Banner: Geetha Arts
Cast: Ram Charan, Aravind Swamy, Rakul Preet Singh, Nasser, Posani, Navadeep and others
Music: Hip Hop Tamizha
Cinematography: P S Vinod
Editing: Nawin Nooli
Producers: Allu Aravind and N V Prasad
Direction: Surender Reddy
Release date: December 9, 2016
'Thani Oruvan', the Tamil blockbuster, created a lot of buzz both within and outside Tamil Nadu at the time of release. When Ram Charan announced that he is keen on doing a remake, eyebrows raised, as the film is not your regular mass, masala movie. However, Charan struck by his decision and insisted he wanted to try something novel.
Well, when the teaser was out, it did feel like he tried to do something different. So, does the remake work in Telugu?
Let's find out.
Ram Charan plays a newly recruited IPS officer Dhruva. He makes friends with like-minded police officers during the training period, who take time off during training period and silently go about helping police catch the criminals.
Like in many films in the past, Dhruva’s boss’ daughter Ishika (Rakul) loves him but he doesn’t show much interest in romance. When she confronts him and asks about his disappearing from time to time, Dhruva reveals that he has a secret hide-away from where he tries to hunt various criminals based on newspaper reports.
During his chase, he figures out that one scientist named Siddharth Abhimanyu (Aravind Swamy) operates through a huge network of criminals, corporate biggies and politicians. Dhruva takes up the challenge of exposing the scientist. What happens next, is the story.
The film is dominated by the presence of the movie's villain, played by Aravind Swamy. The role he gets to play is charismatic and the handsome actor has performed it impeccably. Aravind Swamy carries off his role in style. In fact, his role is colourful and his act makes it very interesting. Goes without saying, he totally dominates throughout the film.
Ram Charan too looks better and he has undergone an amazing transformation for his role. While he drew a lot of flak for his past films, he has gone for a complete make-over and the look suits him well.
Rakul Preeth's character does not have much substance, but she looks beautiful. Among other cast members, Navadeep and Posani get noticed.
All Surender Reddy's movies look very stylish with rich cinematography and this movie is no exception. He has extracted best work from cameraman P S Vinod of "Manam" fame.
Editing is slick, though pace of the movie and length are not right. Production values and artwork are excellent. Dialogues are precise, to the point.
Story and screenplay
Aravind Swamy's performance
Ram Charan’s makeover
Remakes are tough to handle. Especially remaking a movie that has been highly praised by the critics is even harder.
Tamil movie “Thani Oruvan” received great ratings and compliments. So, director Surender Reddy hasn't changed much from the original story in this remake.
In “Dhruva”, he has stuck to the basic screenplay of the Tamil movie but he unnecessarily extended the romantic track on hero and heroine which doesn’t work well with the plot.
This is a film where the villain’s character is more interesting than the hero's. However, since the film has Ram Charan in the lead, the director has tweaked the original to make hero seem powerful.
The beginning of the movie is dull, but once the hero decides to take on villain Aravind Swamy, the drama picks up pace from then on.
Every move that hero makes, the villain quashes and pushes him to give up. And that's when tables get turned. This entire process is told very engagingly. And it turns very interesting due to the charismatic presence and acting of Aravind Swamy.
Not that Ram Charan has done badly, but it is Aravind Swamy who completely dominates the show in the second half.
Despite the fact that the movie has some twists, it is basically about good person vs evil person, cop vs criminal. But the novelty in the story is the way it is staged. The cat and mouse game between the hero and villain is interesting.
The scene of importance of 8 is also explained interestingly.
Well, these are the positives. Now let's see what hasn't worked. Even though the game is interesting, it dips many a time. Scenes like Navadeep’s episode post interval and the climax portions should have been handled in a better manner as they stretch on quite a bit. This is when you feel the director could have chopped off a few scenes.
Apart from few minor issues, the movie is right on track. Director Surender Reddy’s slick direction, Aravind Swamy’s terrific acting and Ram Charan’s makeover added with good cinematography make the film worth a watch.
Overall, “Dhruva” is above average fare with story being its strength.
Bottom-line: Villain Is Its Strength