Rating: 7.5/10 (Amazing Action Drama)
Cast: Prabhas, Shreya Saran, Bhanupriya, Shafi, Ajay, Shekhar, Pradeep Rawat, Narendra Jha, Kota Srinivas Rao, Venu Madhav, Jaya Prakash Reddy
Screenplay-Direction: SS Rajamouli
Producer: BVSN Prasad
Banner: Sri Venkateswara Cine Creations
Before the time of Baahubali, SS Rajamouli and Prabhas joined hands for a film titled Chatrapathi. Was their first film in this record breaking combination as good as Baahubali? Let's find out
Plot: In Sri Lanka, Telugu people are being oppressed and are being relocated to a port in Vizag which is controlled by a rowdy leader and his brother. Among these people are Sivaji (Prabhas), his brother Ashok (Shafi) and his mother (Bhanupriya). The rest of the story is what happens betweens the 3 of them and how Sivaji eventually rises agasint the oppression of the port and becomes the mass savior of the port people, Chatrapathi Sivaji.
Performances: Till now you have seen Prabhas in soft and subtle roles with action. But in this film, you will see a lion unleashed from it's cage. Prabhas is an absolute firecracker in this film and delivers his best performance to date in this film. He is absolutely phenomenal in all aspects and is simply god like in action sequences. His performance in the interval scene will be remembered for the rest of Telugu cinema history.
Shriya is highly seductive and decent as the heroine.
Shafi gets a role with grey shades and is very impressive in his role.
Bhanupirya is excellent as the mother and the mother-son sentiment makes you cry at times.
Pradeep Rawat and Narendra Jha as the villains are adeqaute. Kota Srinivas Rao is good as Appal Naidu. Venu Madhav is hilarious with his Aparachitudu spoof. Supreet makes an impact as Katraju.
Direction: SS Rajamouli has already proven his mettle in dealing with emotional action dramas. He knows the mass pulse and churns out another amazing action entertainer laced with emotions. Chatrapathi is not just a mass film, but more of a family drama with action hogging the limelight. Rajamouli cleverly uses the mother-son sentiment for the audience to sympathize with the characters and he is an expert at creating hero elevation scenes and interval scenes. The interval scene in this film will be remembered as perhaps one of the top 10 best interval scenes not just in Telugu cinema, but in all of Indian cinema history. His direction is phenomenal and the story by K Vijayendra Prasad is very good as well.
Technicalities: Music and BGM by MM Keeravani is excellent. Cinematography by KK Senthil Kumar is phenomenal. Art by Ravinder is very good especially for the village sets. Dialogues by M Rathnam are exquisite, especially in the interval scene. Editing by Kotaigiri Venkateswara Rao is fine. Fights by Peter Heins are extraordinary. The action sequences particularly the Supreet fight and pre interval fight stand out. Production Values by BVSN Prasad are grand and the film looks rich from the first frame to the last.
+ Direction by Rajamouli
+ Action Sequences
+ Emotional Content
+ Interval Scene
- Not much to be honest possibly runtime
Analysis and Verdict: If you can make a film where the audience can feel the pain of the characters they're watching, you know you've won half the battle. If you can make the audience root for the hero and get the audience behind him, then you you've won the entire battle. Now what happens if you get a film where you have both instances? The result is a film like Chatrapathi.
As mentioned before, Rajamouli has already shown his mass touch with Simhadri and his ability to follow it up with strong emotions and let action take the forefront. Chatrapathi is no different. He extracts an excellent performance from Prabhas and has directed a story that makes you sympathize with it from the first frame to the last.
The film starts off in Sri Lanka establishing the characters, their traits and showcasing their oppression. Prabhas' introduction scene is superb and the film takes some time to get into its stride. Only after the introduction of Katraju played by Supreet does the film takes a 360 turn and becomes action packed. The pre-interval fight is world class and emotionally charged whereas the interval scene is truly film-making at it's pulse and will have you hair rising and blood rushing throughout the scene. The 2nd half is more or less equally as good as the first half and a massive action packed emotional climax tops the film off and it ends on a happy note.
Overall, Chatrapathi is an amazing emotional action drama and has Rajamouli's mark written all over it. Excellent direction, Prabhas's ferocious performance, the fights, and the emotional content make it one of Rajamouli's finest works ever. Watch it.