Behind the Movie Legend: Just before the elections in state, a film from Balakrishna with political touch is enough to keep high expectations set. Moreover, when the proven combination of ‘Simha’ is back, Nandamuri Fans were quite on high morals. Let us see, how ferocious are these roars of Lion?
In the Movie Legend: Jithender (Jagapathi Babu), a cruel cum rowdy politician belonging to Kurnool area eyes on Vizag due to an ego clash with local leader (Suman). After brutally murdering this leader and his wife (Suhasini), Jithender faces a tough opposition. Who is it?
Fast forward by many years, Krishna (Balakrishna) staying in Dubai comes to Vizag to get married with Sneha (Sonal Chauhan) before his family members. On the very stepping into Vizag, he reacts violently on atrocities of Jithender’s three sons. Immediately, Jithender attacks the entire family of Krishna but a brutal shock comes in the form of Jaidev (Balakrishna) to rescue the family.
Who is Jaidev? What is his flashback? What is his connection with Krishna? Why did he leave Jithender twice without killing? How did Jaidev spoil the political ambitions of Jithender? All these form rest of second half.
Values of the Movie Legend: When Lion begins to Roar, no one can stand before. This is why Balakrishna is called the Real King of Tollywood. No words to describe the outstanding, exceptional and gargantuan performance. Boyapati Srinu mastered the knack of satisfying Nandamuri Fans to core and he does it again without mistakes. Story is simple with rivalries and ego differences between two powerful people (Balakrishna and Jagapathi Babu). What mattered is the strong narration with high voltage scenes. Ratnam’s dialogues stand out inviting the shrieks from Fans especially in second half. Ram Prasad’s camera work is decent while Kotagiri’s editing was little confusing and erroneous. Stunt composition of Ram-Lakshman and Kanal Kannan stood on top of the credits. May be for the first time, DSP tasted the first power punch to his career composing to Balakrishna’s heroism. Of course, songs are mediocre and BGM was reverberating. Production values of Varahi and 14 Reels are stylishly beholden.
On performance front, there is not even an iota of negativity I can point out with Balakrishna. He is a power house performer. To be more straight, I can see teary eyes of Fans when ‘Legend’ arrives on screen just before interval. That is more than an achievement for any hero and any director. More than Krishna, it is Jaidev the show stealer. Styling done for Jaidev’s character is forever the best for Balayya after ‘Simha.’ While Sonal Chauhan filled the glamour part, Radhika Apte left an impression in a purposeful role. Coming to Jagapathi Babu, the voracious and blood thirsty broad eyes spoke the real villainy. He is the new antagonist on Telugu screen. Brahmi is a mere waste. Jayaprakash Reddy was not good and the voice dubbed for him was wrongly chosen. Nothing great to mention about others.
Out of the Movie Legend: On story front, ‘Legend’ has no great content. It’s the selection of lead artists and the highly scaled directorial abilities lifted the film to top. Even screenplay wise, more or less Boyapati showed the traits of ‘Simha.’ So what, when audiences are satisfied, rest goes to a corner.
If Jagapathi Babu took the responsibility of giving an explosive take off for the film, Balakrishna shouldered the entire second half. Of course, the character of Krishna and the total romantic, family thread looked weak and flaccid in first half. The real show begins with pre interval block when ‘Legend’ saves the family. Rest of the movie is completely taken upon oneself and that is the original Balayya. May it be the conversation with Delhi MP or the serious lecture on aborting the female fetus or the train action episode… everywhere Balakrishna showed the mark and you cannot stop Nandamuri Fans. Here and there, we can see loopholes in screenplay with sidelining of Krishna role in second half and the forcibly added climax thread with political motives or the excessive and lengthy sentiment yet presence of Balayya, even wrong becomes right.
Overall, the film is made to serve the interests of Nandamuri Fans and Boyapati Srinu delivered a perfect film as the right political footing to Balakrishna. When BP rises for Nata Simham, AP has to shiver! Theatres are to echo with only two slogans… ‘Jai Balayya Jai Jai Balayya’ and ‘Balayya… CM.’
Cinejosh Verdict of Legend: History Repeats… Lion is on Record Hunt
Cinejosh Rating: 3.5
Reviewed by Srivaas