Veera Simha Reddy movie review: Balakrishna film works when spotlight is on him – Hindustan Times

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In Telugu cinema, if the term one-man show can be aptly attributed to someone, then it’s Nandamuri Balakrishna’s name that immediately comes to mind. The man, who’s in his sixties, is one of the biggest entertainers the industry has produced in a long time. Over the years, scenes from his movies have served as meme material on social media, but that hasn’t diluted or impacted the fandom he enjoys. All of this applies to his latest release Veera Simha Reddy, too, which is a millionth iteration of the same story set against the backdrop of Rayalaseema. Also read: Pawan Kalyan makes TV debut on Nadamuri Balakrishna’s chat show
The film opens in Istanbul, where a group of foreigners walk into an Indian restaurant that serves Rayalaseema cuisine. The restaurant is run by India-born Meenakshi (Honey Rose), who is threatened to sell the property and sign the papers by next morning. Cut to next scene, we see her son Jai (Balakrishna) deal with the situation in the most predictable way – a fight sequence. But this isn’t the best part of the movie. The story quickly shifts to Rayalaseema, where we’re introduced to Jai’s father Veera Simha Reddy (also played by Balakrishna), who rules over Kurnool. He’s the saviour of his village and not a single soul dares to talk back to him. However, one Prathap Reddy (Duniya Vijay) has been yearning to avenge the death of his father by killing Veera Simha Reddy, but all his plans so far have backfired.
For many years, Telugu filmmakers have used factionalism as a backdrop to narrate interesting stories. But what they’ve failed to bring to the forefront is the mindset behind the faction wars. Instead of understanding the psyche of the people, who’ve dedicated their lives fighting the faction wars, filmmakers have majorly focused on the violence and have used cinema as a medium to glorify it. The same approach is followed in Veera Simha Reddy as well. The film thrives on violence and some exquisitely shot action sequences, which are a treat to watch. As the central character Veera Simha Reddy, Balakrishna holds the film together and it’s quite literally a one-man show.
It’s not the story or the performances that really keep one invested in the film. It’s the pure madness the action sequences bring to the big screen viewing experience along with SS Thaman’s electric background score that makes Veera Simha Reddy likable to a large extent. If not for Balakrishna’s energetic screen presence, which makes the most mundane scenes fun to watch, this would’ve been a tiresome watch. Duniya Vijay as the antagonist is an interesting choice, but he hardly gets to do much other than screaming his lungs out throughout the movie. Varalaxmi Sarath Kumar is the only other actor from the supporting cast, who gets a meaty part, a Neelambari-inspired character from Padayappa, which she pulls off effortlessly.
Film: Veera Simha Reddy
Director: Gopichand Malineni
Cast: Nandamuri Balakrishna, Shruti Haasan, Honey Rose, Duniya Vijay and Murali Sharma
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