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HanuMan movie review: Only god can save this unimaginative cash-grab movie

HanuMan is purely aimed at exploiting the current mood of the nation to generate quick and effortless financial returns. 

HanuMan movie review: Only god can save this unimaginative cash-grab movie
Teja Sajja in HanuMan

Last Updated: 01.15 AM, Jan 12, 2024


HanuMan Movie Story:

The film tells the story of an aimless and powerless young man who comes into possession of an ancient source of power, linking him to Lord Hanuman.

HanuMan Movie Review:

HanuMan begins with a mythological story about a young Lord Hanuman trying to gobble up the sun. And Indra, the king of the gods rides on his Airavata elephant to rescue the Sun God from the Hanuman. In an ensuing face-off, Indra draws a drop of blood from Hanuman when he uses his thunderbolt. That drop of blood falls into the earth and takes refuge in a sea shell, growing into a powerful source of energy like the world has never seen before. That sea shell sits at the bottom of a fictional town Anjanadri, which for some reason remains cut off from mainland India.

Anjanadri still follows feudal law where the people are forced to pay unfair taxes to the megalomanic chieftain and his henchmen to safeguard villagers from dacoits. So naturally we predict that it's only a matter of time before Hanumanthu (Teja Sajja) finds himself at the bottom of the sea and grabs that pearl stone, gaining access to the power of Lord Hanuman himself. And he would obviously use his superhuman strength against ruthless criminals who are exploiting the hard-working, honest and innocent working-class people. And that's exactly how it plays out.

Hanumanthu defeats the evil guardian in a fistfight and ends the rule of tyranny by breaking the sceptre, a symbol of power, thus ushering in a new age in Anjanadri — democracy! Hurray! And just right on cue, enter the supervillain Michael (Vinay Rai). Now, after consuming superhero narratives for countless hours spanning several decades, we sort of foresee that Michael will try to take the divine pearl from Hanumanthu to become the mightiest man on earth. And that's exactly what happens.

Things just blow up, people just die, and the hero uses his superhero power mainly and repeatedly to save Meenakshi (Amritha Aiyer) from enigmatic assassins. Regrettably, the plot unfolds predictably, lacking any moments of originality that might surprise or resonate with the audience on a profound level.

The only time that this film draws some laughs is when it piggybacks on popular Telugu movies and heroes while exploring the limits of Hanumanthu's power for the first time.


Director Prasanth Varma must have known deep down that this movie has nothing to offer but just aims to take the time and money of the audience. So in the end, he makes Lord Hanuman break his penance and fly to Anjanadri to save humankind, in an attempt to trick people into thinking that they got the most bang for their buck.

When Prasanth Varma made his debut in 2018 with Awe!, many anticipated the emergence of a distinctive voice in Telugu cinema. It embodied the essence of an independent filmmaker, embracing unconventional sensibilities that challenged traditional norms to captivate a broader audience. Despite its modest budget, Awe! distinguished itself through innovative storytelling, a unique narrative structure, and a blend of genres, delivering an invigorating and unpredictable cinematic experience.

While Awe! brimmed with creative energy, imagination, and passion, these elements have been heavily diluted in Prasanth's latest movie HanuMan. This movie is a case study of how big a budget does not guarantee the creation of a compelling cinematic experience.

It seems a big budget comes with a slew of obligations that take a heavy toll on a director's creative freedom and vision. To make a film palatable for a bigger, wider and more diverse crowd, the director is forced to make compromises over and over again, till nothing original is left in his vision.

Prasanth seems like a victim of this trade-off: trading a larger budget for severely limited creative freedom.

HanuMan movie verdict:

HanuMan will easily find itself among the top 10 silliest movies list of 2024. This film is not a result of a director's creative expression or an effort to understand the lives of bigger mysteries by exploring India's rich mythological realms. But, it's purely aimed at exploiting the current popular mood of the nation for quick monetary gains.

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