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Critics Review
1945 review: A pointless, passionless pre-independence era yawnfest

There's not a single moment of honesty and conviction in the storytelling of this period drama that stars Rana Daggubati, Regina Cassandra and Sathyaraj

1.0
Srivathsan Nadadhur
Jan 07, 2022
cover image
A scene in the film

Story:

A London-educated Aadi returns to Burma after his father passes away and is set to take over the latter's business. He lives in a small town where violent clashes between the Netaji-led INA and the British are growing in number. In no time, a marriage proposal comes Aadi's way - an alliance with the local tahsildar Subbaiah's daughter Anandi. The sudden death of his friend Krishna in the hands of the British prompts Aadi to join INA, a move that forces Subbaiah to call off the alliance. Do Aadi and Anandi have any hope to unite?

Review:

Not all films have a happy ending in store - no, we're not talking about the plot here. This Rana Daggubati and Regina Cassandra starrer was mired in financial issues right from the beginning and shelved when a considerable portion of the film was yet to be shot, many years ago. With some tacky patchwork, a hurried ending and minus any promotional activity, the makers have managed to release 1945 across two languages today. And the excuse of an effort has very little going for it, even if you grant the team the liberty that this isn't what they had initially set out to make.

The film weaves together two subplots around independence and a blossoming romance and gets neither of them right. It doesn't have the intensity or the angst of a freedom struggle story and is bereft of the charm you expect in a period romance. There's hardly any emotional drive to the story. The characters, their motives are not at all established clearly. When you notice tahsildar Subbaiah's loyalty towards the British, someone who doesn't think twice to betray his men, you expect a juicy conflict coming your way. However, it remains just one stray incident in the film that has no say in the plot.

The Independence movement in 1945 is reduced to the loud chants of 'Jai Netaji', abuses hurled at the British, the portrayal of Britishers as a vile bunch of men. What's the use of setting a story in Burma when the location almost has no identity? But for the INA-British clash, there's nothing in 1945 that gives you a sense of its backdrop, its political environment or the people. There's absolutely no sight of the larger picture. The little moments never lead to anything concrete. The characters keep sobbing profusely but you're too tired to even react.

With the romantic track between Aadi and Anandi, you expect the proceedings to get interesting when the latter's father prohibits Anandi from meeting her match till their engagement. The hide-and-seek between the two and their desperate attempts to meet, raise a few hopes of a cute love story, though the director Sathyasivaa is clueless about taking it forward later. The film is somewhat tolerable when Saptagiri is in the fray and tries to infuse some humour or life into a dead rubber of a story. 

Rana Daggubati is a good fit for the story in terms of his physique and body language but despite his best efforts, the role has no graph and offers him nothing memorable. Regina is either completely smiling or endlessly weeping - there's no middle ground. Sathyaraj and Nasser's roles aren't fleshed out properly. Saptagiri, for a change, is funny. Perhaps, the film makes you feel that. 

Half the time, 1945 looks more like a Tamil film. The Telugu dubbing by Tamil-speaking actors is horrendous. The background score is more or less non-existent and the only song, Allari Chese Kala, is catchy. The film ends abruptly and you know why! However, you're happy that it least ended.

Verdict:

1945 is a film that's best erased from your memories. Just behave it didn't even release or exist and you're still not going to miss much. Don't get misled by the big names. The only thing big about the film is that it's one giant bore. 


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