Actors like Sharad Kelkar, Bhagyashree are wasted in this VV Vinayak directorial which is a remake of SS Rajamouli’s 2005 film of the same name that starred Prabhas and Shriya Saran
Shiva (Bellamkonda Sai Sreenivas) loves his stepmother (Bhagyashree) but is hated by his younger step-brother Ashok (Karan Singh Chhabra). One fateful night, Shiva gets separated from his mother and Ashok and ends up in the coastal village of Aalang in Gujarat along with a few members from his native village. He grows up working for the local goon Bahirav (Freddy Daruwala) as a bonded labour while also trying to search for his mother and stepbrother. After about 12 years, his envious stepbrother enters the picture again with the motive of destroying Shiva with the help of Bhairav’s elder brother Bhavani (Sharad Kelkar). Shiva now has to stand up against the oppressions of Bhairav and fight the good fight for his people and also try to reunite with his long-lost family. Oh, also he must steal some time to romance Sapna (Nushrratt Bharuccha) since she is also there in the film.
In terms of the story, Chatrapathi has nothing new to offer. Even though the movie is laced with every single trope of a typical 80s film, at least its treatment could have been new and adapted to the times we live in. Sadly, the makers have not made any attempts to do so. VV Vinayak’s direction and Vijayendra Prasad’s writing fall flat on numerous occasions throughout the film. The editing is choppy and does not help in building the continuity of the narrative. Most of the film just appears to be a showreel of Bellamkonda’s action scenes in slow motion. Heck, even a showreel of his action sequences on YouTube would have made for a better watch than this cringe-fest on screen.
The film also takes “definitions” quite seriously. The characters ensure that the audience knows and understands the meaning of the word ‘Chatrapathi’ by explaining the same a couple of times. The antagonists too explain (quite literally) the meaning of “khoon ke aansu” among other things. If any of the bonded labourers refuse to obey their commands, they will have to shed khoon ke aansu – khoon tumhare apno ka, aur aansu tumhare (meaning: they’ll be shedding tears over the blood of their dear ones). On numerous occasions dialogues and scenes like these become unintentionally funny.
The background score is unnecessarily loud and jarring. Sample this – At one point our action hero (Shiva) is shown to be getting angry at the atrocities of Bhairav’s men with tight close-up shots of his closed fist and pumped-up veins of his arms and biceps. You think you’re gearing up for a good action sequence but then suddenly the background goes “Jeene ka mera haq hai” multiple times in a sing-song chorus, and you can’t help but laugh out loud. The film abounds in gems like these.
Not to forget the sloppy dialogues and forceful addition of songs. In a scene, our action hero gets emotional talking about his mother but his lady love interrupts him saying. “Yeh emotional hone ka nahi, party karne ka time hai. Chalo party karte hain,” and voila! They get transported to what appears to be a dance club, singing and dancing their heart out. Such a range of emotions on screen within seconds has rarely been on display in recent times for sure! At one point our hero blurts out “Yeh ho kya raha hai” to his friends – exactly echoing our sentiments about this film.
In terms of performance, Bellamkonda Sreenivas has a good screen presence and delivers well in the action sequences. His well-built physique and six-pack-abs are given ample opportunities to shine (quite literally) in the action drama. To an extent, that’s the only saving grace in the film since he fails to deliver in the emotional scenes. Nushrratt has little to do as her character barely adds anything to the overall scheme of things. It makes us wonder whether she was made to sign the film at gunpoint. By far, this is the feeblest part she has chosen to play in a project.
Bhagyashree tries to bring a little gravitas to her character but her over-the-top dialogues make it quite difficult to take her emotions seriously. Karan Singh Chhabra as the jealous stepbrother sometimes hits but mostly misses the mark. An actor of Sharad Kelkar’s caliber is utterly wasted.
Spare yourself the horror and atrocities of this cringe-fest. Catch Dahaad on Amazon Prime Video instead.