Home MoviesReviews

'Mukunda' Review: Different Attempt

'Mukunda' Review: Different Attempt

Movie: Mukunda
Rating: 2.5/5
Leo Productions
Cast: Varun Tej, Pooja Hegde, Prakash Raj, Rao Ramesh, Raghu Babu and Others
Music: Mickey J Meyer
Cinematography: V. Manikandan
Editor: Marthand K. Venkatesh
Producers: Tagore Madhu, Nallamalapu Srinivas
Story, Dialogues, Screenplay and Direction: Srikanth Addala
Release Date: Dec 24th, 2014

There are love stories and there are commercial entertainers. Mukunda is an effort at making a commercial entertainer that is a different love story. And more importantly, it marks the debut of Varun Tej, nephew of megastar Chiranjeevi and son of Naga Babu. He could be the last hero to debut for some time to come from the family, but like all mega heroes, he seems to have got his acting genes in place. Let’s see how the film’s come up…

The story starts off with a voice-over saying that since a story has to be somebody’s story, let’s start by telling this young man’s story. So, in comes Mukunda (Varun Tej) who gets on to a bus in Hyderabad. Inside, he meets his friend and Ali who is a self-proclaimed social activist. Seeing a newspaper story, Mukunda talks of how he felt when he killed the person in the picture. Though his friend does not believe him, he asks him about Arjun and that’s when the actual story begins.

Then the story shifts to a town where Rao Ramesh is the municipal chairman. Having been in the position for 20 years, he rules his fiefdom without any opposition. But then, trouble begins in his paradise when problems pop up due to Mukunda and his friend Arjun.

Arjun is in love with Rao Ramesh’s niece and that triggers a rivalry with the students in the town which later transforms into a political confrontation. The rest of the story mainly shows the confrontation between Rao Ramesh and Mukunda.

Artistes’ Performances:
For a debutant hero, Varun Tej is good. He is totally believable in action scenes, thanks to his tall frame and well-built body. He looks good and manages to express various emotions with ease. Yet, there are no hardcore dance numbers which are expected from the mega heroes. But you can see that Srikanth Addala has taken special care to make sure that all his positive traits are highlighted by going slow on his weak points.

Video: Exclusive Varun Tej Interview

Pooja Hegde is good. She hardly has any dialogues and in a way that is a huge plus. She looks pretty, though she could have picked a better wardrobe. But again, that could be because her character is not based in a city.

The love birds Arjun and his lover (both newcomers) are a good pick for their roles.

Rao Ramesh once again plays the baddie to perfection. He is probably the best pick from the industry for the role and he makes sure that he makes it his own.

Prakash Raj plays the role of a socially-aware, agitated citizen who finally contests against the Chairman. When it’s Prakash Raj, you hardly have anything much to say. He is good as ever.

Ali, Paruchuri Venkateswara Rao, Nazir, play their parts convincingly.

Technical Excellence:
Music by Mickey J Meyer is decent, but definitely lacks the chart-topping numbers that will stay on forever. Cinematography is good, but the film could have been edited shorter.

Srikanth Addala uses an old story and tries to tell it his way. Well, he does succeed to a certain extent and falters to a certain extent.


  • Varun Tej
  • Rao Ramesh
  • Background Score


  • Weak second half
  • Repetitive friend concept
  • Screenplay

When the posters came out, one almost thought Mukunda would be yet another soft love story. But in total contrast to the initial talk, Mukunda surprises all by being an action-loaded film.

Mukunda playing Krishna to his friend Arjun is good to watch during the first half. However, by second half, you feel the director has put the audience on the loop mode with the same pattern repeating over and over again.

In fact, after a point, you end up wondering why the hero who appears to be intelligent otherwise is wasting so much time to save a rather stupid friend who takes him for granted.

Also, the second half focuses more on the politics of a small town which may or may not appeal to the urban audience.

The villain who is played up all through has barely anything to do towards the end.

Another drawback is the lack of dialogues for the hero. All his dialogues will fit into a page at the most. Setting aside the political episode, the film has hardly anything to say and that’s exactly where the film falters in the second half.

Still there are certain dialogues and scenes which show why Srikanth Addala is among the sought-after directors in the industry today. He tries to be subtle with certain nuances and that works for the film.

And for those who take their film-watching seriously, you will not know the name of the town the story is set in or the name of the chairman or the heroine by the end of the film. But that hardly matters, if you look back.

Addala has no dialogue between the hero and heroine which does feel strange, but he makes sure that does not take away from their love story.

And he wraps up the film with a cameo by Shekhar Kammula on the lines of ‘never ending story’.

While one section of the audience might relate to Addala’s style of story-telling, others may find it serious and boring to their liking.

Bottomline: Serious Drama

(Venkat can be reached or

Click here for Telugu review

Video: Watch Mukunda Public Talk

Click Here for Latest Direct-to-OTT Releases (List Updates Daily)