Rating: 5/10 (Realistic Emotions but a drag)
Cast: Naga Chaitanya, Samantha Akkineni, Divyanka Kaushik, Rao Ramesh, Subbaraju, Posnai Murali Krishna, Chaibisket Suhas, Atul Kulkarni, Ravi Prakash
Story-Screenplay-Dialogues-Direction: Shiva Nirvana
Producer: Sahu Garupati and Harish Peddi
Banner: Shine Screens
After two back to back debacles in Sailaja Reddy Alludu and Savyasachi, Naga Chaitanya is back with his latest film Majili. Directed by Ninnu Kori fame Shiva Nirvana, the movie costars his real life spouse Samantha and ironically the two plays husband and wife in the film. Does the film live up-to the expectations? Let's find out
Plot: Poorna (Naga Chaitanya) is a middle aged man who wanted to be an aspiring cricketer and is still in shock over a past love failure over a girl named Anshu (Divyanka Kaushik). In classic Telugu movie fashion, Anshu's father disapproves of their relationship. Poorna then gets married to Shravani (Samantha) who loves him unconditionally but Poorna cannot reciprocate the same level of affection. The rest of Majili film deals with what actually happened with Anshu and the relationship between Poorna and Shravani
Performances: Naga Chaitanya delivers his career best performance and he is very good in emotional scenes. He also has that youthful look and he looks the part as a young cricketer during the flashback and fits the bill.
Samantha as Shravani is excellent as always. The various emotions she portrays as a wife longing for her husband's love is superb. She only enters during the interval and pretty much carries the 2nd half. Debutante Divyanka Kaushik has good looks but does a terrible job with the lip sync in an adequate performance.
Subbaraju plays a negative role he's done a million times by now. Rao Ramesh and Posani are excellent as the fathers of Poorna and Shravani respectively. Atul Kulkarni does well and it;s nice to see him back in a Telugu film after a long gap.
Chaibisket Suhas is awesome as the friends sidekick and Ravi Prakash is adequate as Poorna's cricket coach.
Direction: Ninnu Kori was the first film by Shiva Nirvana and featured the theme of a man struggling to get over a failed relationship in his past. In Majili, the theme is exactly the same. The only difference between the two films is that the hero is married now instead of the girl he liked. Majili deals with the character of Poorna and his struggle to overcome the pain of his lover some 13 years ago. While certain emotions work, others don't. Some people will say that the emotions are realistic and so if the film, but those are remarks are simply false. The slow pace is another minus for the film. Usually if a film is gripping and has slow pace, the audience will excuse it. But Majili is like watching paint dry despite some excellent performances. It's unrealistic to expect entertainment in a film like this with this genre and theme. While Shiva had Nani who has impeccable comic timing in Ninnu Kori, here the story and emotions are all very serious which results in a serious film. In serious movies, the content must be gripping throughout for the audience to be hooked for the entirety. And in that case, Majili fails to deliver that. Overall, Shiva Nirvana tries his best to make an emotional and hard hitting story in which he partially succeeds but cannot hold the audiences interest for the entirety of the films' narrative.
Technicalities: Songs by Gopi Sundar and BGM by Thaman are good. The songs are good to listen to and a distraction on screen. Background Music somewhat makes up for it as it is soothing in places. Cinematography by Vishnu Sharma is alright. Nothing great or magnificent about the shots in the film. Dialogues by Shiva Nirvana are very good. Editing by Prawin Pudi is ok. At 154 minutes, Majili feels way too long for it's own good. Production Design by Sahi Suresh is good. Fights are well taken and realistic. Production Values by Shine Screens are grand.
+ Naga Chaitanya
+ Realistic Emotions
- Direction at parts
Final Take and Analysis: Majili garnered hype as it was both the first film of Naga Chaitanya and Samantha as a couple and the 2nd film of Shiva Nirvana after the huge success of Ninnu Kori. Shiva takes the basic love triangle and love failure of his film and tries to incorporate it here as well. But the result is an underwhelming love story with realistic emotions at times and not throughout the whole film.
The film starts off with Poorna and shows why he's essentially become Devadas. The flashback is crucial to the films plot but there are numerous times where the film will test your patience. Particularly with the twist of Subbaraju's character lusting for Anshu and the excessive 3 times that Poorna gets beaten up trying to protect Anshu. To be honest, no character in the film has any clarity or is practical in any way shape or form.
There's a scene where Anshu tries to convince Poorna to elope with her and he says I can't do that because I have cricket tomorrow.
And this girl questions him and says what's more important? Me or your career? The correct response would be bitch, I have my whole life and career ahead of me and I don't have time to sit here and think about it right now. And the fact that Poorna cannot forget Anshu despite 13 years passing (yes apparently they tell us it's been 13 years at some point in the film) is just ridiculous.
Realistically, most breakups and heartbreaks last a year or more and you get on with your life. But this guy is unable to forget after 13 years. Poorna isn't a character that makes you root for him or sympathize with him. Rather you'll probably be annoyed by him. Sharvani is much more likable character and she makes the film watchable to an extent. But as mentioned earlier, serious films needs gripping content throughout to engage the audience. And since Majili can only do this in parts, it falls apart as one cohesive narrative despite the realistic emotions.
Overall, Majili makes for an adequate watch with realistic emotions but has a painfully slow narrative. Watch it only if you like Naga Chaitanya or Samantha. But don't be surprised if you feel restless or your patience being tested at any point throughout the film.