Winner Review, What’s Behind: Combo of director Gopichand Malineni and Supreme Star Sai Dharam Tej with gorgeous Rakul Preet Singh made ‘Winner’ one of the excited released of the week. Let’s see, how far ‘Winner’ got those quality ingredients needed to win the Box Office?
Winner Story: Siddhu aka Siddharth Reddy (Sai Dharam Tej) runs away from home in childhood days hating his father Mahender Reddy (Jagapathi Babu) and his racing business. This rift creation between father and son was a ploy by grand-father Mohan Reddy (Mukesh Rishi) to save his business empire. As time moves on, Siddharth Reddy’s love affair with Sitara (Rakul Preet Singh) lands him again stand before Mahender Reddy challenging champion horse racer Aadi (Anup Thakur Singh). How Siddhu evolves as winner teaching a lesson to grandpa and Aadi is rest.
Winner Artists and Technicians: Commercial hits from Gopichand Malineni like ‘Balupu’ or ‘Pandaga Chesko’ haven’t really got new stories or exciting screenplays yet they striked chord with common audience in B, C centers minting gold because of mass, energetic narration. In the same way, story from Veligonda Srinivas concentrated on crucial father-son bonding had sufficient padding with romantic, sports and action tracks. Yet, screenplay went on very poor lines missing in absorption of audience attention. Gopichand Malineni’s direction somehow was hurried lost in scene and emotion continuity. There is plenty of boring and unnecessary stuff which could have been avoided. Dialogues by Abburi Ravi were good in parts. Chota K Naidu’s camera work is decent with rich visuals. Editing by Goutham Raju is just average. SS Thaman composed couple of catchy tunes and presentation was also just ok. Especially ‘Suya Suya’ song wasn’t satisfactorily executed on the screen. BGM was also average. Production standards from Bujji and Tagore Madhu are top notch.
Onto performances, Sai Dharam Tej for the first time tried a complete, commercial, mass masala, regular template and in a role which is tested many a times. He was at ease with dances, dialogue delivery, mannerisms and a bit new is tear jerking sentimental emotion from his side. Rakul Preet Singh’s skin show dominated glamour in skimpy costumes might be a treat for front benchers. Character wise, she hasn’t got the meat. Jagapathi Babu steals the show in his own style in a sober, stylish father role. Mukesh Rishi is bland. Anup Thakoor Singh has only body. Vennela Kishore in a full length role tickled our funny bone while Singham Sujata by 30 Years Industry Prudhvi is a mere waste. Instead, Ali as Racing Coach Peter Heins aka Horseman Babu lifted the second half with his trademark comic quotient. Rest like Suresh, Raghu Babu and others may not need a big mention
Sai Dharam Tej
SS Thaman Music
Winner Rating Analysis: As a hero, Sai Dharam Tej is improving credentials with each film. In his immediate desire to attain the extra commercial stardom, he seems to have picked a proven director Gopichand Malineni and a tested routine storyline which unfortunately isn’t effectively delivered. Many of the episodes and their treatment were forced and illogical. From the very go, it was against Telugu audience emotions to showcase grandpa-grandson relation in negative perspective and horse racing is also not a familiar game to connect with us. To overcome these foundational drawbacks, Gopichand had an opportunity to keep narrative very tight which hasn’t happened.
First half begins on a very promising note before titles when father-son soft sentiment and a destitute grandfather are introduced. Post titles, SDT’s entry and Anasuya item song haven’t got strong lead scenes. Establishing the newspaper office environment comedy and Rakul Preet Singh’s romantic track were ok. To pass on the time, Singham Sujatha comes and goes without serving any purpose. None of these bombarded tracks worked a magic before the interval challenge twist closes first half on a below average note.
Starting the second half, the plot is widely open and story moves on expected lines. SDT-Jagapathi Babu bike drive and Rakul knowing about SDT flashback are clichéd but engaging to an extent. However, Ali’s entry changes the pitch and there are laugh-out loud saving moments. Towards climax, movie ends very crisply with our Winner winning the racing championship followed by a twist in screenplay leading to a happy ending.
All in all, ‘Winner’ is purely a tried formula based film with inconsistencies in direction and narrative. For methodical cinema lovers in B, C centers, there’s something to rejoice but for A center audience, it’s hard to gulp. CJ goes with 2.25 stars and Box Office result totally depends on how B, C centers adore.
Winner Cinejosh Verdict: Lost At The Start.
Winner Cinejosh Rating: 2.25/5.0
Reviewed by Srivaas