Devadas is a true multi-starrer in Telugu cinema in recent times. Nagarjuna and Nani joined hands for this project directed by Sriram Aditya whose first two films are given thumbs up. Producer Ashwini Dutt who scored a hit with last flick Mahanati is back into the game. Will this crazy combination create sensations? Let’s discuss in actual review part.
Don Deva (Nagarjuna) enters into city on a mission. Innocent doctor Das (Nani) rescues Deva from a shoot-out as Deva comes wounded. A strong friendship develops between two. On the other side, Das falls in love with Pooja (Rashmika) wherein Deva adores a news reporter Jahnavi (Akanksha Singh). However, one incident creates rift between the two. What happens to their love stories? How Das brings a change in Deva?
To begin with, Devadas hasn’t got a great storyline. Despite having two wonderful star artists in lead title characters, Sriram Adittya and his team failed to cash on the crazy combination. Though story has got its own scope to generate ample fun, emotion and drama, never did the lethargic screenplay and tepid direction allowed audience to sync with. In fact, Nani’s well played lively characterization is marred with inconsistency and zero support from other characters, artists. To begin with, Adittya’s direction suffered right from the moment when he introduced Deva. Later on friendship scenes, romantic tracks or the metamorphosis of Deva from don to good humanitarian have missed the ground. Thanks to colorful frames and rich production values, our eyes at least had a meal. Dialogues are good at times and Nani’s timing enhanced the impact. Shamdat’s camera work is glossy while editing by Pravin Pudi is uninteresting. Mani Sharma scored couple of good songs while RR is not as effective as his best. Production standards from Ashwini Dutt and Vyjayanthi Movies are top notch.
About artists, Nani stole the show with his vibrant spark in an active role while Nagarjuna just stood passive support in a rather miscasting. Nani as Dr Das is the central soul of whole story where Nagarjuna just stood a meek vehicle. Nowhere Nag has got the elevation and honesty in characterization. Every time when Nag and Nani are together, there was Nani’s clear dominance. Not for first time, Nag tried his hand on don scripts many times but this is clueless. Rashmika is poorly dressed and is not as glamorous as Geetha (Govindam). Akanksha Singh is definitely one more weak selection. Both of them haven’t got meaty roles. Sarath Kumar, Naveen Chandra, Kunal Kapoor, Rao Ramesh, Srinivas Avasarala, Murali Sharma, Naresh, Vennela Kishore… such a magnanimous casting, everyone is underutilized.
Couple Of Songs
Weak Take Off
When a film maker is at the choice of using cult title like Devadas, obviously one has to be more cautious at etching the plot and enlarging the whole script. However, Sriram Adittya’s laid back attitude made this Devadas boring and hard to connect. Transformation of a don into a kind hearted human being through a catalyst in the form of simple and empathetic doctor has an emotional connect within to ripe sufficient feel good emotions like that of Munnabhai series. Couple of hospital scenes though are heart touching, few more of such episodes could have made the narrative more striking. There are abundant resources at disposal for Adittya to make Devadas a memorable film but he unfortunately went bizarre.
Movie begins with Nagarjuna’s childhood introducing us to his inner persona. Story shifts to present day on villain gang of Kunal Kapoor and Sarath Kumar. This part lacked the punch. Fortunately, there is a bit of relief as Nani makes his entry. The way he treats a patient reminds us of epic scene in Munnabhai MBBS. Entry of Nag and the follow up song down sized the momentum. Nag meeting Nani is poorly dealt. Scope to generate fun between these two characters is wasted hereon and merely became time killing scenes. Love tracks of Nagarjuna-Akanksha and Nani-Rashmika are also pretty ordinary. In what can be called as a twist on Rashmika, here is interval.
Second half too begins on a flat note with Nani making his sketch to glue Nag with Akanksha. In these portions, Nag’s Deva character is further massacred for no good purpose. Police control room scene is a little fun. Moving forward, Organ Donation concept and Naveen Chandra episodes are again forcible and lifeless. Bringing a total change in Nag’s character is absurd. Using TV show to reveal Deva’s identity and proceeding action are a regular watch. Closing scenes are again shouldered by Nani to leave a smile on our faces.
All in all, Devadas is at best an average film where stellar casting and mammoth resource base is unutilized by Sriram Adittya. Except Nani’s energy sprinkled in parts and top notch production values, Devadas may not appeal Akkineni Fans. While the Box Office verdict is a doubtful question, CJ goes with 2.5 stars.