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Devil Review: Interesting Plot, Uninteresting Narration

Devil Review: Interesting Plot, Uninteresting Narration

Movie: Devil
Rating: 2.25/5
Abhishek Pictures
Cast: Nandamuri Kalyan Ram, Samyuktha, Malvika Nair, Shafi, Ajay, Satya and others
Story, Screenplay & Dialogues: Srikanth Vissa
Music: Harshavardhan Rameshwar
DOP: Soundar Rajan S
Production Designer: Gandhi Nadikudikar
Editor: Tammiraju
Produced and Directed by: Abhishek Nama
Release Date: Dec 29, 2023

After the tremendous success of "Bimbisara," Nandamuri Kalyan Ram's films have gained popularity. "Devil" initially grabbed the attention of cinema lovers for this reason, and its trailer was also intriguing due to its grand look.

Has the film lived up to its promise?

In 1945, Devil (played by Kalyan Ram), a British spy agent, is assigned to investigate the murder of a Zamindar's daughter in Rasapadu. 

British General Kenneth instructs Devil to uncover the identity of Trivarna and the method by which messages are being transmitted to INA chief Netaji Subash Chandra Bose from the Jamindar’s house.

Nyshada (played by Samyuktha), the niece of the Jamindar’s wife, is suspected of engaging in covert activities for the INA. Under the pretext of a murder investigation, Devil manipulates Nyashada into trusting him and convinces her that he genuinely harbors feelings of love for her.

Will Devil succeed in determining the true identity of Trivarna? What motivates Devil to work for the British? Will Nyashada genuinely place her trust in Devil?

Artistes’ Performances:
Nandamuri Kalyan Ram, portraying a British agent, perfectly embodies the appearance of a British agent, thanks to his outfits and overall getup. He puts in his best effort to bring the character to life, aligning his performance with the requirements of the story and genre.

Samyuktha's depiction of a girl secretly working for Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose holds interest.

Malvika Nair, portraying another INA independence fighter, has a brief but impactful character.

Shafi, Ajay, and Satya all deliver decent performances in their respective roles.

Technical Excellence:
The film is mounted on a large scale, and the production design is superb, effectively capturing the 1945 look.

Soundarajan's cinematography does justice to the era setting, and the costumes contribute to its technical assets. However, the background music is not effective in certain places.

Basic plot
Art work
Grand scale

Flat narration
Lack of peak moments 
Back Ground Music

Presenting a spy movie in a captivating manner is an enormous task, especially for Telugu filmmakers, given the recent failures in this genre. Managing a period spy thriller is even more challenging. Writer Srikanth Vissa skillfully combines the elements of the murder investigative genre with a spy thriller set in the British era.

The basic storyline crafted by Srikanth Vissa possesses the potential to become a riveting period espionage thriller. Indeed, the film commences in a really interesting manner. The Sherlock Holmes-style investigation at the beginning of the story may not be particularly thrilling, but it effectively establishes the mood and generates anticipation for the subsequent events. Moreover, the film neatly transitions toward the spy genre.

The portrayal of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, along with certain Indians secretly assisting Bose in the Madras presidency, is sufficient to evoke a sense of patriotism in this espionage thriller. However, these emotions only arise if they are narrated effectively. Indeed, "Devil" fails in this aspect, despite its storyline.

The narration and execution of the story have failed, despite its potential. It is straightforward to identify the Trojan that the British dispatched as a mole. The twist of the hero is quite straightforward, as he is the protagonist of the film and immediately guessable.

There are a couple of patriotic portions in the second half when it is revealed how a tiny group of freedom fighters is working secretly to support Netaji Subash Chandra Bose. But they are also underutilized.

While the first half of the film feels dragged out, the events near the end of the film feel rushed. As a result, despite having some interesting episodes in both halves, it ultimately lacks an engaging vibe.

Although Kalyan Ram's look, sincere performance, and spectacular production design work in its favor, "Devil," on the whole, is not a satisfying watch due to its flat storytelling and lack of effective handling.

Bottom line: Unsatisfactory Outcome

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