April 30th, 2022
After a gap of 2.5 years, Megastar Chiranjeevi is finally back with his latest action drama Acharya which is based on temple endowments scams in the Telugu states. In what is one of the biggest multistarrers of the year along with RRR, it sees Mega Powerstar Ram Charan share the screen with Chiranjeevi for the 1st time in a full length role after cameos together in Magadheera and Bruce Lee. Also featuring Kajal Aggarwal and Pooja Hegde as Chiru and Charan's love interests respectively, Acharya is directed by Koratala Siva who's the best at blending social issues with commercial elements in his movies. It also marks the return of legendary music composer Mani Sharma in a big Telugu film and with Chiru after 16 years since Stalin and it also has real life hero Sonu Sood playing a role. With this many exciting factors surrounding it, can Acharya live upto the hype and deliver a huge blockbuster to all sections of the Telugu audience? Let's find out in this review.
A reformed naxalite named Acharya (Chiranjeevi) enters the ancient temple town named Dharmasthali and tries to end the atrocities the people face due to the evil business partners Basava (Sonu Sood) and Rathod (Jisshu Sengupta) who also have some past history with Siddha (Ram Charan).
After RRR, Acharya is another MULTI STARRER which sees the first time father and son share the screen in full length roles.
Chiranjeevi is STRICTLY ADEQUATE as Acharya. The role is so poorly written and has no reedamable qualities to even care for his motive or root for him. There's no proper energy, dialogue delivery, swag, or anything in the role that's assoicated with Megastar's forte. His legendary screen presence is the only thing that tries to hold the proceedings together and surprisingly, the film has not ulitized Chiranjeevi the actor or the Megastar that he is. Overall, it's a quite disappointing fare and subtle acting Koratala movies are known for do not suit Chiranjeevi at all.
Ram Charan is FINE. He has improved tremendously in recent years and RRR is just a sample of the potential he has an actor going forward. In Acharya, he's probably the best part of the movie as his screen presence is tremendous and the intensity in the acton scenes is maintained superbly. But as a character, Siddha has nothing to offer and does not make much of an impact. It's written somehwat better than Acharya and perhaps that's the reason we feel Siddha is the better character and Ram Charan acted better. All in all, there's nothing much to take home about the performance, it's more the screen presence than anything.
Pooja Hegde is wasted in an iconsequential role as Neelambari that lasts no more than 5 minutes. It's high time filmmakers start understanding her superstardom and writing better characters for her to perform in and not just be the glam doll or damsel in distress in every time.
Sonu Sood is useless. Throughout the pandemic he's become the biggest real life hero and saved so many going through a crisis and while it's nice to see him back in a big Telugu movie after a long gap, his characterization is lifeless and outdated as Basava. Ravi Shankar's dubbing is the only good thing about his role.
Jisshu Sengupta is equally as useless. He's as good as a cardboard or cartoon villain. Such outdated and routine villainy.
Ajay is adequate as the leader of Padhagattam.
Everybody else in the cast from Kishore, Raghu Babu, Tanikella Bharani, Shatru, Banerjee, Ravi Prakash, Satyadev, are all USELESS.
Lastly, Regina Cassandra sizzles in the item song Saana Kastam and adds some color and life to the narrative.
To be honest, I DO NOT THINK Koratala Siva directed this film because it's atrocious. Direction is ATROCIOUS, HORRENDOUS, INSIPID, AND OUTDATED. There's no story, screenplay, direction or anything going on. Koratala's writing itself is illogical and all the other scenes are so bad you can't wait for the movie to end. It's hard to believe that somebody who created a niche for himself with 4 back to back hits with superstars could have made something so bad and outdated. The story itself is as old as the Earth and same old story of downtrodden people in a land waiting for a savior to rescue them. While movies like KGF make such stories entertaining through brilliant shot making and background music. He has wasted both superstars in Chiranjeevi and Ram Charan and shockingly, NOT A SINGLE SCENE IN THE MOVIE IS REDEEMABLE OR WORTH MENTIONING. The writing is so bad and the screenplay is outright EMBARASSING. Neither the director, actors, or the technicians have put in a good shift and Acharya is an outright failure and kankara rod in every way possible. Having a star like Chiranjeevi, Koratala has not used either the star or actor and that in itself is probably the biggest failure. Dumb characters, asburd setting, appaling dialogues, bad action sequences, and caricatures for villains is Acharya summed up. It's a failure on every level possible and once again, I do not believe Koratala Siva directed this movie. It's a prank at best.
After a long absence from a star hero film for 10 years (Racha), Mani Sharma finally makes his return to the big stage and pairs up with Chiranjeevi after 16 years since Stalin in Acharya. Music is DECENT but the BGM is A COLOSSAL DISAPPOINTMENT. I remember the Mani Sharma who gave instant goosebumps with countless films back in the early 2000's and to put it quite frankly, it's an EXTREMELY EMBARRASING display from the legendary music director. As a die hard fan nand him being my favorite music director of all time, it's very painful to see the output he gave. BGM is OUTRAGEOUSLY BAD. Not a single scene gives you a high due to worst BGM and output.
Cinematography by Thiru is EXCELLENT. His visuals are one of the only bright spots overall. The color palette and visuals in the climax fight are a FEAST for the eyes.
Production Design by Suresh Selvarajan is SUPERB but not WORLD CLASS. The main reason being is that because the film itself isn't good, the Dharmasthali set feels artificial and everything else going on. While Suresh has done a tremendous job in recreating a fictional temple town, the effort becomes lost in vain by the end. The Paddhagattam village set is also superb designed and extremely well done. And it's very sad to see such hard work and brilliance go to waste due to the incompetence of the story.
Editing by Navin Nooli is AWFUL. Not a single scene flows in the movie and everything feels forced.
Action Sequences by Rax Laxman and Vijay are HORRENDOUS. All them are badly composed and most of the stunts are extremely comical. Costume Design by Sushmita Konidela and Rajesh Kamarsu is good.
Choreography by Dinesh, Shekar, and Prem Rakshit is AWFUL. Except for Bhale Bhale Banjara to an extent, not a single song utilizes Chiru or Charan's dancing capabilities.
Sound Design by Sync Cinema is bad. Due to the BGM being bad, the sound design makes no difference.
Production Values by Konidela Production Company and Matinee Entertainments are EXTRAVAGANT and Acharya is visually brilliant.
+ Ram Charan
+ Production Design
+ Saana Kastam song
- Music and BGM
- Everything Else
When Acharya was first announced, the audience got excited because Koratala Siva was going to be directing Chiranjeevi and it seemed like a sure shot minimum guarantee film due to the combo. But owing to production delays due to Covid and Chiru still filming Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy, Acharya was plagues by continuous delays and problems. A film that started in 2018 finally sees the day of light in 2022 and during the lockdown in 2020, Koratala Siva apparently rewrote the script to accodamate a 15 minute guest role of Siddha to the length of 1 hour and make it a full length role for Ram Charan to act with his dad Chiranjeevi.
A temple town set spanning 20 acres was built for the film and made rounds across the industry and became the talk of the town and its one of the biggest sets ever created for a film in Indian film history. What also sparked hype was that Mani Sharma, the legendary music director who ruled Tollywood from the 2000-2010 was making a comeback with a Chiranjeevi movie and their combo delivering 11 super hit musical albums and their first film together since Stalin back in 2006. With this many positive factors and hype surrounding the movie, Acharya had everything going for it.
But now that the film has released, not a single thing about it is good. Within the first 15 minutes, you know something off and the Laahe Laahe song is the most forced thing you'll see in a movie for a while. And everything from there on in goes from bad to worse. There's no story, no screenplay, no direction, and a frankly embarassing performance from Chiranjeevi makes you extremely bored. Not even Mr. Bean's eye trick in Mr. Beans Holiday could keep you awake and Acharya is a great cure for insomnia.
In a film that's so bad, it's pretty hard to find even one positive thing to talk about. Ram Charan clearly has more energy and has the better character but everything associated with a Koratala Siva film is missing in Acharya. It's that bad and SHOCKING.
Koratala's films are known for blending social issues and commercial elements in the perfect mix of class and mass and Acharya isn't class or mass, it's nothing in the end. The writing is so bad and the screenplay is even worse. There's not a single worthy moment in the movie except for the interval bang, Saana Kastam song, and Bhale Bhale Banjara which are way too far and between for a film like Acharya. It's so incredibly bad you'll be left wondering, did Koratala Siva actually direct this film?
With everything being a complete misfire, there's little to salvage in Acharya despite the extravagant sets and two superstars at the help. Everybody in the cast and crew are wasted and nothing works.
Overall, Acharya is an unholy (Adharmasthali) experience for the audience. Almost every single thing in Acharya is incredibly bad and there's little to salvage.
We have a contender for worst movie of the year with Radhe Shyam and I can safely say after watching Acharya, Radhe Shyam seems like a masterpiece. That's how boring, outdated, and bad it is. Chiranjeevi, Ram Charan, Pooja Hegde, and Koratala Siva deserve way better and Acharya is a film the cast and the audience will want to forget.
Perhaps the Men In Black should visit your theater to use a neuralyzer to make you forget you even watched this atrocity of a film in the first place.
- Teja Rao, die hard Telugu movie fan.