'Bangarraju' is a satisfying sequel

Bangarraju, directed by Kalyan Krishna Kursala, is a crowd-pleaser in every sense of the term.

Published: 15th January 2022 07:36 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th January 2022 07:36 AM   |  A+A-

A still from 'Bangarraju'.

A still from 'Bangarraju'. (Photo | YouTube screengrab)

Express News Service

Bangarraju, directed by Kalyan Krishna Kursala, is a crowd-pleaser in every sense of the term. It’s loaded with humour, romance, action and also boasts of fine performances from its lead cast, and truly lives up to the expectations of Soggade Chinni Nayana (2016), which chronicled the journey of a father and son. This time, the core story revolves around a grandfather and his grandson.

The film wastes no time in getting straight to the point - ‘Birth and death are for the human body, but not for its soul’. In its opening minutes, a gang of robbers makes futile attempts to plunder the hidden treasure at a temple in Shivapuram. A snake, also the protector of the treasure, strikes back with vengeance and kills all the goons, and submerges the temple.

In the next scene, we see Yamadutas escorting Bangarraju (Nagarjuna) to heaven as his soul is about to attain salvation. But he has an unfinished business in this village and his soul was sent back to bhoolokam to accomplish it.

Bangarraju’s legacy is now being inhabited by his grandson, Chinna Bangarraju (Naga Chaitanya), who, like his grandfather, charms all the women around him with his smile and swagger. At heart, Bangarraju is the story of two souls, who try to help their grandson get hitched. Over 160 minutes, writer-director Kalyan Krishna Kurasala stages an elaborate drama that is both entertaining and thrilling. Bangarraju is a better film than Nagarjuna’s last two releases, even though it never really tries to go beyond its cliches.

Kalyan Krishna serves up a first hour that is light and breezy. Much of its entertainment is mined from the conversations between Bangarraju and Satya Bhama (Ramya Krishna), particularly after the duo decide to set things right between their grandson and Naga Lakshmi (Krithi Shetty), the sarpanch of Shivapuram.To be honest, the film is peppered with hilarious one-liners, and Kalyan Krishna perfectly captures the portrait and vibe of a coastal village, complete with characters that are rooted in the setting.

The film has its share of flaws, with the director taking his own sweet time to establish the characters and conflict in the first hour. The writing is tad generic and doesn’t bring novelty in any angle. Although there’s a lot going on in the film – a love story at the center, ordeals of greedy relatives, evil motives, supporting grandparents with their own interests – admittedly the things get interesting only post-intermission.

This being the story of Bangarraju, you know how things will pan out in the end, yet Kalyan Krishna’s script takes a thrilling route to get there. The climax packs a punch and gives a shock value to the viewers. It’s a treat to watch the father-son duo bashing the goons together. Without any doubt, Bangarraju has more zeal and pomp than its first part. Naga Chaitanya is easily the most unconventional, unassuming actor around. He is someone who could convincingly pull off a love-struck Karthik (Ye Maaya Chesave), a wounded Poorna (Majili), a struggling Zumba instructor Revanth (Love Story), and still make you root for this character. With each film, he is steadily climbing the artistic ladder and is in top form.

It’s refreshing to see Nagarjuna having fun on screen. He lights up the screen with his self-assured performance and charming presence. Together, the father and son ooze a mix of cinematic and natural charm with their admirable performances.

Ramya Krishna, who can usually be relied upon for delivering competent performance, portrays Satya Bhama with restraint. Kriti Shetty does a lot better and gets into the part really well. Her on-screen chemistry with Chaitanya is a delight to watch. Of the supporting cast, Rao Ramesh, Brahmaji and Vennela Kishore are authentic, while portraying Bangarraju’s extended family.

Anup Ruben’s music and background score accentuate the mood of the film, while Yuvaraj wonderfully captures the picturesque locales of rural Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Overall, Bangarraju is a satisfying masala film, which acts as a perfect follow-up for its predecessor, Soggade Chinni Nayana.

Bangarraju
Cast: Nagarjuna, Naga Chaitanya, Ramya Krishna, Krithi Shetty
Director: Kalyan Krishna Kurasala
Rating 2.5/5


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