Rating: 2/10 (Nonsense)
The latest entrant of the Akkineni family of telugu cinema is Akkineni Akhil. After having a stunning cameo where he stole the show with his riveting screen presence in Manam, Akhil has finally become a full-fledged male lead in this awkwardly titled film. Did he succeed? Nope. Find out why in this review
Story: There is a powerful artifact named Jua. The story begins thousands of years ago with a voice narrating how the Earth would face destruction in future due to the powerful UV rays of the Sun. A few Saints in India foresee this destruction and they make a sphere with the most powerful and strong metals which possesses an immense power that absorbs the harmful UV rays and it protects the Earth. Since it has to be placed at the Earth's equator, they give the sphere to a tribe in Congolia,Africa. They leave but warn them that it should be kept at the Earth's equator during every Solar eclipse and if they miss even one of the eclipses, then the earth will face major destruction.The African tribe names the sphere as Jua meaning Sun in African culture.
Cut to present day and a Russian don wants the artifact so he can can rule the world or so he thinks and he needs the help of Mahesh Manjrekar to get it. Mahesh's daughter is Divya (Sayesha Saigal). Enter our hero Akhil (Akkineni Akhil) and viola he falls in love with Divya who is a medical student and claims he studied veterinary medicine at Cambridge and she blindly believes him and then he goes as far as stopping her marriage with Kishore(Vennela Kishore). They then go to Spain and some African guys kidnap Divya cause she helped some dude who knows where Jua is and then Akhil finds out and wants to rescue his lady love and goes to Africa himself. How the tribe reacts after seeing Akhil and how the whole Jua situation is solved forms the rest of this dreadful film.
Performances: First things first, Akhil Akkineni looks just like Amala and has no resemblance to his superstar father Nagarjuna in terms of looks. He dances like a dream, is excellent in fights, and has a good voice that he can put to use. If he plans it right from now on, he can make it big. Akhil has all the qualities to the be the next gen superstar of Telugu cinema but in terms of acting and expressions, he has a long way to go. A decent debut that showcases his strengths and weaknesses effectively.
Sayesha Saigal is also decent and is a good dancer. Rajendra Prasad is wasted in a role that easily ranks among the worst of his career. Vennela Kishore doesn't entertain. Madhu and the friends batch are irritating. Brahmi only makes things worse.
Saptagiri is there for one odd scene. Jaya Prakash Reddy is wasted. Mahesh Manjrekar is useless. The dude who did the Russian don is a joke and the African guy who speaks Telugu is too funny to take seriously.
Really, do African people know Telugu? Besides Akhil and barring Sayesha, the performances in this movie are so bad you want to hit your head on a wall.
Technicalities: Music by Anoop Rubens and Thaman (1 song) are a saving grace for the film. Cinematography by Amol Rathod is world class. His visuals are the highlight of this movie. Dialogues by Kona Venkat sound like a 10 year old speaking Telugu. They're horrendous and add no value to the movie. Can't blame Gautham Raju for editing the movie since it's only 121 minutes and the songs are about 25 minutes of the film. Choreography by Jani Master is excellent. Art by AS Prakash for the Jua ball is nice. Story by Veligonda Srinivas is promising but is criminally executed. Screenplay by VV Vinayak is a freaking joke. It shouldn't be called a screenplay, it's called nonsense. Full blame is on him. Fights by Ravi Varma are well composed and shot. Production Values by Nithin are amazing but he wasted 50 crores on this one.
Analysis: I don't even know where to start. The films starts off with a background about Jua and what it can do. And one would think the movie would be told interestingly and carry on with that story. But instead Akhil is introduced in a fight and then his "romance" with Sayesha Saigal is shown for the 1st half. Generally, romance tracks are often misogynistic or realistic in Telugu films, usually the former about 97% of the time, but I don't even have words to describe what the romantic track in this film can be termed as. It's just pure bullocks. The fact the Divya blindly believes that Akhil went to Cambridge and studied veterinary medicine is just too stupid to believe. The rabbit surgery scene is over the top and nonsensical. The entire first half treads on like this and the only difference is that they go to Spain for a change of scenery and for some odd reason to continue their romance. They don't tell you why they go to Spain. They just go.
And the interval is so predictable and you think maybe it could get better in the 2nd half but it really doesn't and a laughable climax makes things even worse with the CGI. I've seen children's cartoons with better graphics than the one in that scene. This movie is honestly so badly made, it just gives you a headache because you're trying to come to terms with what you're watching. One category of Telugu films are often made without logic and told in an entertaining manner. The other category are films that serious and are story based and contain certain logics and have a certain meaning about them.
Akhil fits into neither category and what results is a painstakingly boring and awful cinematic experience. A film with a story like this needs a solid grip on the story and have racy narration. At 121 minutes, the narration is tediously slow and you wonder when the film is gonna end. Full blame must go to VV Vinayak for delivering something that's equivalent to shit or trash. This is easily his worst film and he's a director who can cleverly blend comedy and action and make it an entertaining watch for the audience. But after watching the first 10 minutes of Akhil, it's clear that he had no idea wtf he was doing when making this movie. Maybe he was on some drugs. Kona's dialogues don't help whatsoever. I truly feel bad for Akhil and I'm truly confused as to how he and Nagarjuna accepted to do such a ridiculous film in the first place. Despite Akhil's sincere efforts to keep the audience engaged in the movie, his efforts are in vain.
On a whole, Akhil-The Power of Jua is a nonsensical film with no logic, illogical treatment, insipid direction, horrendous dialogues, terrible performances and no entertainment value whatsoever. Akhil chose the wrong debut vehicle and this is easily the most disastrous debut he could have dreamed. For Akhil's sincere efforts and the cinematography, I'm going with 2/10 for this nonsensical film.
The only good part of this movie is when Nagarjuna appears and dances alongside his son in the Akkineni Akkineni song. But skip this one and watch that video song on Youtube. This is 121 minutes you will never get back and I guarantee you will be frustrated after watching this film.