'Devaraya': lifeless socio-fantasy drama (Telugu Movie Review)
Film: "Devaraya"; Director: Nani Krishna; Cast: Srikant, Meenakshi Dixit, Vidisha, Ranganath, M.S Narayana, Sivaji Raja and Jayaprakash Reddy; Rating: *
"Devaraya" follows the footsteps of films that attempted to marry socio-fantasy with modern day drama, only to produce a lifeless output. Spearheaded by Srikant, who also happens to be the saving grace, this film neither inspires nor entertains.
Srikant plays Dorababu, a happy-go-lucky villager who lives life to the fullest and believes in spreading happiness. He falls head over heels for Swapna, played by Vidisha. She is also smitten by his well mannered nature and loves him back.
Meanwhile, an archaeologist, played by Sivaji Raja, unearths some items belonging to the Sri Krishnadevaraya era in the Godavari delta. Further examination into the matter reveals startling secrets, which claim that Dorababu has some connection with the late emperor.
According to the discovery, the emperor has some unfulfilled promises, and for the same to be fulfilled, Dorababu should sacrifice himself.
What are the promises and how Dorababu is connected to emperor Krishnadevaraya forms the rest of the story?
The film, which was touted to be Srikant's first socio-fantasy dream project, fumbles in almost all departments. The plot is inundated with several potholes and the sub-plots were left hanging without sensible explanation. The first half is boring while the second half that introduces the socio-fantasy part into the film attempts to impress but falls short of anything noteworthy.
The flashback sequence is poorly executed. While Srikant shined in the role of the emperor, but sadly lot of detailing that was required in the role was missing. Scenes in the flashback keep shifting back and forth with present day, without making any sense whatsoever.
Srikant delivered his best in both roles, and especially in the role of the famous emperor. The actresses, besides being glamorous, didn't have any meaty part to play. The rest of the cast which includes Jayaprakash Reddy, M.S Narayana and others attempt to make a few laughs but didn't quite succeed in the process.
Nani Krishna, at the helm of the project, should have ideally anticipated what he was getting into and its consequences. It was promised to be an avant-garde socio-fantasy film, but sadly graduates as a brainless attempt and mockery of the genre.
Instead of including badly executed graphical scenes, given the low budget of the film, the makers should have done away with the graphics part. To add to the woes, climax is the most stupid part of the film, and you wish you hadn't sat through it.
"Devaraya" is an experience not worth discussing.