Rating: 5/10 (Watchable)
The first big summer release, Powerstar Pawan Kalyan's Katamarayudu has arrived. Does the film live up to the expectations? It does if you can excuse some things. Find out why in this unbiased review.
Story: Katamarayudu (Pawan Kalyan) is a village head who is the eldest of 5 brothers. His brothers all have secret girlfriends and they want to marry them but their elder brother has a restriction placed that they can't married until he does. So his brothers try to see if he liked anyone in the past and he used to like a girl named Avanthika. They find a girl with the same name and she turn out to be Shruthi Hassan. After some amateur romance between her and Katamarayudu, love blossoms. But she realizes there's more than meets the eye to him and she can't accept his violent ways. How Katamarayudu wins her back and solves all her family problems forms the rest of the story.
Performances: As expected with any big hero film nowadays, it's a one man show by the superstar Pawan Kalyan. He makes a roaring comeback after Sardaar and he is simply superb. His histrionics, dialogue delivery, and new look are all very impressive. He is impeccable in fights as usual and still has that great comic timing on hand. His dances though makes you cringe and you'll want to slap the dance master for composing such bad steps. It's Powerstar's show from start to finish and it will be a feast if you are a fan.
Shruthi Hassan looks gorgeous as Avanthika and is decent in her role. Siva Balaji, Kamal Kamaraju, Krishna Chaitanya, and Ajay are ok as the brothers.
Ali provides some good laughs throughout and he is back in form. Prudhvi is good at bringing in some laughs as well as Sarvam from NASA.
Tarun Arora is weak as the villain and plays a character similar to the one in Khaidi no 150.
Rao Ramesh steals the show as Nagappa. His slang, body language, and dialogue delivery are too good and it's hilarious the way he repetitively says "Kaani Kaani Kaani".
Pradeep Rawat and Mahendran of Theri fame are ok as the other villains. Nasser does a typical good father role and he is adequate.
Technicalities: Pawan Kalyan and Mahesh Babu are two stars who have always had musical hits irrespective of whether the movie was a hit or flop. There are some forgettable albums in Powerstar's career and Katamarayudu gives tough competition for the being the worst one. Music and BGM by Anup Rubens are a massive disappointment. Except Mira Mira Meesam and Lage Lage, none of the songs have even .000001% repeat value. The music is the biggest drawback for the film when it's usually supposed to help enhance the movie experience. All the songs have not been shot well. Art by Bhrama Kadali is excellent. Cinematography by Prasad Murella is good. Editing by Gautham Raju is fine. Dialogues are good for the most part. Fights by Ram Lakshman were given a lot of hype and they are just about ok. They lack originality and defy gravity and too over the top for one to take seriously. Direction by Dolly is good in my opinion. Production Values by Sharath Marar are just adequate.
Thoughts and Analysis: When watching a Pawan Kalyan film, you look for his mannerisms, charisma, and powerful screen presence and fan worthy moments. Katamaryudu has them all. And after reading the reviews by Greatandhra and Gulte and watching the film today, I feel that they have something agaisnt Pawan Kalyan. Katamarayudu if I had to be honest, is a fun film from start to finish packed with all the masala needed for a commerical entertainer.
I have seen Veeram but it's not ethical to compare the two films. In my opinion, Pawan Kalyan was more entertaining in this remake than Ajith was in the original becuase Ajith was a bit one dimensional and didn't have much scope to showcase comic timing whereas Powerstar's comic timing is on full display here.
Dolly stayed true to the original and the changes he has made are the addition of Rao Ramesh's character and changing the occupation of the herione from a painter to a dancer. It's pretty much a frame to frame copy that entertains for the most part.
The 1st half is extremely entertaining with the brothers' plan to get Katamarayudu to fall in love. Interval bang is good minus the horrendous CGI in the train fight. The 2nd half is entertaining up until they reveal the villains motive and the pre climax and climax sequences do feel a bit rushed. But that's because there's nothing left in the story to tell. Dolly did a good job and everyone did their part to make a good films. But sadly the "critics" think otherwise.
Overall, Katamarayudu is a feast for Pawan Kalyan's fans and it is his one man show. Despite an outdated story and routine narration, Katamarayudu is a one time watchable fare that entertains to an extent.
At the end of the day, when a film entertains you for the 2 or 2.5 hours you sit in the theater to enjoy, what more could you ask for? You may watch it for timepass.
Bottomline: Strictly Ok but still Watchable