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Athade Srimannarayana Review

Review by IndiaGlitz [ Wednesday, January 1, 2020 • Tamil ]
Athade Srimannarayana Review
Pushkar Films
Rakshit Shetty, Shanvi Srivastava, Balaji Manohar, Achyutha Kumar, Pramod Shetty, Madhusudhan Rao
Pushkara Mallikarjunaiah
Ajaneesh Loknath and Charan Raj

'Athade Srimannarayana', starring Rakshit Shetty in the lead, hit the screens on January 1.  Here we present its review.


Fifteen years back, the leader of a tribal clan of dacoits killed off a faction of a drama troupe that tried to run away with a treasure.  But the killer fails to lay his hands on the stolen treasure because the drama troupe had cleverly concealed it somewhere before being caught by him.  The clan leader's sons Jayarama (Balaji Manohar) and his half-brother Tukaram (Pramod Shetty) continue to twiddle their thumbs for years.  

In the present (that is, fifteen years later), the failure of the two brothers to trace the treasure becomes an opportunity for a comedic cop named Narayana (Rakshit Shetty) and his sidekick constable Achyutanna (Achyut Kumar) to exploit their differences and meddle his way into a mega project to hunt the treasure.  The fact that he is believed to be God himself by the surviving faction of the drama troupe comes to his aid.  


At about four minutes, the trailer for 'Athade Srimannarayana' was not only lengthy but had many giveaways.  The thing is, so many trailers of Bollywood movies, too, give away too much.  What makes the makers of these films so confident that they don't mind revealing much of the story or about the characters?  The belief that the art of storytelling in their movie will do the magic.  'Athade Srimannarayana' is an example of this faith that storytelling matters far more than the story.  

Made as an adventure fantasy-comedy, this one has been described as the Southern Odd Fiction inspired by the universe that Malgudi Days created decades ago in the world of literature.  The set pieces are unique, the quirky characters invite you to love them for what they are, the production design is some mind-blowing stuff on display.  

Ajaneesh and Charan Raj dish out some evocative music.  The OST sounds new and sits well with the mythical vibes of the story.  Just as the characters break into a smattering of English amidst an ocean of chaste Telugu lines, the OST too offers snazziness even as it respects the film's genre and tribal-type backdrop.

Among the highlights, the introduction of the hero stands out.  The iconic scene from 'Bhakta Prahalada', where the demon Hiranyakashyapa demolishes a pillar, only to see Lord Narasimha emerge from it, is deployed to introduce the hero.  Instead of Narasimha, our hero emerges from the pillar, wearing a cop's uniform.  Had this scene featured a NTR Jr or some other mass hero, imagine what would have been the effect.  

The action scenes are smart, perfectly edited, and cleverly shot.  The dining table fight, for one, is remarkable.  Since Rakshit Shetty's character is comedic in nature, most of the fights have humour interspersed with them.  After a point, the male lead's body language and demeanour do seem too irreverent.  That shouldn't have been the case, given the nature of the story and the length (186 minutes).  

Most of the characters may be uni-dimensional but the very many characters, between them, make the story a layered one.  Cowboy Krishna's character makes an impact without uttering a word.  The references to mythological episodes, the trigger-happy clan leaders, the mentally-impaired character who blows the trumpet emotionally, the occasional helplessness of some key characters - they all are exciting enough.

Shanvi Srivastava plays a performance-oriented character that delivers a shock.  She is endearing and looks perfect for the role.  Helped by a semi-romantic track that is unconventional, she makes heads turn.  If Rakshit is confident and pulls off the difficult role with aplomb, the rest of the cast fits the bill.  

On the flip side, the film should have done away with too much eccentricity.   It might be hard for the Telugu audience to watch a film that is about 3 hours long when you don't have a familiar hero.  Not every film can be 'KGF'.  

The second half slows down way too much.  It would have helped if the narration was less convoluted.  The sequencing of scenes is imaginative.  But it's also a puzzle at times.  


The film has excellent technical values, an adventurous plot revolving around a treasure hunt, amazing production design, high-class BGM, fine performances, comedy, etc.  However, the convoluted narration is a downside, a major one at that.  The unfamiliarity of the actors is also a demerit.  The run-time is another miss.

Rating: 2.5 / 5.0

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