineedu who is Murali Sharma's assistant to get back at Murali Sharma for killing his older son and he had to chop his head off due to his judgement and Nikitin is actually his younger son and he wants to eliminate Lavanya so Murali Sharma can feel the pain of losing a child. These are all the subplots and so called "twists" that go on in the film.
Towards the latter end, Varun reunites with Nazar who is his grandpa and he hates him because he thinks he caused his mom's death. Eventually Varun crosses paths with Nikitin and Tanikella Bharani and wins the fighting competition and keeps grandpas's land. Who he ends up choosing in the end is also another suspense waiting to be fulfilled.
Confused? A lot to read? Don't understand what I just wrote? If it was hard for you to follow and understand what I just wrote, then you can only imagine what it's like to watch on the screen as all these things unfold in the 2nd half of the movie!
Besides Varun Tej shining with a good performance, Mister has nothing new or good to offer. I think that's enough explaining to let me get to the conclusion.
Overall, Mister is a not apt title for the movie. Miser would have been far more apt as that's the experience you witness on screen. Poor direction, insipid and clueless writing with unlimited subplots and new characters coupled with a torturous and bland 2nd half play the spoilsport of what could have been a decent entertainer.
Blame Vaitla and Gopimohan for taking the audiences for granted. Watch Mister only if you really want to. But I can't guarantee you will be passing time wisely and your senses and brain are really going to hurt after watching it.