'Waltair Veerayya', produced by Mythri Movie Makers, was released today in theatres. Here is our review.
Veerayya (Chiranjeevi) reaches Malaysia with the ostensible purpose of kidnapping a drug mafia leader named Solomon (Bobby Simha). But Solomon is fiercely protected by his brother Kaala (Prakash Raj as a ruthless ganglord), who can go to any lengths to guard Solomon. After plotting a scheme, Veerayya manages to pummel Solomon. This is also when he reveals his cards and the audience get to know that he shares a turbulent past with Kaala in Jalaripeta back in Andhra Pradesh.
Meanwhile, ACP Vikram Sagar (Ravi Teja) is waiting to be served justice.
After disappointing the audience with a lifeless and self-conscious performance in 'Acharya', Chiranjeevi makes a decent comeback. No, his performance is not volatile. Don't buy into all the hype and hoopla. He is hardly thunderous in the action scenes. The much-touted interval scene falls flat on the writing and action choreography fronts. If it works, it is only because of Chiru's star power. Choreographer Sekhar VJ gives him the right kind of moves in the songs. The comedy works mainly owing to Chiru's seasoned talent; the writing has no spark.
Ravi Teja is not content with doing fanboy things in this film. He wears a 'Dhamaka' attitude and is not intimidated by his idol anywhere. But it wouldn't have hurt had Chiru and Ravi Teja done workshops to ace the Uttarandhra and Telangana slang. Their dialogue delivery is so meh at times. It gets monotonous after a point.
Shruti Haasan doesn't get to do scenes that last in your mind beyond the time you spend in the hall. Bobby Simha's inability is glaring. He is definitely not the kind of actor who can say things like this: "I am not scared of India. India is scared of me." Seriousy, what was director Bobby thinking of actor Bobby? Some Jagapathi Babu kinda villain?
Rajendra Prasad is overly emotional. Prakash Raj behaves as though he has to seem mean and villainous in every frame - even in the scenes where he is supposed to do comedy. He makes the boring negative character all the more boring with his clueless acting.
One wishes the comedians (Srinivasa Reddy, Saptagiri and Shakalaka Shankar, Prabhas Sreenu) got to do something other than giving reaction shots. Vennela Kishore is the only one who gets some lines and delivers a semblance of impact. Catherine Tresa, Sathyaraj, John Vijay and others are exhausting to watch.
Devi Sri Prasad's background music is cruelly bland. The songs don't work either. The choreography and the leading man's image are the only saving grace here. 'Boss Party' gets introduced without any tempo. 'Sridevi Chiranjeevi' was shot in exotic locations yet has near-zero charm, while 'Poonakalu Loading' is enjoyable. The last song between Chiru and Shruti comes uninvited.
Arthur A Wilson of 'Sardar Gabbar Singh' mounts the scenes with zero finesse.
Screenplay writers Kona Venkat and K Chakravarthy Reddy must go back to the drawing room. They are seriously confused about handling a story set in a world of heinous crimes, mafia and drug trade. Their idea of portraying drug lords is outdated and silly. Just showing the drug lord sniffing cocaine and wearing flashy attire is not enough. In recent times, the 'KGF' movies and 'Vikram' have transformed the way larger-than-life crime settings have been portrayed. 'Waltair Veerayya' is not clued into the changing trends.
This is not to say that an action entertainer must be as dark and edgy as a 'Vikram' or a well-written web series in the age of Netflix and Prime. But an actioner that deals with two bigshot drug traders must throw up at least one terrific idea. Is it too much to expect from a Chiranjeevi movie, ostensibly made on a budget of nearly Rs 150 Cr? Even those who find 'Waltiar Veerayya' watchable are not going to say it has got a plausible plot.
The cops wait for evidence forever. In real life, everyone and their aunts are grilled for hours on mere suspicion of drug consumption. In 'Waltair Veerayya', even the death of 20 kids doesn't propel the sincerest cop to pull up his socks.
There is a supposed RAW team whose phones are tapped by the villains. But they don't seek additional forces against such terrifying antagonists. Do you know why? They have Veerayya on their side and they believe they are loaded with enough 'poonakalu'.
Casting Ravi Teja is the X-Factor. The character per se is not novel or special. If this story was written for a small-time hero, probably the character would have been played by Rajeev Kanakala, the ever-so-dependable artist for playing ready-to-die characters.
The action scenes are lazily edited and choreographed. The first fight was described by Chiranjeevi as a Hollywood-style one. The last fight involves a basic gun battle. Zilch excitement, zilch thrills.
'Waltair Veerayya' has no believable plot. Its comedy is strictly derivative and badly inspired. The action choreography is flat.