Banner: Vyjayanthi Movies, Viacom
Cast: Nagarjuna, Nani, Rashmika, Akansha Singh, Kunal Kapoor, Murali Sharma, Naresh and others
Music Director: Mani Sharma
Cinematography: Shyam Dutt
Editor: Praveen Pudi
Producer: C Aswini Dutt
Screenplay and direction: Sri Ram Aditya
Release date: Sep 27, 2018
It's been a long time since producer Aswini Dutt and Nagarjuna have come together for a film. Also, Nagarjuna has probably does his first full-length multi-starrer with Nani, in a first of sorts in his career.
For Nani, after the highly forgettable Krishnarjuna Yuddham, the film is a double whammy as he gets to be a part of Vyjayanthi Movie Banner and act with Nagarjuna.
So, let’s check out how Devdas is...
The film starts off with Dr Das(Nani), who is MS gold medalist. One chance meeting with Deva(Nagarjuna) changes his life forever and becomes a rollercoaster ride of sorts for the fresh doctor. How he deals with the situation and how he handles Deva forms the rest of the story.
Nagarjuna gives serious fitness goals to all young heroes. He looks fit and agile on screen and gets to cakewalk through his role.
Nani is as convincing as ever and pulls off his author-backed part with natural ease. Together, Deva and Das manage to keep you interested enough in the movie.
Rashmika Mandanna as the undercover agent of Telangana State Police, Pooja, is appealing. While the other girl Akanksha Singh who plays Deva’s love interest Jhahnavi takes a while to get used to. However, since she has nothing much to do except for a song, she manages to pull through.
There are a whole lot of actors playing little roles like Srinivas Avasarala, Murali Sharma, Naresh, Rao Ramesh, Uttej and some comedians who are quite popular these days. Kalakeya Prabhakar as Deva’s sidekick gets quite a bit of screen time.
Kunal Kapoor makes his Telugu debut as a villain and he does a decent job. Naveen Chandra gets to play another small role as Ajay. Sarath Kumar puts in a special appearance as Dada, Deva’s godfather.
But to add little spice, there is a bit role by Tammareddy Bharadwaja and a blink and miss cameo by PV Sindhu. SP Balasubramaniam also gets to play a special part.
The film is directed by Sriram Aditya, who also shares the credits for writing with Venkat Pati. Broadly based on the film Analyze This, the writers have completely changed the storyline, while keeping the friendship thread in tact.
Cinematography by Shamdat Sainudeen is okay, so is editing by Prawin Pudi. Second half could have done with a bit of trimming for sure.
Music by Mani Sarma is surely not his best, but one song will remain with you even after you leave the theatre. It has both the couples prancing around in a dream sequence.
Weak second half
Well, the introduction shot for Nagarjuna shows him taking off his shirt. And this surely sets the tone for a film that could have taken off in different ways.
The director could have tried a mafia-style movie or a more hard-hitting message oriented film. But Sriram Aditya plays his cards carefully. He pens a story that suits Nagarjuna, followed by Nani.
In fact, he successfully manages to intertwine the mass image of Nagarjuna with the real star image of Nani, which is a huge plus for the film. So, in terms of casting, the director’s definitely gets a brownie point.
Also, thanks to the banner, there a lot of actors one gets to see playing various parts breaking the monotony from time to time. However, the same cannot be said of the villain David’s character. Kunal Kapoor gets totally wasted in a wafer-thin character.
Though the film starts off with mafia and killings, it slowly progresses following the friendship between Deva and Das. But the director gives an additional angle to the story by touching upon corporate hospitals and medical care in general.
While it’s not preachy, the film surely gets a tad bit tiresome in the second half, especially since the director kind of restraints himself from making an out-and-out over the top film with loads of comic capers.
Instead he tries to get the audiences to connect with the medical aspect and the inane goodness in human beings. At a point, the emotional angle almost seems forced. That is where the film falters a bit, as he fails to provide two hours worth entertainment.
Surely, the friendship works between lead stars, but both their love stories end up being bland in the bargain. Also, the film could have been spiced up a bit with better use of all the comedians in the cast.
Nagarjuna is absolutely fit and does some stunts to show off his agility at the age of 59, giving the younger stars of today serious fitness goals. Nani is role-perfect to say the least. Together they make the film completely watchable even during some rather dull scenes.
Thankfully, after filling in dialogues and sequences to highlight the underlying message of the film, the director takes a sharp u-turn and ends the film in predictable, but true entertainer-style.
Bottomline: Nag and Nani Shines