Godfather, the new Dasara release from Chiranjeevi, could mark the turning point in the career of the Tollywood megastar. As he dons a role that reflects his age and away from the comfort zone of dance and romance, Chiranjeevi appears to have decided to redefine his second innings with this movie. The talent of the megastar was never in question though his two recent movies proved to be duds at the box office. The issue was — just like as in the case of his peers in the Tollywood — his failure to come to terms with advancing age and adapting oneself to the new reality.
The movie is based Malayalam superstar Mohanlal’s Lucifer and has nothing to do with Mario Puzo’s classic novel Godfather. It focuses on the unholy nexus between money bags and politicians. While in other films this connection between money bags and politicians is merely suggestive, this movie unequivocally accepts the role of money in politics. In fact, the film’s hero, who makes politically-correct statements, declares the need and inevitability of the nexus. Welcome to a new chapter of our mainstream cinema, where we accept yet another negative aspect of society as a way of life.
The film starts with the death of the Chief Minister, who leaves behind a stubborn daughter Priyam (Nayantara), her ambitious husband Jaydev (Satyadev Kancharna), and a crafty and ambitious minister Narayan Varma (Murli Sharma). Though the minister considers himself to be the logical heir to the office of the chief minister, he finds a fierce competitor in Jaydev — the late leader’s son-in-law — who not only eyes the top post but also schemes to keep others out of the race.
While the Chief Minister’s daughter does not want Brahma to attend the funeral of his father, nobody could stop him as he enters the scene midst of a lot of adoration and catcalls, making it clear that he is the one who call the shots.
Brahma and Sathya Priya are half siblings. She does not approve of his presence in her life as she considers him to be an illegitimate son of her late father. She blames him for the death of his mother who left behind her with an infant sibling who grows to be drug addict and a prey to the prowl of her brother-in-law. The nexus between the warlords, the drug mafia etc. on one hand and the ambitious politicians on the other hand recognises the fact that even the good guys need tainted money to keep their space in politics.
The 157-minute long drama may prove to be in sync with the “paisa vasool” theory but weans away from the concept of a concise plot and storytelling. It, in fact, highlights the failure of editor Marthand K. Venkatesh to make the story crisp.
The clash between Brahma and others may not have anything novel but has the right energy. Bollywood hero Salman Khan’s cameo role in the movie as Masoom Bhai adds to the star power of this movie. But he does not have a great role to play in the movie and does what a glorified extra would do in the stunt scenes. While Nayantara gets too stiff for comfort, she perhaps acted to the diktats of the director. Puri Jagannath as the narrator and Samuthirakani as the corrupt police officer are worth mentioning. The film belongs to Chiranjeevi, and the main villain Satyadev Kancharna, who is not just polished but steady and suave.
For the festival season, this box office masala film retells the story that good will triumph over evil in the midst of heavy voltage dialogues, songs and fights....