Atharintiki Daaredi brings back one of the best combinations in Telugu Cinema, Power Star Pawan Kalyan and writer-director Trivikram Srinivas. It is always difficult to make a movie with a star who has such a huge and loyal fan following, the challenges for a director are immense especially how will he/she use the actor in the story and at the same time satisfy his fans and also regular film goers. In case of Pawan Kalyan, it becomes even more difficult whose popularity has reached almost mythical proportion now.
Raghunanda (Boman Irani) is a corporate czar living with his son and grandson in Italy, his only regret is something he has done in the past. He has two things on mind; somebody is trying to take control of his company, the other being his remorse over his disapproval of his daughter’s (Nadhiya Moidu) marriage which has led to fall-out between father and daughter. He asks his grandson Goutham Nanda (Pawan Kalyan) to bring back his daughter to Italy. The rest of the film is about how Goutham tries to reconcile both father and daughter and fulfill his grandfather’s wish.
It is interesting to note that Trivikram maintains the myth of Pawan Kalyan i.e the image of Powerstar in the character of Goutham Nanda who is powerful, can beat hordes of men in a matter of few seconds and uses his own plane to fly. On the other hand, when Pawan Kalyan is a driver at his aunt’s place out goes those branded shoes and belts as he wears chappals and appears vulnerable as someone, who cannot convince his aunt to come back. It’s a good balance maintained between these two images of Pawan Kalyan. It is interesting that after a long time in Telugu films one sees a superstar also used for acting capabilities and kudos to Pawan as he excels in the film both as an actor and star. When was the last time we saw a Telugu Star getting slapped by another character? When 2 film hit actors are claiming to be superstar, it is reassuring that a superstar like Pawan Kalyan is moulding and surrendering to the director’s vision.
The music by DSP is good overall, while ‘It’s Time to party’ stood out like a sore thumb in the film. The mandatory introductory song about the hero which creates enigma about Goutham Nanda’s past is interesting which is revealed in climax. Ramjogayya Sastry (lyrics writer) intelligently pays tribute to Cat Ballou, (in which also we have hero masquerading as someone, when he is not) in Kirakku song. Ramjogayya Sastry also pays homage to one of well-known Telugu film maker Bapu, in song Bapu Garu Bomma (Bapu’s Doll) -Bapu is known to present his heroines very beautifully, almost doll like in his films.
The action by Peter Hein is top notch and satisfied the Pawan Kalyan fan inside me, the best thing was the action was not violent and gory like most Telugu films. My personal favourite action set-piece is the one involving Pawan Kalyan’s goggles in second half of the film.
Trivikram knows his craft; the only problem I found in all his films which this film also suffers to an extent is the dominance of his writer side over director. He takes very serious issue like Maoism in Jalsa, or concept of God in (Mahesh) Khaleja but then he sidesteps this issue and loose tracks of his idea. Fortunately Trivikram has grip on his story this time, he takes his time to establish the story and conflict till first half. In the second half then he goes on to please Pawan Kalyan fans with 3 songs, 2 action sequences and whole lot of comedy scenes with Brahmanandan and Ali for company. The Indira –Ahalya episode and Kevu Kekka Baba episode had me in splits, though it does not add anything to script it is what keeps second half interesting. By that time Trivikram decides that he must get back to the main story, and he delivers it in the last 20 minutes, and it is relish to watch Pawan Kalyan being stripped of his star mannerism in climax, devoid of any big action sequences as he performs as an actor. Trivikram keeps his ace into sleeves till climax, when Goutham reveals about his dark past. Trivikram delivers an important message, why the world will be a good place when we choose peace and love above hate and anger.
Boman Irani makes his debut in Telugu Film industry with this film, he has a brief role and I feel he is completely wasted. Why take an actor when you are anyways going to dub him, for me he did not add any value to the film. The two females (Samantha and Pranitha) do what is required of any Telugu Heroine to do, look good in skimpy clothes and reveal navel, which is sad considering most of Trivikram’s films have had strong female characters. The combination of Ali-Pawan Kalyan has by now become one of the legendary jodis in Telugu film industry. The comic scenes here between Ali and Pawan are very few compared to their previous outings. Brahmanandan delights us in every scene he appears in the movie, this movie would have been below average if Brahmanandan did not act in it, the way he carries second half of movie on his shoulder is commendable.
Pawan Kalyan is in his elements in the film, he is equally at ease when he showcases his Superstar mannerism and his growth as an actor can be seen in emotional scenes. The way he is not inhibited on screen to do anything, be it doing a saree dance, the Kevu Kekka Baba Steps etc. The film belongs to him and he does not disappoint us.