Some films have the rare ability to poke our conscience, some are out-and-out entertainers. Mr Airavatha doesn't fall into either extreme.
Taking 'inspiration' from different movies, the film also weaves in elements from the familiar landscapes of the political system. What it draws is a comparison between real and reel life, making an insightful comment on the present-day society. And the pressure on director A P Arjun to work around Darshan’s star status is quite evident.
Mr Airavatha is the story of a farm boy Airavatha (Darshan), raised by his grandparents (Anant Nag and Sitara), who uses his rural toughness to become an IPS officer and within a short span of 5 months and 23 days, goes all out to cleanse the society. Creating hurdles in his mission is Prathap Kale (Prakash Raj), the local don.
The twist comes when it is revealed that Airavatha is a fake officer and this brings us to the second half of the movie. How he manages to get the DCP’s post and whether this officer who becomes a common man’s hero, gets the support from his people forms the rest of the story.
The action-packed film has all the ingredients of a commercial potboiler, accentuated by the presence of Anant Nag, Sitara, Prakash Raj, Ashok, Avinash and Sindhu Lokanath. Urvashi Rautela brings in the love angle and makes for a pretty picture. A cameo by Darshan’s son, Vineesh, in the end brings a sweet little moment. But remaining faithful to the title, in spite of a huge starcast, Mr Airavatha remains Darshan’s show.
With an excellent image makeover and shining screen presence, Darshan keeps the film moving ably aided by apt dialogues and crisp action sequences. Though elevated to the status of a hero even in the film, he continues to reflect the angst of the common man. Faithful to his image of Sandalwood’s heartthrob, Darshan meets the action-drama expectations of his die-hard fans. Matching him is Prakash Raj, who seems to be perfectly within his comfort zone in playing the antagonist. Arjun could have etched out the role some more to bring out varying shades of the character.
Sadhu Kokila, Bullet Prakash and Chikkanna sprinkle comedy. However, the latter could have been given more screen space to enliven the heavily action-based subject. V Harikrishna’s music and Shekhar Chandra’s camera work score well.
Engaging in parts, Mr Airavatha can go on to be financially rewarding for Sandesh Productions as it is a potential holiday favourite for cinegoers who have been waiting to watch the Challenging Star. And if you are looking for some fun and action, then this 157-minute movie is for you.