Cast: Pawan Kalyan, Shruti Haasan, Nasser, Rao Ramesh, Siva Balaji, Chaitanya Krishna, Kamal Kamaraju and Pradeep Rawat
Director: Kishore Kumar Pardasani (Dolly)
Pawan Kalyan’s films always create a big buzz, but his most recent film Katamarayudu had generated more hype than his earlier films. His last film Sardar Gabbar Singh had not done well at the box-office, so this time the actor chose to do a remake of the Tamil film Veeram. Shruti Haasan is the female lead and Kishore Kumar Pardasani is the director. Pawan Kalyan’s good friend Sharat Marar is the producer of the film. Katamarayudu (Pawan Kalyan) lives with his four brothers in a village in Rayalaseema. He is the leader of a political faction but does only good things and whoever wants to do anything in the area he control has to consult Rayudu. Since for some reason he is against marriage, he remains a bachelor, but his brothers have girlfriends and have to keep them a secret.
A classical dancer Avanthi (Shruti Haasan) is on a cultural visit to the village and stays opposite Rayudu’s house. To get the nod from Rayudu for a possible alliance, the brothers with the help of their friend (Ali) make a plan and create a situation where their brother will see Avanthi frequently and fall in love with her. The plan succeeds. Avanthi invites Rayudu to her village to talk to her father Bhupathi (Nasser), a judge. The problem is that Bhupathi doesn’t like violence so Katamarayudu has to give up violence to impress him. Bhupathi, however, has enemies who try to kill him and his family. Katamarayudu gets to hear of this and decides to save Bhupathi and his family. Will he do this by resorting to violence again, or is there some other way of saving the Bhupathi family? Director Kishore Paradasani has worked with Pawan Kalyan in Gopala Gopala, a remake of Oh My God. He has done a good job of showing Pawan Kalyan in a stylish and never-seen- before lungi attire typical of Rayalaseema.
The opening scene with Pawan Kalyan is simply superb and is followed by many entertaining moments, especially the scenes between Pawan Kalyan and Shruti Haasan. The first half of the story is set in Pawan Kalyan’s village and the second half in Shruti Haasan’s village. The problem is that the director can’t maintain the tempo that he created in the first half. The story gets a new twist with Tarun Arora is trying to kill Bhupathi, who is a retired judge. The machinations of the plot here are not credible and the romantic track takes a backseat. The director is unable to mesh these two threads in an interesting way.
When it comes to performances, it is Pawan Kalyan all the way. He is terrific in the new attire and his dialogues and actions are bound to enthral his fans. The action scenes are choreographed in an interesting way and he does them justice. He plays the two sides of his character beautifully — a fierce factionist and a person who loves and cares.
Shruti Haasan is just okay in her role. The other highlight of the film is Rao Ramesh. He really gets into whatever character he is assigned and has done a wonderful job, particularly with his brilliant dialogue delivery. Ali provides the laughs and Nasser is dignified. The four brothers, Kamal Kamaraju, Siva Balaji, Chaitanya Krishna and Ajay are adequate. Tarun Arora and Pradeep Rawat are the baddies and nothing much comes from them. The cinematography by Prasad Murella is good. He has captured the village landscape very well. Brahma Kadali’s art work should be mentioned. Music by Anup Ruben is average with a couple of good songs. The dialogues are entertaining, especially those rendered by Pawan Kalyan and Rao Ramesh. Katamarayudu is a big treat for Pawan Kalyan fans. If director Kishore Pardasani had concentrated more on the second half of the story, it would have been much more interesting, but it is still watchable.