Rating: 8/10 (Powerful Action Entertainer)
Actor Raviteja has created his own brand of entertainment with his hilarious antics and amazing energy. He has now teamed up with top director SS Rajamouli for a film titled Vikramarkudu. The film was released on June 23rd, 2006. How does it fare? Find out in the review
Story: Athilli Sathi Sabu (Raviteja) and his friend Duvva (Brahmanandham) are theieves who con pople for money in their neighborhood. One day at a train station, a woman leaves her belongings in a huge war chest and asks both of them to safeguard it for her while she returns. The two think they've hit the jackpot and think the chest has gold and they run away with the chest only to realize there is a kidnapped girl in the chest and after seeing Sathi Babu, she calls him dad. He then finds out that he is the look alike of her father Vikram Rathod IPS (Raviteja), a fearless cop who now harbors a serious brain injury after sustaining it in a battle sometime back. One day goons start attacking Sathi Babu and then Vikram Rathod saves him and his daughter from danger but succumbs to his injury once again and is admitted to the hospital. Who is Vikram Rathod? What is his story? Who are Bavuji and Titla? What happened in Chambal Valley? To have the answers, watch the movie to find out.
Performances: Raviteja is hilarious as Sathi Babu and incredible as Vikram Rathod IPS. This is easily the best character he's ever played in his career and it will take something truly extraordinary to top this role. His trademark energy and mannerisms are present as Sathi Babu and his heroism and courage on full display as Vikram Rathod. This movie belongs to Raviteja.
ANushka is incredibly seductive as Neeraja and does tons of skin show to please the audience. She is alright performance wise.
Brahmanandham is hilarious as Duvva and provides ample entertainment in the 1st half.
Vineet Kumar as Bavuji is excellent and his villainy makes you want to beat him up yourself. Ajay as Titla is a revelation. With a new look and a powerful dubbed voice, he looks an unbeatable monster in this movie. Amit as Munna has a really weird characterization and borderlines mental retardation.
Rajiv Kanakala makes an impact as the constable and Shekar also leaves an impact as the subordinates of Vikram Rathod. The girl who plays the daughter is very cute and does her part very well.
Technicalities: Dialogues by M.Rathnam are very good. The fear scene with Prakash Raj is the highlight of the movie. Music and Background score by MM Keeravani is very good. College Papala and Dammare Dum Dum are the pick of the lot. Cinematography by Sarvesh Murari is very good. Story by V Vijayendra Prasad is excellent. Art by R Ravinder is good. Editing by Kotagiri Venkateswara Rao is questionable as the 2nd half drags after the flashback. Screenplay is racy enough. Direction by SS Rajamouli is excellent barring the latter part of the 2nd half. Production Values by ML Kumar Chowdary are grand.
Analysis: Vikramarkudu is arguably the best Raviteja film ever made. Cop films are not new in Telugu cinema but thet often possess a sense of pride and connectivity that most films lack. While Sathi Babu entertains you, Vikram Rathod is the true definition of heroism.
The film starts off with the villains finding out Vikram is still alive. Sathi Babu and Brahmi keep you thoroughly entertained in the 1st half and Anushka's track borderlines on sensuality. The film only really starts to pick up pace when Vikram's condition is introduced and and the connection between the two parallel stories join at the interval. The interval fight is one of the best interval fights in the history of Telugu cinema and will stay that way.
The 2nd half is vintage Rajamouli which contains a pulsating flashback which is the heart and soul of the film. This is easily the best part of the film and the scene where Vikram finds out that Rajiv Kanakala's wife has been captured is incredible. What follows after must be seen. Rajamouli knows how to create the best villains and Bavuji and Titla are so messed up to the core that you will actually want to kill them yourself after watching the movie. The loathe they make you induce on them is off the charts. The films screws around after the flashback in the 2nd half and could have been cut short but nevertheless is still alright.
On a whole, Vikramarkudu is a must watch for action film lovers and if you're a Raviteja fan. His performance as Sathi Babu and Vikram Rathod and the flashback episode are the highlights of this powerful action entertainer. If you can mind some excessive violence and vulgarity, then Vikramarkudu will be an entertaining and action packed experience for you.