'Krishnarjuna Yuddham' movie review: Even Nani can’t salvage this borefest

Nani plays a dual role, with the two characters – Krishna and Arjun – being in stark contrast in the film set in two different worlds.

Published: 13th April 2018 11:33 PM  |   Last Updated: 14th April 2018 03:12 PM   |  A+A-

A still of the film Krishnarjuna Yuddham.

Express News Service

Movie: Krishnarjuna Yuddham

Direction: Merlapaka Gandhi

Cast: Nani, Anupama Parameswaran, Rukhsar

Ratings: 2.5

Director Merlapaka Gandhi, whose forte is entertainment, has teamed up with versatile actor Nani, who is riding on a wave of success, for Krishnarjuna Yuddham. So does the Express Raja director’s third attempt live up to its promise? Not really. Nani plays a dual role, with the two characters – Krishna and Arjun – being in stark contrast in the film set in two different worlds. While the former is a lungi-clad flirty-rebellious villager, who falls for Dr Riya, the granddaughter of a sarpanch (Nagineedu), the latter is a smooth-talking, yet charming rock star. Arjun meets Subbalakshmi (Anupama Parameswaran), a photographer, who works for a magazine based in Hyderabad, and falls in love with her even though she doesn’t seem to trust him.

Both the stories are intertwined by a freak incident which brings Krishna and Arjun to Hyderabad only to realise that their loved ones are in trouble. Together, they take matters into their own hands and race-against-time to accomplish a common mission. Unlike Nani’s earlier films like Yevade Subramanyam, Bhale Bhale Magadivoy, Gentleman and Ninnu Kori, there’s no real plot to this film as it’s positioned as a character-driven movie, But it falls flat on its face, because the rule for any such films is that its characters be interesting enough to pull off a film on their strength. But here, they are all uni-dimensional and have no personality at all.

Too much time is spent in establishing the characters of Krishna and Arjun, and once the conflict is revealed, the film has pretty much nothing else to do or say due to its convenient resolution.
The story meanders at such a sluggish pace that by the end of the first hour, you feel like you’ve already watched a three-hour drama. There’s nothing much to be said about the plot which runs on the same tropes that every other commercial entertainer does. Sample this, Krishna sneaks into Riya’s house in the middle of the night. And like many old Telugu films, Riya pines to see the village at night.

The parallel narration too ends up as a distraction as random scenes are slapped together one after another paying no attention to the audience’s interest or purposefully testing their intelligence. The screenplay drags its feet making the same point again and again.

The real plot kicks in during the second hour when the protagonists start looking for their missing soulmates from a forsaken railway godown that leads them to uncover an organised sex trafficking gang. It is also in this hour that the film transforms into a thriller. Or tries to. But the lack of thrills and the mood-killing songs play spoilsport.

The soundtrack by Hip Hop Tamizha is average at best, except for the immensely popular Dhaari chudu number (written and sung by Putta Penchal Das) which is filled with Nani’s infectious energy, vibrant colours and great dancing. The editing is shoddy, to say the least, but Karthik Ghattamaneni’s camerawork is breathtaking.

While it’s hard to empathise with Arjun, the only positive in the film is perhaps Krishna, whose character has some emotional depth. Nani brings some welcome authenticity to this character. Although Rukhsar looks adorable, she has almost nothing to do, as we only see her in a couple of songs and a few scenes. Anupama Parameswaran stands out with razor-sharp performance.

Krishnarjuna Yuddham is at best an average film and can be a choice on a day when you have nothing better to do.

— Murali Krishna CH


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