Cast: Varun Tej, Hebah Patel, Lavanya Tripathi, Nasser, Prudhvi, Rajesh and others
Director: Srinu Vaitla
Director Srinu Vaitla is one of Telugu cinema’s top directors but he has been struggling to retain both position and form with his last two films. His latest, Mister released this Friday, and he has said in pre-release publicity that he has changed his narrative style. That hasn’t happened. Pichaiah Naidu aka Chai (Varun Tej) lives with his parents in France. He was supposed to receive a girl who is a family friend, but picked up the wrong one, Meera (Hebah Patel). Though both know that they have got it wrong, she stays with Chai and he falls in love with her. Over the last day of her stay he proposes and she reveals that she has a boyfriend in India and is going to marry him. A few days later, Meera calls Chai and seeks his help as her boyfriend Siddharth has refused to marry her. Chai immediately lands up in India, but somewhere along the way he meets Chandramukhi (Lavanya) who is running away from goons.
They then end up in a remote village in Karnataka, apparently still ruled by Srikrishnadevaraya rulers, with three gangs in hot pursuit. Though director Vaitla said this film had something new to offer after his two duds, Aagadu and Bruce Lee, he follows the same old style. The bits shot abroad are beautiful but once the plots shifts to India, the narrative collapses. The first half is bearable because of the spoof on the film Oopiri by Raghu Babu, Srinivas Reddy and Tejswini. The episode is entertaining, but it shows that the director is still hung up on spoofs — begun with his film Dhee, but which have become monotonous now. There are many illogical scenes. Too many characters creat a lot of confusion and the village, where Murali Sharma plays a royal king and rules the village with his brutal judgements is not believable or convincing.
The only saving grace is the photography by Guhan. In fact, the visuals are extraordinary. Music by Mickey J Mayer is average. Varun Tej looks good and fits the bill of an NRI. Lavanya Tripati does well, but her outfits are just horrible. Hebah Patel is just okay and Raghu Babu and Srinivas Reddy provide some mild entertainment. The other comedian, Prudhvi, is a major waste as the director has been unable to use him properly. Overall, Mister is another mistake by Srinu Vaitla. It has no strong story, has a clichéd screenplay, and too many characters. Except for a few laughs here and there, the film has nothing much to offer....