Agnyaathavaasi - Movie Review

Wednesday, January 10, 2018 - 11:45
Agnyaathavaasi (2018)
Cast & Crew: 

Film: Agnyaathavaasi
Cast: Pawan Kalyan, Keerthy Suresh, Anu Emmanuel, Kushboo, Boman Irani, Aadhi Pinisetty, Rao Ramesh, Sampath Raj, Murali Sharma, Vennela Kishore and others
Music Director: Anirudh Ravichander
Cinematography: V Manikandan
Editor: Kotagiri Venkateswara Rao
Art: A. S. Prakash
Stunts: Ravi Varma
Banner: Haarika & Hassine Creations
Executive Producer: PDV Prasad
Producer: S. Radha Krishna (Chinababu)
Written and directed by: Trivikram
Release date: Jan 10, 2018
CBFC Rating: UA
Running time: 158 min

What’s it about!
When a business tycoon Govind Bhargav (Boman Irani) gets killed, the business empire that he had developed needs the heir to take over. His son who is in exile steps into headquarters of AB group in Hyderabad. He needs to find his father’s killers and also stop the other enemies who intend to take over the business. Since the enemies do not know the existence of Abhishikt Bhargav aka AB (Pawan Kalyan), his step-mother Indrani (Khusbu), who he treats his as real mother, asks him to work in a clandestine manner to know the killers.

The most common feature in director Trivikram’s movies is the element of varasadu (heir apparent) or savior (of the society or family). In ‘Athadu’, Mahesh Babu, a professional killer, assuming the identity of a dead man goes to the dead man’s native place. The family thinks he’s their ‘varasadu’. In ‘Khaleja’, the village that is affected by pharma pollution waits for their saviour, God-sent rescuer. 

In ‘Attharintiki Daaredi’, Pawan Kalyan goes to his aunt’s house as the rightful ‘heir’ of the family to bring her back. In ‘S/o Sathyamurthy’, the heir apparent goes all out to prove his father’s clean image (here hero is the saviour of family’s image). Now, Trivikram comes back to his favorite theme – the heir proving his legitimacy.

The story of “Agnyaathavaasi’ might seem a regular story of hero avenging his father’s death and reclaiming his legacy but it is set in the corporate world. However, director Trivikram (who has teamed up with Pawan Kalyan for the third time) has lost his form in writing the effective screenplay. The major flaw he commits this time is sculpting hollow characterisation for the hero as well as for the antagonist.

In the very beginning, he presents hero as someone who has lofty mission to achieve, a weapon in human form. He also talks about the pain that a wooden chair goes through in making. Scene changes, he turns a comedy actor, he meets a heroine in loo and impresses her. Then to impress another heroine, he weeps in front of her and then moves to loo and she follows her. Suddenly, the graph of hero's characterisation hits the rock bottom with these scenes. So, you don't take him seriously thereafter.

One doesn’t except such old school of writing from a master writer Trivikram. The film with begins the story of Vinda and his business empire and swiftly introduces us the protagonist who has come down from foreign land to know his father’s killers.

The story really comes into the groove before the interval bang when Khusboo narrates some serious dialogues. In the second half when we get to know the back-story of hero’s father Vinda and hero’s relation with his step-mom played by Khusbu.

Generally director Trivikram leaves his mark in sentiment sequences and emotional episodes. Here too he has touched the sentiment angle but it has not played out well. Though pre-interval episodes, flashback sequences and climax episode are positive elements, the overall writing don’t reflect his genius.

Of the performances, Pawan Kalyan as protagonist is seen in his elements after a gap of three movies. Trivikram captures best of Pawan Kalyan. Powerstar also has looked good and he is the main pillar of the movie. Khusbu in the role of mother (designed on the lines of Kaikeyi) is good. Keerthy Suresh and Anu Emmanuel are restricted to romantic portions but they have done their job well. They also dubbed their voices.

Boman Irani in an all-important character has given his best again. Rao Ramesh and Murali Sharma have given best outputs though their roles remind us of 70’s and 80’s movies. The other issue with the film is the movie has weak antagonist for hero. The villain's game plan and his ambition are too clichéd. Hence, Aadhi Pinishetty's role, though he looks damn good, doesn't engage us. 

‘Agnyaathavaasi’ ranks one of the technically well-made in Trivikram’s oeuvre. The camera work by V Manikandhan is splendid with each sequence reeking of richness and classiness. The action stunts which are choreographed excellently are captured well. Production design and production values are of top range.

As per music, composer Anirudh in his debut has given different and a very catchy music. “Baitikochi Chuste”, “Gaali Vaaluga”, and “AB Yevaro Nee Baby” are pick of the lot from the album and they are shot richly for the screen. His background score is perfect.
 Director Trivikram has shown his command on technique but sadly this time he has come up with weak writing and incoherent sequences.

Bottom-line: ‘Agnyaathavaasi’ has classy visuals, rich production values and Pawan Kalyan at his best. "When we don’t have a new idea, we can follow old one," says Pawan Kalyan in the film. Wish Trivikram applied this rather than coming up with incoherent script. Lack of emotional connect is another drawback.

Reviewed by: 
J Gudelli