Salaar: High on action, low on content

Prashanth even adds child abuse in the film to trigger the emotion of hero and it goes over the board

Cast: Prabhas, Shruti Haasan, Prithivraj, Jagapathi Babu, Tinnu Anand, Jhansi and others

Direction: Prashanth Neel

Rating: 2/5

After not so impressive outings like ‘Radhe Shyam’ and ‘Adhipurush’, reigning star Prabhas returns with an action film ‘Salaar’ (Chapter 1: Ceasefire) but it is purely based on a contrived plot. Prabhas scores as a fearless guy in the film who holds back his anger since his mother (Easwari Rao) wants him to lead a peaceful life as a mechanic. He gets back to action and showcases his merciless side to help out a girl (Shruti Haasan) and then continues with his angry pursuit to help out his childhood friend (Prithviraj) who has lived in Khansaar where different tribes are fighting out to the seat of power. Director Prashanth Neel dishes out an action film and elevates heroism to next level, ala KGF series, but this time he has chosen a contrived plot and it is bound to have an adverse impact.

Prashanth even adds child abuse in the film to trigger the emotion of hero and it goes over the board. Briefly, the city of Khansaar is ruled by feudal lords and they have their own army. When one of the discarded descendents (Prithvi Raj) is pitted against others who bring armies from varied countries like Ukraine and Serbia, Prithvi recalls his childhood friend ((Prabhas) to help him out. The role of Shruti Haasan is ill-defined and she just goes through the proceedings.

Prabhas carries the brooding anger well and flexes his muscles and delivers a few punchlines too. If Prashanth was thinking that it could enthrall action films lovers, he should have picked a relatable and believable plot. Of course, it is a done-to-death story of two childhood friends who reunite after 25 years for a mission and Prabhas has to use his brain over brain and just keep making mincemeat of his opponents who belong to varied tribes. The behavior of few feudal lords is primitive and barbaric and it seeps into action episodes too. Considering the rising popularity across India, Prabhas should have chosen a decent enough plot to reiterate his larger-than-life image, but this gore action film suits just a particular section of audience.

The film begins with childhood friends (Prabhas and Prithvi) and Prabhas confronts a muscleman and tactfully brings him down by using power shock and restores the nose ring of Prithvi. In return, Prithvi sacrifices his bracelet to save his friend and his mother (Easwari Rao) from attack and sends them out of Khansar city. When the grown up Prithvi is deserted by his family and has to win his opponents to stay alive, he brings back his friend Prabhas, Check out in theatres for the rest of the story.

After playing an astrologer in ‘Radhe Shyam’ and a mythological role of Lord Ram in ‘Adhipurush’, Prabhas dons another anger-driven role but he does everything for his friend. Prithvi shines in a role with varied shades and proves his mettle. Shruti Haasan has nothing much to do in this mindless action flick and walks through her role. Jagapathi Babu as the king had his moments and Tinnu Anand impressed in a brief role.

Director Prashanth Neel relies on back-forth screenplay and elevations for the hero and just weaves a fictional story and tries to bring out anger, revenge and deceit among various rulers. He claims that they belong to varied tribes who are brutal and merciless and want to attain the ‘seat of power’ by all means. A kind of inspiration for ‘Game of Thrones’ including the ceasefire accord.

He truly struck a chord with masses with KGF which is a bit familiar to common viewers but this time he misses the boat and relies on gore and killings to keep the audience engaged. Even the sufferings of woman and child abuse look unrealistic and forced failing to make an impact for the viewers and goes over the top at times. Filmmakers fascination for action films with superstars is slowly losing its way since directors are unable to come up with exciting stories and just rehashing cliche plots leave the audience in despair.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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