'Bimbisara', produced by Hari Krishna K on NTR Arts, was released in theatres today.
Ancient king Bimbisara (played by Nandamuri Kalyan Ram) is tenacious about wanting to expand the area of his Trigartala Empire. Consumed by his power-hungry exploits, he clashes with a religious clan who worship Lord Dhanwantri.
By a quirk of time-travel fantasy, Bimbisara lands in the modern-day world, where he has to lock horns with a violent doctor named Shastry (Vivan Bathena).
The above two tracks run in parallel. What made Bimbisara get transported from the ancient era to 2022? Who fills his shoes in his absence in the Trigartala Empire? Can he achieve the purpose in 2022? Can he come out alive from the wrath of Shastry? Answers to these questions are found as the story progresses.
Kalyan Ram expands his realm to show that he holds a lot of promise. In a pre-release interview, he said that he asked his director to narrate the scenes multiple times. And those repeated narrations injected the character into his mind thoroughly. The fantasy element wouldn't have looked as convincing had it not been for his earnest performance.
Catherine Tresa as Princess Ira is doesn't get to do much, while Samyuktha Menon as a cop named Vijayanthi is average. Warina Hussain is wasted in a special song that proves to be pointless.
Prakash Raj could have been better. Chammak Chandra and Srinivas Reddy (as Zubeda) evoke some laughs. Vennela Kishore and Ayyappa P Sharma are underutilized in stock roles.
Varikuppala Yadagiri-composed 'O Tene Palakula' may not be a pristine folk number, but it works. Keeravani's songs are uniformly appealing. His BGM becomes the soul of the film in the action scenes in the second half.
Chota K Naidu's cinematography doesn't quite make a killing of the genre but it is definitely adept. Kiran Kumar Manne's art direction complements the VFX, which fulfills its purpose in most of the scenes.
For a new director, Vassishta shows imagination. He blends elements from folk dramas and weds them with the masala genre. And he delivers mixed results in doing so.
The stunts by Venkat and Ram Krishna work essentially because of two reasons: Kalyan Ram's attitude and Keeravani's BGM. Otherwise, there is nothing much going for the action department. A film of this genre needed much better stunts.
The dialogues by Vasudev Muneppagari stay true to the genre. They sound routine in melodramatic scenes, though. The lines, however, bring out the menacing personality of Bimbisara quite well in the ancient era portions.
There was enormous potential in the fact that the film juggles two eras side by side. This should have been elevated in a much better way. There is an element of magic in time-travel stories, something this film waters down by resorting to some cliches.
There is a surprise element in the form of a character named Devadutta. We don't get to invest much in him. Even so, the sentimental aspect has been milked adequately. And also, Bimbisara's concern for the faceless people is narrated in a shallow manner.
Everything said, 'Bimbisara' makes for an average watch, especially if you walk in with grounded expectations.