The collaboration between Boyapati Srinu and Ram raised expectations significantly, especially since Boyapati had previously delivered a resounding blockbuster with Balakrishna's Akhanda, while Ram, following the mass hysteria generated by iSmart Shankar, had faced challenges in recreating that same magic. Their much-anticipated project, titled Skanda, is set to hit theaters nationwide on September 28, 2023.
Skanda has garnered immense attention from movie enthusiasts, thanks to a combination of factors. Ram's remarkable transformation, Sree Leela's captivating on-screen presence, and the commercially charged teaser and trailer have all contributed to building excitement around the film.
Adding to the buzz, Disney+ Hotstar has acquired the OTT rights to Skanda for a substantial sum, ensuring that viewers can enjoy it on the streaming platform once its theatrical run concludes.
As we venture into the world of Skanda, we eagerly await the experiences and reactions of movie lovers, eager to see how this highly anticipated collaboration between Boyapati Srinu and Ram unfolds on the big screen.
Skanda unfolds a gripping narrative that delves into the intricate dynamics between two families in a village, whose lives take a dramatic turn when influential politicians become entangled in their affairs. AP CM Rayudu (Ajay Purkar), and Telangana CM Ranjith Reddy (Sharath Lohithaswa), are not only thick friends but also powerful figures in the political landscape. However, their friendship sours as a result of a grave incident involving their children.
The story takes an unexpected and riveting twist when their daughters are tragically kidnapped by Bhaskar,( Ram Pothineni), hailing from Rudrajaupuram. The central mystery revolves around Bhaskar's motivations for this daring act and the hidden connections that tie him to various key individuals.
Unraveling the intricate web of relationships and motives, the plot introduces us to Bhaskar's parents, Manikanta Raju (Daggubati Raja) and Lakshmi ( Gauthami). Additionally, it delves into the world of Crown Technologies CEO Ramakrishna Raju ( Srikanth), his daughter Parineeta (Saiee Manjrekar), and his wife Bharathi ( Indraja). The story further explores the involvement of AP CM's nephew Chinnappa (Prabhakar), Telangana CM's brother Sanjay (Prince), and various other characters who play crucial roles in the unfolding drama.
As the narrative progresses, audiences are drawn deeper into the labyrinthine plot, unraveling the mysteries, motivations, and connections that drive the story of Skanda. With its intriguing premise and a talented ensemble cast, the film promises to be a captivating exploration of power, intrigue, and personal vendettas in the political landscape.
Ram's commitment to shedding his loverboy image was evident long before Skanda came along. Following the success of iSmart Shankar,he yearned for another powerful mass entertainer, and the opportunity presented itself with Skanda, directed by Boyapati. Ram's dedication to his role was exemplary as he left no stone unturned in his transformation. From gaining weight to completely altering his appearance with a thick beard and adopting a Telangana accent for his dialogues, he went above and beyond to do justice to his character.
Moreover, he embarked on intense training to master high-octane stunts, wielding unique weapons specially designed by Boyapati, further cementing his commitment to the role.
In Skanda, Ram showcased his versatility by delivering compelling expressions and emotions, and his body language was particularly noteworthy. Whether portraying heartfelt scenes with his family members or sharing romantic moments with the charming Sree Leela, he demonstrated a remarkable range as an actor.
Speaking of Sree Leela, despite Boyapati's deliberate attempt to downplay her beauty, she exuded a captivating charm on screen. The chemistry between Ram and Sree Leela was palpable and added to the film's appeal, especially in their high-energy dance sequences that left viewers enthralled.
Saiee Manjrekar, daughter of Mahesh Manjrekar, displayed her talent despite having a limited role. Her performance was satisfactory, although she could have been given more screen time. Srikanth portrayed the role of a troublesome CEO of a software company decently, adding depth to the narrative.
Ajay Purkar and Sharath Lohithaswa delivered commendable performances as the Chief Ministers of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, respectively. Prince Cecil, in his limited role as the brother of the Telangana CM, and Prabhakar also made their presence felt.
Prithviraj, in the role of an advisor to the CMs, played his part effectively, contributing to the film's overall intrigue. Daggubati Raja left a lasting impression with his powerful dialogues as Ram's father, while Gauthami and Indraja portrayed their respective roles as Ram's mother and Srikanth's wife with skill and conviction. Bollywood Bombshell, Urvashi Rautela sparkled in a special song Cult Mama to give sleepless nights to movie lovers.
Skanda was a testament to the talent and dedication of its ensemble cast, with each member contributing to the film's narrative in their own unique way.
Skanda,a story crafted by Boyapati Srinu, is emblematic of his signature style, which moviegoers have come to expect. Boyapati has a knack for taking his heroes through a rollercoaster of challenges, and in his narratives, the hero always emerges unscathed. His storytelling often leans towards mass elevations, sometimes bordering on the extravagant. While this approach may suit stars like Balakrishna, it can appear somewhat unrealistic for other actors. It appears that Boyapati took note of this after the reception of Ram Charan's "Vinaya Vidheya Rama" and made slight adjustments for Ram in Skanda.
Nonetheless, Boyapati skillfully leveraged his talents to elevate Ram's mass heroism to the maximum in Skanda. The story, while bearing resemblance to his previous works and other commercial entertainers, commences with an intense narrative, involving both the Chief Ministers of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and the escalating rivalry between them. Ram's introduction is marked by a massy entry, followed by a couple of romantic scenes before a surprising twist unfolds just before the interval. Boyapati's trademark intense interval block leaves the audience in awe, prompting them to wonder if such high-octane moments are necessary at this point in the film.
However, Boyapati remains Boyapati, unapologetic in his cinematic approach. When he wields the directorial microphone, concepts like physics, chemistry, and other scientific principles take a backseat. The story delves into a flashback mode, where Boyapati skillfully manipulates typical family emotions, albeit at a slightly slower pace. But once the flashback arc concludes, the pre-climax and climax are marked by intense confrontations, with daggers drawn and bloodshed aplenty.
Boyapati employs a conventional story with dialogue that may come across as repetitive but resonates with mass audiences. His dialogues often carry a political undertone, allowing viewers to draw parallels with real-life politicians and industrialists. He adheres to a familiar template in his screenplay and direction, a style that has previously yielded blockbuster results.
Thaman, known for his terrific background music and foot-tapping tunes, falls short of expectations in Skanda. While his BGM for Akhanda received rave reviews, this time, it disappoints. None of the songs leave a lasting impression, although Nee Chuttu and Gandara Bhai are notable for their choreography. In Nee Chuttu, Ram's dance moves are unique, while Gandara Bhai features an electrifying performance by both Ram and Sree Leela. However, Thaman's background music in the film is average at best and occasionally too loud, failing to effectively enhance the scenes.
The editing by Thammiraju is acceptable, though some scenes could have been trimmed to maintain the film's pacing. The production values by Srinivasaa Silver Screen are grand, adding to the film's overall visual appeal.
In conclusion, Skanda follows the tried-and-tested Boyapati Srinu formula, with its familiar storytelling and signature style. While it may not break new ground, it aims to cater to the tastes of mass audiences, providing them with the intense action and dramatic confrontations they have come to expect from a Boyapati-directed film.
In its entirety, Skanda - The Attacker delivers a solid dose of mass entertainment for movie enthusiasts. Boyapati adheres to his tried-and-true formula, and with the vibrant energy of Ram, Sree Leela's captivating dance sequences, and a handful of impactful dialogues addressing the political landscape of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, he successfully grabs the attention of the audience.
Skanda is packed with all the essential commercial elements, and Boyapati's competent screenplay and direction ensure that it caters to the preferences of mass audiences. He even surprises the viewers with a promising lead into a potential sequel during the climactic moments.
This film is undoubtedly designed to provide an engaging cinematic experience for fans of mass entertainment. Considering all these factors, Cinejosh assigns a rating of 2.5 to Skanda.