Raja Vikramarka movie review: Old wine in new bottle

Logic, pace, and tautness is what one would expect from such films and Sri Saripalli’s work disappoints on all three counts.

Published: 13th November 2021 09:30 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th November 2021 10:21 AM   |  A+A-

Saagutha Doora Doora

A still from 'Raja Vikramarka'

Express News Service

A good spy-thriller ideally keeps the audience engrossed in its intelligent plot, spectacular action sequences, exciting espionage elements, and thrills. But, Raja Vikramarka, directed by debutant Sri Saripalli, fails to create such impact owing to its potpourri of influences coupled with irredeemable qualities. Borrowing its title from Chiranjeevi’s yesteryear film, this Kartikeya Gummakonda-starrer lacks the excitement of a spy-thriller.

The film traces the journey of an NIA officer, Vikram (Kartikeya Gummakonda), who sets out on a secret mission to settle scores with the enemies of Chandrasekhar (Sai Kumar), the Home Minister of the State. When he is entrusted with a big task, his focus should lie diligently on the mission, but his interest lies elsewhere as he falls in love with the Home Minister’s daughter, Kaanthi (Tanya Ravichandran).

Logic, pace, and tautness is what one would expect from such films and Sri Saripalli’s work disappoints on all three counts. He tries to keep the cards close to his chest for too long, but, by then, the damage has already been done as the big reveal has already been guessed by every person inside the theatre. As far as spy-thrillers go, Raja Vikramarka is a lame one, considering not once during the film do you feel any adrenaline rush. The simple and predictable story doesn’t really rise above the ground level. Much of the film’s problem lies in its shoddy narrative which is repeatedly punctured by unnecessary songs and unintentionally hilarious dialogue that digresses from the film’s spy-thriller theme. The emotions too fail to provide an insight into the core of the characters.

The film also suffers from its predictability. You will guess what will happen when Vikram and his team pick up a most-wanted weapons supplier, who dies during an interrogation that goes wrong. Then, you know exactly what threats does a Home Minister’s daughter face when her father is being targeted by his enemies. And you also know exactly how the climatic challenge the protagonist puts the antagonist up to will turn out.

With such plot contrivances, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out where this film is headed. The director never does justice to the rulebook of a spy-thriller plotting and gives us an over-familiar sequence after another. In one of the scenes, Kaanthi asks Vikram if he was really an NIA officer? Seriously, I do have the same doubt!

The final, most deadly flaw in Raja Vikramarka is the bizarre back-story about why Guru Narayan (Pasupathy) wants revenge from Chandrasekhar. Kartikeya is expressive and gets to play a strong role in this film. He has undergone massive physical training to get into the skin of the character and the results show on the screen. He performs his stunts well and has good comic timing.

Sai Kumar didn’t step out of his comfort zone and is alright. The film doesn’t offer much scope for Tanya Ravichandran to exhibit her performance nuances. Sudhakar Komakula appears earnest in his performance, while Tanikella Bharani, who plays Vikram’s senior officer, has unintendedly funny lines in the film. Harsha Vardhan makes his presence felt in an otherwise naive role.

With a wafer-thin yet predictable storyline, Raja Vikramarka doesn’t offer wow moments that one would expect from a spy thriller.

Movie: Raja Vikramarka
Cast: Kartikeya Gummakonda, Tanya Ravinchandran, Tanikella Bharani
Director: Sri Saripalli
Rating: 2.5/5


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