Puli Review, What’s Behind: Tamil star hero Vijay experimenting in a fantasy genre with yet to be proven director Chimbu Devan alongside glittering star cast of Sreedevi, Shruti Hasan, Hansika, Sudeep makes ‘Puli’ a high budget entertainer faced political humiliation with sudden IT raids. With little known about release status, ‘Puli’ missed the actual release date of October 1st is finally into theaters with today morning shows all around the Telugu states. Let us see, how great is this fantasy ride through our ‘Puli’ review?
Puli Story: Movie takes off introducing Bhetala Desham ruled by evil queen Yavvana Rani (Sreedevi) and cunning Minister Jalandharudu (Sudeep). Except Bhetala tribe, they treat remaining population in 56 villages under their rule as slaves. One of the hamlets under Bhetala power has a rebellion group headed by Prabhu (Prabhu), who rescues a small baby found in the river and names him as Manoharudu (Vijay). He is grown up as savior to fall in love with childhood friend Mandara Malli (Shruti Hasan).
Things take a sharp turn when Bhetalas kidnap Mandara Malli for a Kshudra ritual and also kill Prabhu. Now, Manoharudu is set on a mission to rescue Mandara Malli with help of Lilliput kingdom leader (Ali), talking bird Shivudu, giant tortoise Kurmanthudu, green frog and Mandakini (Hansika), daughter of Yavvana Rani. What is the actual flashback behind Manoharudu and who is his father Puli Veerudu (Vijay)? How is Manoharudu related to Yavvana Rani?
Puli Artists and Technicians: As a story ‘Puli’ dates back to Vithalacharya times and Chimbu Devan tried to re-create a folk backdrop with unexciting screenplay. Movie runs at very leisurely pace offering a tiresome watch experience. Quite predictable and ordinary story line served big drawback. Despite Chimbu Devan had set of talented and wonderful artists at disposal, only few of them are exploited. As a director, Chimbu failed to justify the presence of big faces. Dialogues were doughy and dubbing was of lowest standard. Natarajan Subramaniam’s camera work is top notch and visual grandeur is the basic reason why at least you sit throughout. Sreekar Prasad’s editing is quite conventional. Devi Sri Prasad gave a decent background score and couple of songs (like title song, Jingilia Jingilia) are catchy at first go. Above all, VFX department needs special accolades. Nearly 2,500 graphics based scenes as said by ‘Puli’ team is sure an eye feast. Production standards of SVR Media are worth appreciative.
On to performances, Vijay dances, fights, makes fun, emotes and also mouths heavy dialogues for the welfare of people. Only after watching this film, I could speculate the reason why IT raids happened one day before the release? There are many lines on Puli Veerudu which are sure to have political percussions. Flashback episode is apparently lackadaisical yet there is a message to whole of Tamil Nadu politics. Shruti Hasan is again hour glass beauty and Hansika Motwani filled the glamour in second half. Sreedevi comes late but has put in a terrific performance. Her costumes and make up are aptly hype builders. Sudeep got a right antagonist character of his stature. Nanditha Shwetha, Thambi Ramaiah, Karunas, Prabhu, Vijay Kumar etc were fine.
Puli Rating Analysis: A fantasy film necessarily does not need new storyline. Variety lie in convincing treatment, out of world imaginations, well equipped computer graphics creating new shapes and above all strong characterizations. No complaints on Chimbu Devan’s picking of story. Difference between successful fantasy/folk films like ‘Bhairava Dweepam, Bahubali’ and ‘Puli’ is the latter missed complete focus in execution. As a story teller, Chimbu has done a decent job in second half but the creative excitement in hero’s travails aren’t so entertaining. By the time Puli Veerudu flashback episode drives in, everything fell in wrong places.
Chimbu wasted entire first half with boring narration forcibly inserting comedy on Thambi Ramaiah or the lackluster romantic track between Vijay-Shruti or entry of Bhetalas into story was too late. Exact plot unveils only in second half when Vijay enters into Bhetala Desham to know about his original identity and settle the final scores with Sudeep.
All in all ‘Puli’ is a film stands high on visual grandeur, awesome camera work, next VFX, decent background music and above all Vijay’s presence, Sreedevi’s terrific look. For children and families, there is something to cherish. Try it, if you have enough patience to pass the tiresome first half and wait for visual splendor to splash in second half. Commercially, Vijay being a non-star hero in Telugu market and other obstacles served the release issues, hard for makers to gain the initial market.
Puli Cinejosh Verdict: Wrongly Executed Visual Treat.
Puli Cinejosh Rating: 2.5/5.0
Reviewed by Srivaas