Vakeel Saab marks comeback for Power Star Pawan Kalyan and Venu Sriram is lucky enough to have got to direct the star in his third film. It’s a dream come true for producer Dil Raju to work with his favourite star. Expectations are sky high on the film, though it is remake of Hindi movie Pink. Will it leave up to them?
Three working women and roommates Pallavi (Nivetha Thomas), Zareena (Anjali) and Divya (Ananya Nagalla) escape a molestation attempt by MP’s son Vamsi (Vamsi Krishna) and friends at a resort and in the incident Pallavi attacks Vamsi with a bottle injuring him terribly. False cases are filed against the innocent and helpless women by the powerful men. Vakeel Saab Satya Dev (Pawan Kalyan) steps forward to help them clear their names.
Vakeel Saab is not completely frame to frame remake of either Pink or its Tamil version Nerkonda Paarvai. Director Venu Sriram adopted main theme from the original and there was inspiration of Tamil version as well. He then added some commercial ingredients to charm fans. Though this does not spoil the soul of the original, flashback episode is bit too lengthy. And the other drawback is, the film is not as emotionally appealing as the Hindi and the Tamil versions. It was a daring move to introduce Pawan Kalyan only after 15 to 20 minutes. As the film is about the women, it is worth giving space to show their personal lives and bonding with each other. Dialogues penned by Venu Sriram himself are thought-provoking. He gets distinction marks as director for handling the subject efficiently.
Coming to other technical team, PS Vinod’s camera work is laudable, wherein S Thaman takes the visuals to next level with his wonderful background score. Even, songs are also very pleasing. Prawin Pudi has done neat job, but he should have removed few portions in flashback. Production values of Sri Venkateswara Creations are top-notch.
Onto performances, Pawan Kalyan steals the show with his stellar show. He comes up with an intense performance as Vakeel Saab. He appeared in different getups and the beard look is the best among them. Naturally, Pawan Kalyan excels in action sequences as well. Prakash Raj is also at his usual best as advocate Nanda. Nivetha Thomas impresses big time in an emotional role and Anjali, Ananya too are equally impressive. Shruti Haasan is just okay in an extended cameo in flashback portions. Senior actors Subhalekha Sudhakar and Sarath Babu make their presence felt in brief roles. Mukesh Rishi is routine.
Lack Of Emotional Connectivity (Compared To Original)
There is huge risk involved in remakes as people compare with the original version and even small misstep can cause change of opinion. Venu Sriram took the risk and he nearly succeeded in adroitly remaking an award winning and commercially successful film with a top star like Pawan Kalyan. He utilized every single opportunity to please die-hard fans of Pawan Kalyan who expect commercial elements. However, few action sequences looked unwarranted.
The film begins on pleasant note showcasing the backdrop and families of the three working women who stay together in Hyderabad. Maguva song in the background make the visuals appealing. The pleasant atmosphere turns unnerving with a shocking incident. Pawan Kalyan makes his entry in style with an action episode and he moves to the colony where the three women reside. The flashback that was supposed to take the narration to next level is poorly written and handled. The romantic track is not appealing and courtroom episode that makes Pawan Kalyan to stay away from the court is not persuasive. Then, the interval episode of Pawan Kalyan giving a strong warning to the politician and tells him to take up the case will surely gratify fans.
Latter half begins with Prakash Raj taking up the case to argue on behalf of the politician’s son. The initial portions somehow looked dramatic, but things turn serious as Nivetha Thomas is asked scathing questions on her lifestyle, drinking habits and virg***ty lays bare the double standards of the society we live in. The film questions the society’s mindset where we think girls with short hemlines and those who enjoy a drink with men are low on morals. It also tells us that, if a woman says ‘no’ to being touched, then no man has the right to force himself on her or outrage her modesty. Pawan Kalyan imposing same questions to Vamsi makes this different from the original. The actual incident is shown only in the end.
On the whole, Vakeel Saab is an exceptional film for those who haven’t watched the original and also for Pawan Kalyan fans, given it has enough heroism elevation sequences. However, it is not up to the mark compared to the original as it lacked the emotional connect. Pawan Kalyan is the biggest saving grace, along with S Thaman’s music and support from the other technical team. The women trio too gave their best. CJ goes with 2.75 star rating. It’s a worth-watching in theatres and Pawan Kalyan mania is expected to work wonders at BO.