Rating: 7/10 (Grand Film)
Cast: Mahesh Babu, Shriya, Keerthi Reddy, Prakash Raj, Raja, Smt. Sarita, Murali Mohan, Kalabhavan Mani, Rajan P Dev, Nassar, Kalabhavan Mani, Veerendra Chouhan, Smt. Kamala Krishna Murthy, Jyothy, Ganesh
Producer: G. Ramesh Babu
Banner: Krishna Films Pvt. Ltd
Back in 2004, Mahesh Babu and Gunashekar joined hands for the 2nd film in their combination after the blockbuster Okkadu. Titled Arjun, it was the tale of a doting brother who loves his sister very much. How does the film fare? Let's find out in this review
Plot: When his twin sister Meenakshi (Keerthi Reddy) gets married to the son (Raja) of a scheming Madurai couple (Prakash Raj and Saritha), her brother Arjun (Mahesh Babu) starts to get suspicious of their activities and tries to protect her. What happens next forms the rest of Arjun.
Performances: Mahesh Babu is superb as Arjun. He looks dashing in every frame and is outstanding the emotional sequences between him and his sister. His ease in action sequences is clearly visible and he does a great jpb throughout the movie. He has sported a crop style look throughout the movie and it works well.
Shreya as the heroine is decent. Keerthi Reddy does a fabulous job in her role as Meenakshi. It's her role the movie revolves around.
Prakash Raj and Saritha are excellent as the scheming in-laws and play their roles to perfection.
Murali Mohan and the other actress who play's Mahesh and Keerthi's mother are competent. Raja is ok. Late actor Kalabhavan Mani plays the role of an assassin and he is fine.
Direction: Direction by Gunashekar is very good. He has chosen a sentimental plot and directed in a stunning way. The screenplay is superb as some of the scenes created stand out and some of the shots are just absolutely mind-blowing. The opening scene in particular is incredible and sets the stage for the entire film. The fact that no one ever calls Mahesh Babu by his name throughout the whole movie is another example of his brilliance. He has utilized the star power and screen presence of Mahesh Babu to a good extent and extracts superb performances from his supporting cast to make Arjun a good watch.
Technicalities: Music and BGM by Mani Sharma are flawless. The BGM in particular stands out. Cinematography by Sekhar Vincent in phenomenal. His visuals in the opening sequence and the Madurai episodes are grand and amazing. Dialogues by Parachuri Brothers bode well for the film. This is probably the one film where the art department will have stood out as the best technical department. Hatsoff to Thota Tharani garu for recreating the iconic Madurai Meenakshi temple in a grand set that was designed just for the film. The detailing and grandeur of set is just spectacular and the construction and design of it makes you think it's actually the real temple itself. Despite, the grand construction and look of the set, I feel that the set was not used to the maximum extent. Fights by Vijayan are good but so unrealistic. Way too much of wires and ridiculous CGI and gravity defying kicks take away from the fun. Editing by Sreekar Prasad is alright but the film is a little long at 2 hrs and 47 mins. Production Values by G. Ramesh Babu (Mahesh Babu's brother) are incredible. At the time it was made, Arjun was the most expensive Telugu film ever.
+ Mahesh Babu
+ Cast Performances
+ Production Values-specifically Madurai Meenakshi Set
- Slow Pace and Runtime
- Terrible CGI
Analysis and Final Verdict: In Tollywood we have seen a lot of films with brother-sister sentiment and how they have a love hate relationship but they will go to any extent for each other. Arjun follows the same path but here the difference is the star and the performances of the cast and the taking.
The film starts off in a stunning way with Mahesh Babu and his bloodied face and a blood stained sickle on a bridge. The narrator of the film is Mahesh Babu's Arjun. The opening scene creates such curiosity and anxiety that you want to know why Mahesh is a on a bridge hacking away at goons.
The film takes a turn when Mahesh gets suspicious of his in-laws and from there on, Gunashekar builds a certain suspense which leads up to the two most crucial episodes in the film, the Madurai Meenakshi episode and the climax when everything comes full circle.
This movie is worth a watch for Mahesh Babu, the production values and the good taking of Gunashekar. The pace and terrible graphics hamper the proceedings a bit but overall, one would feel satisfied at the end.
Overall, Arjun is a grand film packed with sentiment and action and is definitely worth a watch. If you have the time, definitely give it a watch and you won't be disappointed.