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'Devaraya' Review: History Plundered!!

Rating: 2/5
Banners:
Sunray International, Nanigadi Cinema
Cast: Srikanth, Meenakshi Dixit, Vidisha, M S Narayana, Jayaprakash Reddy and others
Music: Chakri
Cinematographer: Poorna
Screenplay, direction: Nani Krishna
Producers: Nani Krishna, Kiran Jakkamsetty
Release date: 07/12/2012
 
Srikanth who has been going through a string of flops is back and he has pinned all his hopes on this new venture which has a link with a great historical king. Is it good enough? Let us see
 
Story
Dorababu (Srikanth) lives in a village in Godavari district and he has a gang of friends (M S Narayana, Jeeva and others). His daily life is all about cards, drinks, women and has a carefree attitude. He comes across Swapna (Vidisha) who comes new to the village and due to certain incidents she falls in love with him. The story takes a turn when a temple in that village is eyed by the villain (Jayaprakash Reddy) and Dorababu becomes the protector. But there is a link between Dorababu and the temple which dates back to the time of King Krishnadevaraya. What is that link and how things take shape forms the rest of the story.
 
Performances
Srikanth has come up with a committed performance both as a man with bad habits and also as a king. From his end, he was sincere enough and deserves marks for his act.
 
Meenakshi Dixit is personification of sex symbol and she looks like an erotic Khajuraho statue. It is a surprise why she is not getting into the big league of heroines and meaty roles.
 
Vidisha has expressive eyes and a good amount of sex appeal but she is going stiff in few scenes. If she can ease her body language in front of camera it would work.
 
M S Narayana, Jeeva, Raghu and the rest did their bit as required. It was good to see Radha Kumari for one last time. Jayaprakash Reddy was usual. Ranganath was elegant and made his presence felt. Balaiah was dignified. Others didn’t have much scope.
 
Highlights

  • Graphics
  • Meenakshi Dixit

Drawbacks

  • Plot
  • Zero entertainment
  • Weak screenplay
  • Poor emotional quotient
  • Songs

Analysis
There is a fine line between fact and fiction and there is a fine line between history and rationality. They should be given the due respect at their respective places and should not be mixed or else it creates a mix up. That is exactly the problem with this film.

The primary blunder the director has done is by choosing a glorious king like Krishna Devaraya. Of course, he might have chosen him for brand value but then trying to associate a king of real history to a love affair with a dancer and then creating a plot on the backdrop of Godavari which has no connection to the Vijayanagara empire is mind boggling. This is perhaps an extremity of creativity.

For the record, history says Krishnadevaraya had eight wives and out of them Tirumala Devi and Chinna Devi were popular. Okay, for sometime let us treat this as a total fiction story, so does it have enough ingredients to pull off as a commercial entertainer? Unfortunately no, the padding artists were not used properly, the romantic track was not developed effectively, the sentiment angle was not prepared with depth and intensity.

Curious to know one answer from the director- how did Krishnadevaraya reach Godavari banks from Hampi Vijayanagaram on a horse overnight? Having four lane highways and most powerful cars also that is not possible in today’s time. Guess we have to put that in the cinematic liberty section.

The first half of the film goes on contemporary note with regular elements of romance, songs etc but the second half gets into the plot. Overall, the director had a good idea in his mind but he could not conceive it with conviction and believability onscreen. The only good thing in the film is visual feast by Meenakshi Dixit and the production values. At the box office, this could be a doubtful venture.

Bottomline: Hey Krishnadevaraya….please forgive few ignorant film souls for playing with you like this

(Venkat can be reached at venkat@greatandhra.com or https://twitter.com/greatandhranews)

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