- Casting: Amitabh Bachchan, Anushka Shetty, Chiranjeevi, Jagapathi Babu, Nayantara, Sudeep, Tamannaah, Vijay Sethupathi
- Director: Surender Reddy
- Genre: Action, Drama, Historical
- Producer: Ram Charan
- Release: Oct 02, 2019
- Language: Telugu
The film is based on the life of Narasimha Reddy, who revolted against the atrocities of the East India Company in 1847, 10 years before the Indian Rebellion of 1857
Narasimha Reddy (Chiranjeevi) is the territorial administrative and military ruler of Uyyalawada. Following his guru Gosayi Venkanna’s (Amitabh Bachchan) advice, he becomes a fierce warrior and leader. The just ruler is committed to doing the best for his subjects. Though he falls in love with the beautiful dancer, Laxmi (Tamannaah), circumstances force him to marry Siddhamma (Nayanthara). Angered by the atrocities that his people are subjected to by the East India Company, he joins hands with other rulers, like Avuku Raju (Sudeep) and Raja Pandi (Vijay Sethupathi) to start a rebellion. He not only has to battle the Britishers, but also has to deal with some of his own people, who are out to sabotage his mission. Narsimha Reddy’s brave battle proved to be the inspiration for the Indian Rebellion of 1857.
The film is based on a real story, and like many other subjects that stem from historical period, the makers have taken creative liberties to make the narrative of this one more dramatic. Chiranjeevi is in good form as the leader of the rebellion. The actor proves that he can make even the seemingly impossible look possible. With excellent screen presence, Sudeep makes a great impression. His chemistry with Chiranjeevi makes you wish for more screen time for the two actors. Both Nayanthara and Tamannah, are competent in their parts and do the best they can within the limited scope that their roles offer. Amitabh Bachchan’s appearance is brief, but impactful. The film releases in five languages including, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada and Hindi. Unfortunately, it’s the writing that lets the film down. The screenplay and direction by Surender Reddy falters at several points in the narrative.
At two hours and 50 minutes, the film is a tad too long and needed a tighter edit. The dialogues of a subject with so much of depth definitely needed to add more weight. In the second half, the story picks up, and the real action kicks in. Most of the stunts (by Greg Powell, Lee Whittaker, Ram-Laxman and A Vijay) are far from realisitc, but it makes for a good watch. The music is passable, but the awkward lyrics do stick out.
Yes, the film is jingoistic in parts, but when you are talking about a rebellion that eventually inspired another movement of epic proportions (the Indian Rebellion of 1857), this kind of chest-thumping patriotism doesn’t come as a surprise. While the storytelling has its flaws, what needs to be lauded is that the makers pulled out this tale from the pages of history and mounted it on such a massive canvas for us to see.