'Meter', produced by Chiranjeevi (Cherry) and Hemalatha Pedamallu under the banner Clap Entertainment in association with Mythri Movie Makers, was released in theatres today.
Arjun Kalyan (Kiran Abbavaram) becomes a Sub-Inspector of Police rather reluctantly. He never wanted to become a cop in the first place. The reason is extremely flimsy. His father, despite his impeccable integrity, received only brickbats as a constable. So, Arjun Kalyan grew up thinking that a cop's job is a thankless job. But it is his father's undying wish to see him become a celebrated cop.
After our hero enters the police department, he makes enmity with Home Minister Byreddy (Dhanush Pavan). What enrages the HM? How does an unexpected incident upturn everything for the hero's father? How does the hero win the long race? Answers to these questions are found as the story progresses.
Kiran Abbavaram seems to bite more than what he can chew here. The out-and-out masala role was too much for him to handle. If you think about it, he acts best when he is as simple as possible. His first film is a case in point. 'Vinaro Bhagyamu Vishnu Katha' was a mainstream outing but it didn't have him in an over-the-top role although the script was bloated. So, the audience liked him there. 'Meter' is made from a different cloth. If you are charitable enough, watch its trailer and get a sense of how over-the-top Kiran's characterization is in the film.
Athulya Ravi is wasted in a thoroughly senseless role. Her character is introduced as a hater of men but she falls for our hero so easily. The characters played by '30 Years Industry' Prudhviraj and Gautham Raju have been used to land insensitive 'humour' on heinous acid attacks and plastic surgery.
Saptagiri is that sidekick who is there to remind the audience that 'Meter' was meant to be done by a star hero. He keeps addressing our hero as 'Alludu' as if Kiran Abbavaram is some Yuva Samrat or Young Tiger. The comedian also takes jibes at the police commissioner (Posani Krishna Murali in a stock role) because he has the backing of our hero.
The artist who played the hero's father is respectable. The villain, played by Dhanush Pavan, is a total letdown not because he is a terrible actor, but because his character is bereft of a single noteworthy trope.
The songs are tailored to feel like extra 'masala' in terms of lyrics. 'Chammak Chammak Pori' and 'Oh Baby Jaaripomakey', composed by Sai Kartheek, don't go the extra mile. The BGM would have sounded much better had the script not been so stale. Venkat C Dileep's cinematography and JV's production design are laidback. The making values are outlandish.
The hero in this film is an SI. If you thought it stands for Sub-Inspector, you are wrong. It stands for Supernatural Inspector. Kiran Abbavaram's Arjun Kalyan has to just start blackmailing the most powerful person in the State to get things done. His father once tells him that the cop's job is God's job. Poor fellow doesn't know that his son himself is God.
In recent times, at least two films didn't deserve to be made in the OTT era: 'The Warriorr' and Sree Vishnu's 'Alluri'. Both films are cop stories like 'Meter', although the sub-genres and emotional beats are different. 'Meter' joins the league of frighteningly stale films in the post-pandemic era.
Half of the film is filled with an endless stream of coincidences. The flood of co-incidences starts testing the audience's patience. Coincidences have to be intelligent. Here, they make the audience gasp at the parading of impossibilities in the name of drama and entertainment.
Written by director Ramesh Kaduri and Surya, 'Meter' is a 127-minute museum piece.