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Hanu-Man Review: Devotional SuperHero

Hanu-Man Review: Devotional SuperHero

Movie: Hanu-Man
Rating: 3/5
Prime Show Entertainment
Cast: Teja Sajja , Amritha Aiyer , Varalakshmi Sarath Kumar, Vinay Rai, and others
Screenplay: Scriptsville
Music: GowraHari, Anudeep Dev, Krishna Saurabh
DOP: Shivendra
Production Designer: Sri Nagendra Tangala
Editor: Saibabu Talari
Producer: Niranjan Reddy
Written and Directed by: Prasanth Varma
Release Date: Jan 12, 2024

Ever since its teaser was released, "Hanu-Man" has generated a significant amount of buzz. Despite lacking top stars in its ensemble, the film has successfully captured the interest of all cinephiles.

Let us find out whether the film lives up to the hype surrounding it.

In 1998, a young boy named Michael from Saurashtra dresses up as Superman and emulates his actions. When his mother suggests that becoming a superhero involves doing good for others, Michael, feeling discouraged by his parents, resorts to murdering them. The story then fast-forwards to the present day.

Hanumanthu (Teja Sajja) resides in the village of Anjanadri with his sister Anjamma (Varalaxmi Sarath Kumar). Meenakshi (Amritha Aiyer), a recent medical school graduate, returns to her village. One day, Hanumanth attempts to rescue her after she is attacked by rowdies and falls into a river.

During this incident, Hanumanth discovers a stone with divine properties in the water. His life takes a drastic turn when the stone falls into his hands, granting him sudden and extraordinary powers.

Michael arrives in Anjanadri upon learning about Hanumanth's superpowers and attempts to steal the stone.

Artistes’ Performances:
Teja Sajja is a commendable choice for the role of a young individual, initially weak but transformed into a Superman through divine intervention. The character demands an actor who is not only slender but also devoid of a mass hero persona. Teja fits the role well, delivering a praiseworthy performance.

Getup Sreenu and Satya, among others, contribute to the comedic elements of the film.

Varalaxmi Sarathkumar is satisfactory in her role as Teja's sister.

Vinay Rai, portraying the main villain, exudes a menacing presence and performs the part convincingly.

Amritha Aiyer is acceptable in her role as the female lead. However, Vennela Kishore's role is not fully utilized in the narrative.

Technical Excellence:
One aspect that astonishes us is the film's visual effects and background score. Despite the modest budget, director Prashanth Varma and the VFX team have managed to create some impressive visual effects.

Shivendra's cinematography is superb, capturing the essence of the film effectively. The background score by Gowri Hara is highly captivating, with his music in the final sequences standing out as particularly outstanding.

Terrific last 30 minutes
Devotional elements
Visuals and Background score

Predictable scenes in the middle portion
Weak villain
Old-school narration at many places

Prasanth Varma announced this film as the first installment in his PVCU (Prasanth Varma Cinematic Universe). While "Hanu-Man" is not the inaugural superhero film in Telugu cinema, it amalgamates modern superhero film techniques with Indian mythological elements, offering a slightly distinct experience, albeit with its own set of issues.

Unlike Hollywood films, this superhero movie has a devotional essence to it, establishing a direct connection with our audience through the angle of Lord Hanuman.

"Hanu-Man" initiates by introducing the villain's character, then shifts to a tribal village, narrating the story of our protagonist Hanumanthu, portrayed by Teja. The title card doesn't appear until 30 minutes into the film, taking its time to reach the core plot of the hero gaining superpowers. Nonetheless, the sequence where Teja saves Amritha, leading to his fall into the river, is filmed intriguingly.

The village scenes, especially those involving the hero and his sister Varalaxmi, exude a vintage vibe, resembling an era gone by. These scenes may come off as tedious, or perhaps the director aimed to build the mood gradually.

The entire tribal village, their issues, and behavior evoke a 1980s ambiance. The villagers seem to perform as if in old movies, while the villain employs cutting-edge technology such as drones, computer-equipped caravans, JCBs, cranes, and helicopters. Consequently, the middle portions set in the village may feel out of place. Even the sentiment thread between Teja and Varalaxmi appears poorly written and executed, with the villain's role being clichéd.

However, the film's success lies in its penultimate moments. The final 30 minutes are narrated and filmed exceptionally well, with action, drama, a devotional aura, and build-up all contributing to this segment. Until the end, the full body frame of Lord Hanuman remains unseen.

Gowri Hara's outstanding background score enhances the devotional feel during Lord Hanuman's final revelation, where the film truly excels. The concluding moments and the announcement of the second part serve as the trump card.

Director Prasanth Varma showcases his ambitious ideas at various points.

In summary, "Hanu-Man," as a superhero movie with a devotional touch, delivers a satisfying experience, thanks to its exceptional final moments, captivating visuals, riveting background score and devotional fervor. The movie engages well with its magic in spite of missed logic at some places. Overall, it is tailored for children and families.

Bottom line: Family Treat

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