'Tiger Nageswara Rao' is one of the biggest Dasara releases in recent years. Produced by Abhishek Agarwal of Abhishek Agarwal Arts, the film sees the coming together of Ravi Teja and director Vamsee. How is the period actioner? Is it worth a watch? Find out here...
The biographical action thriller is set in the 1970s when Tiger Nageswara Rao (Ravi Teja) was the most-dreaded thief in the country (?). His formative years in Stuartpuram made him believe that dacoity was the only way ahead if he had to save himself and his stigmatized tribe.
At one point, Rao decided to challenge the Prime Minister of India herself. This is when the Intelligence Bureau swings into action and attempts to learn about Rao's mysterious, mythical modus operandi. In the process, the IB learns that Rao's agenda is noble.
Ravi Teja doesn't keep aside his 'Mass Maharaja' image, thereby failing to bring a unique persona to the table. His attempt to glamourize the notorious thief proves to be a stumbling block. His attitude in the scenes with the heroines (Gayatri Bharadwaj and Nupur Sanon) feels out of place.
Anupam Kher as an Intelligence Bureau chief named Raghavendra Rajput and Jisshu Sengupta as a Circle Inspector contribute to the film's artificial vibes, especially because they are non-Telugu artists dubbed for by regular voice artists. Renu Desai (as a social activist) is outshined by literally everyone else in the film. Hareesh Peradi (as a political leader), Nassar (as Rao's mentor) and others play forgettable parts.
Tamil composer GV Prakash Kumar tries to fit into the mould of a Tollywood music director. He avoids minimalism/realism in search of a pan-India market. However, with the film's quest for a multi-lingual market remaining a non-starter, could the music director have made it? The composer here merely scrapes through. Cinematographer R Madhie's frames are spoiled by the poor VFX. Avinash Kolla's production design is worthy of appreciation.
The action choreography has been done by seven stunt masters/action directors. The Ram-Lakshman duo and Peter Hein are joined by the likes of Joshuva and Venkat. None of the action scenes are remarkable, especially in the second half where Rao is shown as the omnipotent hero who can't be killed, much like Rocky Bhai from 'KGF'.
The first 30 minutes.
The central message.
Srikanth Vissa's dialogues.
Melodramatic score is used to whitewash Rao's crimes.
Simplistic binaries. Rao is virtuous and the system is evil. That's it. There is no grey.
Dumbing down of Rao's philosophy to the extent that he comes across as a kind-hearted Naxalite waging a thankless battle for poor people.
The film's unabashed motto to showcase Rao as flawless is grating. The characterization is underdeveloped, agenda-driven and plain stupid at times.
'Tiger Nageswara Rao' is a charmless commercial action entertainer in the garb of a biographical action thriller. The tone of the film is pretty straightforward. It is Tiger vs the oppressive system. Director Vamsee develops an outdated drama built on a weak, ultra-familiar foundation.