Kalyan Ram shines in this period drama that is directed by Naveen Medaram. The twists and turns in Devil keep you engaged.
Devil is set in a small village named Rasapadu during the British era. After a zamindar's daughter passes away under mysterious circumstances, the British government puts a special agent, Devil (Kalyan Ram), on the case. Devil reaches Rasapadu and finds important clues in this case. The British government gives the agent yet another case, 'Operation Tiger Hunt'. As time passes, Devil comes to know that there is a strange connection between the two cases. The rest of the story about how Devil handles this case and unravels a mystery.
Kalyan Ram's Devil has been mounted on a massive scale and the first thing you notice about the film is the sheer research done on the project. The makers went all out and spent a bomb to recreate the British era. Every rupee spent is visible through the amazing period visuals and depictions of the British era.
Yet another major advantage of the film is the various subplots created to evoke suspense in the film. Devil has multiple layers and the gripping screenplay only enhances the proceedings in the second half. The director saves his best twists for the second half and unleashes them in a very clever manner. There are also a few twists in the narrative that shock the audience.
On the other hand, one gets a feeling that the first hour of Devil has been dragged for no reason. The inclusion of two songs hampers the proceedings. If this aspect had been taken care of, things would have gone to the next level. But that does not happen. Also, Devil has a few forced elevations that were not needed in the script.
Samyuktha Menon plays the female lead and she does a great job in the film. Her role is not restricted to the dance and song routine but she actually has a part to play in the narrative. Her presence brings a lot of depth to the film. Malavika Nair is also seen in a key role and she too was decent.
Devil undoubtedly belongs to Kalyan Ram. In the last few years, he has transformed into a superb actor and proves it again with Devil. The way he goes about playing his SPY character and mouthing dialogue in stylish lingo looks cool. Be it his dressing, action part, or emotions, Kalyan Ram holds your attention until the end. One gets the feeling that when Kalyan Ram gets challenged, he brings out his best and the same happens in Devil.
One of the aspects that Devil misses is the screenplay in the first half. To establish the story, the director takes forever to enter the main plot and this creates a boring aspect for the audience. But once the second half starts, things catch on well. The production values of Abhishek Nama are superb. Spending so much money on Kalyan Ram, whose market is limited, is no joke but the makers have gone all over.
The camerawork showcasing the British era is superb. The real hero of the film is the art director, who has laid out massive sets that look amazing. Also, the editing could have been better in the first half. The rest of the technical aspects are on point. The action sequences and the thrill factor are maintained till the end. Kalyan Ram's outfits need a special mention as they give the character an edge over the others.
The only thing that you observe while watching the film is the sheer hard work of director Naveen Medaram. Even though he is not credited as the director of the film, the young man has done a decent job with Devil and his work needs appreciation.
On the whole, Devil is an extravagant period thriller that has a fabulous performance by Kalyan Ram. Although the film starts on a promising note, the second act in the first half derails the proceedings a bit. In the absence of this, Devil makes for a respectable watch and will appeal to viewers looking for something unique and lavishly produced.